September 3, 2020

Synaxis of the Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God
(Feast Day - September 3)

The Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God was glorified by miracles in the city of Sozopolis, but its origin is unknown. Saint Germanos, the Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 730), mentions “the icon of the All-Immaculate Theotokos, located at Pisidian Sozopolis” in his letters on the veneration of icons which were read at the Seventh Ecumenical Synod. He said that “myrrh flowed from the hands,” and described the icon as “ancient.” He thus said: "The most remarkable thing is that no objection or doubt is encountered against the fact that the icon of the All-Immaculate Theotokos, located in Pisidian Sozopolis, was pouring out a stream of myrrh from her hand. Many testify to this miracle."

The miracles of the icon date back to the sixth century. One of the miracles was reported by the presbyter Eustathios, who was a contemporary of Patriarch Eutychios (April 6) and his biographer. At Amasea, near Sozopolis, there was a certain married couple, whose children were all stillborn. Grieving over their misfortune, they turned to Patriarch Eutychios for advice. Saint Eutychios prayed and anointed them with holy oil from the Cross of the Lord and from the holy icon of the Mother of God saying, “In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Having recited this short prayer, Saint Eutychios sank into silence for a while; then, as if illuminated by divine grace, he said to these spouses: “Name your child Peter, and he will live,” he said to them. Presbyter Eustathius, who was there at the same time, proposed to Saint Eutychios the question: "And if a girl is born, what should they call her?" Eutychios repeated again: "No, let them call him Peter, and he will live." The delighted couple, firmly hoping for the mercy of God, returned home. At a certain time, a son was born to them, as Saint Eutychios said, and at baptism they named him Peter. Besides him, another son was born to them, whom they, with the blessing of the Patriarch, named John. The children grew up healthy and prosperous, and the parents, and with them all the inhabitants of the city, who knew about this miracle of God's mercy, glorified God.

Eleusios, a disciple of Saint Theodore the Sykeote (April 22), was a witness to this. Speaking of Saint Theodore, he writes: "Then he entered the venerable church of the All­-Holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, where the God­-given myrrh flows, and stretched out his arms, and standing thus in the shape of a cross, he prayed and steadfastly gazed at the miraculous 'Icon of the myrrh' opposite him. By divine working, the myrrh gathered into a bubble and then rained down plentifully upon his eyes and anointed his whole face so that all who witnessed this divine testimony said, 'Verily he is a worthy servant of God'."

For about 600 years myrrh flowed from the Pisidian Icon of the Mother of God.

A copy of this ancient wonderworking icon was made in Russia in 1608, at Moscow’s Novospassky (New Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior) Monastery. This icon was in the cell of the mother of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov (1613-1645), Xenia, who took the name of Martha in monasticism. The Mother of God is depicted with the Divine Infant on her left arm, and with Her right hand She gives a blessing.