Gallery Icon POKROV – Virgin of the Guardian/Protective Cloak

29. september 2016

In the composition of this icon, The Mother of God, traditionally arrayed in the maforion, is standing on the small cloud, which floats above the heads of the faithful. With her holy arms stretched in the position of the prayer that symbolizes her unceasing adoration for people. Mother holds her veil bowed. The procession/accompaniment of Saints consists of a group of disciples and a group of prophets led by John, The Predecessor. Saint John holds the scroll that says: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven, has come near.” (Mt, 3,2).

In the bottom of the icon, the figure of Saint Roman the Melodist stands out. He lived in the 6th century and he was a choral singer highly undervalued in the eyes of his friends. He was given a gift of the hymnody from the Mother of God. His new canticle impressed the patriarch as well as the emperor so strongly that the Emperor made him a conductor of the choir of the church of Saint Sophia. The scene from Saint Roman´s life, although being chronologically distant, is depicted in the composition of this icon, because it shares the celebration date with the Feast of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God.

Constantinople´s Church of Blachernae is displayed in the background of the icon Pokrov. The icon is rich in content. The variety of symbols and the divine interconnection of these invite the spectator to explore the depth of secrets of transcendental life and aim towards the Absolute. The icon of The Protection of the Holy Mother of God presents her almighty love for the mankind in all the prayers she delivers to her Son.

Three chronologically diverse aspects – the vision of Saint Andrew, the miracle of Blachernae and Saint Roman the Melodist – are interconnected in the embracing presence of the protection of The Holy Mother of God. The protection is represented also by the relic of the veil of the Virgin. Since the Ephesus assembly in 431, The Church constantly proclaims the close relationship between Mary's divine motherhood and her role as the Mother of all faithful, the one who helps forever. The matter of the icon Pokrov is, therefore, based on a long Christian tradition.