Mt. Athos, September 6, 2017
The phenomenon of the Light-Painted image of the Mother of God was prayerfully venerated on September 3 by the brethren of the Athonite St. Panteleimon’s Monastery, reports Russian Athos.
As is known, the Most Holy Theotokos miraculously appeared on August 21/September 3, 1903 in the Russian St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt. Athos. A photograph was taken at the Holy Gates of the monastery during the distribution of alms, which subsequently revealed an imprinted image of the Mother of God receiving charity as if one of the poor brethren from the hands of an elder monk.
The Athonites believe that the miracle of the appearance of the Most Holy Theotokos during the distribution of alms is evidence of the Mother of God fulfilling the oath she gave to protect her earthly lot, the Holy Mountain. Her 1903 appearance, they consider, falls with an unbroken chain of such miraculous events, taking place at various times in the history of the Holy Mountain. By Her appearance, the Most Holy Theotokos supported the Russian monastery’s continued almsgiving, providing solace to the hermits, and silently inspired wisdom among the elders of the Kinot [governing council], confirming her heavenly governance of Mt. Athos and her perpetual care.
In 2012, a report by St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on the celebration of the Light-Painted Icon of the Mother of God was delivered to the Kinot, at its request, and confirmed by the blessing of then-abbot Fr. Jeremiah. The icon was then included in the official list of miracle-working icons of Mt. Athos, and its feast day is now among the recognized panegyrics [feasts of praise] of Mt Athos.
In 2013, during a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Kiev Caves Lavra, held on the icon’s feast day, it was also included in the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church. One of the first churches in honor of the Light-Painted image of the Mother of God outside of Mt. Athos was opened in the same year in Kiev. Veneration of the miraculous event has spread throughout various dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is especially venerated by the Orthodox faithful in Kohtla-Järve, Estonia, where there occurred a secondary appearance of the Light-Painted image of the Mother of God, similar to the image of the Lord Not-Made-By-Hands.