March 24, 2012

The Twin Portable Icon of the Panagia of Love and Hate

This is a unique twin portable icon of the Virgin Mary, located in the Church of Panagia Chrysaliniotissa in Nicosia, where the Panagia is depicted facing in two directions. On one side is depicted the Panagia of Love or Unity (Eleousa type), and on the other side the Panagia of Hate or Separation (Odigitria type).

The Panagia of Love or Unity (Παναγία Αγαπητική ή Ενωτική)

According to popular tradition, the help of the Panagia of Love is sought by the woman to win back the love of her husband or the lover who abandoned her, as well as the young man that loves unrequited. In other words, it helps bring love to oneself and to others, and thus unity. Some say this is achieved by drinking wood dust from the icon. As for the other Panagia, the one of Hate, which is facing the opposite side, it has different qualities.

The Panagia of Hate or Separation (Παναγία Μισητική ή Χωριστική)

In this icon there is an understanding by mothers that it helps remove evil and corruption from their teenage daughters. For this special attribute it is called Separator (Ποϋριστιτζή or Πογυριστική). In other words, she helps separate oneself or others from evil and hate. She furthermore helps a sinner understand their evil ways and bring them to unity with the Church, with family and with their neighbor. For the Panagia to act as a Separator, some say one must light up a candle and for the mothers to plead for the influence to leave their teenage daughters.

This icon shows us that not only is love a virtue, but hate is also a virtue if directed against evil.