Icon of Mother of God  "Thy Womb Has Become A Holy Table"


The iconography of this icon, which took shape in the second half of the 16th century, is exceedingly rare. Its original name, the Nicaean Icon of the Mother of God, was later on replaced with the opening words of St. Andrew of Crete's Canon for the Feast of Mid-Pentecost (half of the interval between the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Descent of the Holy Spirit): "Thy womb has become a Holy Table." Today not more than three or four icons of this type, kept in functioning churches, are known to exist. The oldest of them, dated by experts from the late 17th century, is in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Moscow. This half-length representation of the Most Holy Theotokos is of great interest. She is shown with Her head inclined to one side and crowned with a royal crown, Her hands raised in prayer. On a throne in front of Her is a font with the Pre-Eternal Infant Jesus Christ in it. There is no special feast day in honor of this icon.