Virgin Mary “Gerontissa”

Virgin Mary “Gerontissa”
  • Code:  ΒΧει 91
  • Type:  Engraving
  • Chronology:  1869
  • Dimensions:  Height 33,2 εκ., Length 22,8 εκ.
  • Materials of Construction:  Paper; tempera
  • Origin:  Dori Papastratou collection

The colored engraving depicting Virgin Mary “Gerontissa” is made by Ioannis Kaldis, an engraver on Mount Athos in 1869. Its model has been the miraculous icon in the Katholikon of the Pantokratoros Monastery. The sobriquet “Gerontissa” was given to the Holy Virgin due to an apparition of hers to a hieromonk during a mass; the Virgin asked him to shorten the Divine Liturgy in order to let a dying member of the brotherhood have the Holy Communion.

Virgin Mary is shown standing and praying, framed by miniatures of the monastery’s building and scenes of the two miracles made after her intervention in the monastery. The first miracle is the discovery of the Gerontissa icon by monks and pirates; the icon was discovered at the Monastery’s well, where it was thrown in order to be saved by the pirates; it was found eighty years later. The second miracle renders the filling of the empty pots with oil.