Icon of the Virgin Enthroned – T09

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The most humble Handmaiden of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, is shown the greatest honor in this icon by placing her on a throne with her Son and God.  The Orthodox Church honors her by crying out in her church service, “Thou art a gold-entwined tower, and twelve-wall encircled city, a throne besprinkled with sunbeams, a royal chair of the King.  O, unexplained wonder!  That thou dost feed the Master with thy milk.”

Why does the Church show her such love and such honor?  It is the mystery of the profound humility, obedience, and love which she so perfectly expressed in her life.  From the Holy Scriptures we have her exclaim when the Archangel Gabriel comes to tell her that Christ will be born from her, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  For He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”  (Luke 1:46-48)  Those who consider this mystery deeply come to understand that she is truly blessed by all who are of the household of God, and  always greatly loved by Christ, the Apostles, and all the Saints.

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20th c. (Mid)