28th July : Our Lady Of Smolensk

Our Lady Of Smolensk

Country : Russia

Year : 1453

Mary, our Guide of the Way, is the patroness of icon-painters; liturgically she is commemorated thus in Russia on July 28.

The title distinguishes a large class of icons of Mary of a primitive type, in which the Child is held in the Mother’s left arm:  why they should have been given this name has not been discovered yet, but its general symbolic significance is clear enough.

The first known icon is said to have been sent from Jerusalem to the Empress Pulcheria (399-453ad).  She enshrined it at Constantinople, where it became a palladium of the city and was associated with many events in its history.  At the conquest by the Turks in 1453, it was hacked to pieces, but copies of it, real or alleged, were in existence; one reputed copy of the “Our Lady of Smolensk”, was carried with the Russian Army at the Battle of Borodino in 1812.

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