Icons of the Theotokos

Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

The word, “Theotokos” means “bearer of God.”  Her icons appear in our nave almost as many times as her Son, and she is rarely depicted without Him. She is considered the greatest saint because of her humility and obedience.  She is the primary instrument in our salvation, because she agreed to become the Mother of God in the flesh. Mary is always on the right of the Royal Doors, on the right of Christ in the Diesis, on the Iconostasis, and in the Platytera.  Her position here is prophesied in the Psalter with the words “at your right hand stood the Queen.” She is always shown in a blue tunic and red cloak. The red indicates her suffering and the blue her fully human nature. The three stars on her cloak show her virginity before giving birth, during childbirth and after giving birth. They also represent the Trinity. The symbols above her shoulders mean the Mother of God. In many icons,   she holds her son conceived by the Holy Spirit in her right arm and invites our attention to Him with her left hand.