The Smolensk “Hodigitria” Icon of the Theotokos

Detail of the Smolensk "Hodigitria" Icon of the Theotokos

Detail of the Smolensk “Hodigitria” Icon of the Theotokos

“The Smolensk “Hodigitria” Icon of the Theotokos, or “She who leads the way,” was, according to Church Tradition, painted by the holy Evangelist Luke during the earthly life of the Most Holy Theotokos. Holy Hierarch Demetrius of Rostov suggests that this icon was written at the request of Theophilus, the prefect of Antioch. From Antioch, the holy image was transferred to Jerusalem. From there, Empress Eudokia, the wife of Emperor Arcadius, gave it to Pulcheria, the sister of the emperor, at Constantinople. Pulcheria put the holy icon in the Blachernae Church.”

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