"All Holy Mother of God Paramythia" - The amazing story of an Icon
Discover the full story of one of Mt Athos' most remarkable Icons.
A little chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Paramithia can be found ascending the stairs to the left of the main gate of the main church of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi.
Visitors can see the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, a 14th-century fresco that was formerly on the right margin of the outside narthex and was transported there following an astonishing miracle.
"...The Monastery's gate would then be opened. They had no idea that outside it lurked pirates who had surrounded it and were preparing to invade and kill everyone."
They had no idea that outside it lurked pirates who had surrounded it and were preparing to invade and kill everyone."
When the fathers exited the main Church after the end of the Orthros procession, it was customary for them to embrace the image of the Virgin Mary in the outer church hall (narthex).
There, the Abbot gave the porter the keys to the Monastery's locked gate for the evening hours.
On January 21, some time in the early 14th century, Orthros came to an end.
The fathers retired to their cells to relax until the start of their daily preaching.
The Monastery's gate would then be opened.
They had no idea that outside it lurked pirates who had surrounded it and were preparing to invade and kill everyone.
The Abbot was alone in the temple, concentrating on his prayer.
He was startled to hear a voice that did not sound like a human.
He looked around, terrified.
He didn't notice anyone.
Furthermore, no one was inside the shrine.
Nonetheless, someone spoke up.
He focused his attention and recognised, terrified, that the voice emanated from the picture of The Mother of God.
He put out his ear to listen reverently.
Then he heard the Virgin Mary say, "Do not open the gate of the Monastery today, but chase away the pirates after climbing the walls."
The Abbot, taken aback, focussed his gaze on the portrait of the Virgin Mary.
He then witnessed an incredible miracle.
The Virgin Mary was alive in the picture.
The baby Jesus she was cradling came to life as well.
He moved his right hand to close his Holy Mother's mouth, turning his dazzling face towards her.
"No, dear Mother, don't tell them," a charming tiny voice said."
Allow them to be punished as they deserve for failing to perform their duties."
Then, with tremendous maternal parsimony towards her only Son, Mrs. Theotokos raised her hand slightly, gripped his hand, tilted her uncle's face slightly to the right, and repeated more fervently: "Do not open the Monastery's gate today, but rather after scaling the walls to chase away the pirates.
And seek repentance, for my Son is displeased with you."
He issued a third warning: "Do not open the gate of the Monastery today..."
Mrs. Theotokos and her Holy Infant were restored as images following the discourse.
The Abbot, filled with admiration, assembled all the Fathers and told them about the extraordinary happenings that had occurred, as well as the words he had heard from the lips of the Virgin and the Holy Infant to his Mother.
Everyone stared in awe at the magnificent image.
And their astonishment grew.
The picture representation was altered.
The composition had been entirely altered and did not resemble the previous image at all.
The shape as it appears today has been kept.
To escape it, the Virgin Mary places Christ's hand under her mouth and tilts her head to the right.
Her face is filled with exquisite grace, tenderness, sympathy, and motherly affection.
Although Christ is depicted as a newborn, he has a severe demeanour as a Judge.
This artwork is really handmade, for it was created in its current shape not by human hands, but by the Grace of God, following Our Lady's miraculous intervention to save the Monastery.
She was given the name "Panagia Paramythia," which means "Comforter."
And rightly so, for, as Monastery pilgrims who aren't tired of viewing her remark, the sight of the Virgin Mary's peaceful expression on her face soothes, rests, calms, and comforts the human soul.
This miracle demonstrates the Virgin Mary's maternal parsimony in interceding for the people's sins "to her Son and God" and her embassy of salvation, with which they are spared from the miseries that they deserve for the throng. of their sins.
The artwork was moved to Paramythia's private chapel.
Every Friday, the monks hold a candle in front of it, say a daily prayer, and celebrate a Divine Liturgy.
It was once usual for monks to get their hair cut at this chapel.
Translated from Source: https://www.monastiriaka.gr/panagia-paramythia