Icon of the Theotokos “Hodegetria Grebenskaya” – T33

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Hodegetria is a Greek word meaning guide or indicator of the way.  In this icon the Most Holy Mother of God is guiding our path to God by her indication with her left arm of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is “the way, the truth, and the life” for “no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (both quotes from John 14:6).  The Christ Child rests in her right arm looking at her, and she in turn is looking outward towards us and to all who will follow her indication to enter more deeply the loving relationship of God and man. 

Christ is dressed here in the robes of a Greek teacher of philosophy and holds a scroll in his left hand to remind us that He is Love, Wisdom, and the fulfillment of the prophets’ words concerning Him that were concealed in mystery until He appeared on earth and worked His mighty works.  The most important of those works is still His main work: to soften the hearts of all who desire salvation so that they truly “repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Mat 4:17)   The original of this icon was given to the Great Prince Dmitri Donskoy after the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 by the citizens of Greben, located at a tributary of the River Don.

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Church Feast Day 1



Hodegetria (Directress)


Museum, Trinity-St Sergius Mon., Zagorsk, Russia


15th c.