Commemorated on September 26
The Iveron Icon of the Mother of God (which is preserved on Mt.
Athos) was kept in the home of a certain pious widow, who lived near
Nicea. During the reign of the emperor Theophilus, the Iconoclasts came
to the house of this Christian, and one of the soldiers struck the image
of the Mother of God with a spear. Blood flowed from the place where it
The widow, fearing its destruction, promised the
imperial soldiers money and implored them not to touch the icon until
morning. When the soldiers departed, the woman and her son (later an
Athonite monk), sent the holy icon away upon the sea to preserve it. The
icon, standing upright upon the water, floated to Athos.
several days, the Athonite monks had seen a fiery pillar on the sea
rising up to the heavens. They came down to the shore and found the holy
image, standing upon the waters. After a Molieben of thanksgiving, a
pious monk of the Iveron monastery, St Gabriel (July 12), had a dream in
which the Mother of God appeared to him and gave him instructions. So
he walked across the water, and taking up the holy icon, he placed it in
On the following day, however, the icon was found not
within the church, but on the gates of the monastery. This was repeated
several times, until the Most Holy Theotokos revealed to St Gabriel Her
will, saying that She did not want the icon to be guarded by the monks,
but rather She intended to be their Protectress. After this, the icon
was installed on the monastery gates. Therefore this icon came to be
called “Portaitissa” or “Gate-Keeper” (October 13). This comes from the
Akathist to the Mother of God: “Rejoice, O Blessed Gate-Keeper who opens
the gates of Paradise to the righteous.”
There is a tradition
that the Mother of God promised St Gabriel that the grace and mercy of
Her Son toward the monks would continue as long as the Icon remained at
the monastery. It is also believed that the disappearance of the Iveron
Icon from Mt. Athos would be a sign of the end of the world.
Iveron Icon is also commemorated on February 12, March 31, October 13
(Its arrival in Moscow in 1648), and Bright Tuesday (Commemorating the
appearance of the Icon in a pillar of fire at Mt. Athos and its recovery
by St Gabriel).
On September 26, 1989, a copy of this famous icon
arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia from the Iveron Monastery on mt. Athos.
This copy had been painted by the monks on Mt. Athos as a symbol of love
and gratitude to the Georgian people.
SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2015(with 2014's link here also and further: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):
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