Our Lady of Sitka

This afternoon the Wonderworking Sitka Icon of the Mother of God was at St. Nicholas in Bethlehem, PA. She was so beautiful. Oh my.

I dared to sit as close as I could, just 10 feet away. Very few were present for her arrival. And once those present venerated the icon, all left the Nave. I sat alone with her. It didn’t seem right to leave her alone.

Purely from an artistic point of view the icon is an amazing piece of art. Eighteen inches wide by three feet tall. The icon is encased in a shadow box about 4 inches deep. The quality of the painting is exquist and so life-like. The metal work over the canvas is beautiful. It appears to have been hammering into design and it is almost like the Theotokos’ shoulder is right under her gown. The rays around her and Jesus’ head are formed so they are bent towards you not away from you. Almost like they are reaching out to you to grasp you and draw you in. It is absolutely beautiful. But “it” is more than that.

I sat and gazed into her eyes. She seemed to gaze right back. Through the icon you can feel her presence. You look into her eyes and somehow know she loves you, like a mother loves her child. Her gaze is serene and gives a deep sense of peace. Her mouth is at rest. Her face is not creased with worry lines. No sign of distress, worry, or discontent is present in the icon. She exudes the peace we all yearn and pray for. Though I walked into the temple with those feelings in me, as I gazed into her eyes, I was filled with peace.

Oh Holy Theotokos hear our cry and pray for us!


5 thoughts on “Our Lady of Sitka

  1. Wow! I, too, will be unable to venerate her icon this coming Sat/Sun at St. Seraphim Cathedral/Dallas, due to my having to (sigh) go to my cousin’s wedding.

    Father said the deacons there are good about picking up any physical items brought to commemorate the occasion, so perhaps I shall luck out and at least have a print to show for her visit.

    It was funny; today after liturgy Father said the “Miraculous Sitka Icon is touring the US…wait, no, *people from Alaska are taking the icon around the US*…wow, if it were going by itself that’d REALLY be miraculous…”

  2. I am with Meg in a lot of ways on this, I was also unable to attend due to some “family dynamics” as I told Dawn!

    However, Philippa, your description brings tears to my eyes, and that you remembered me in your prayers humbles me greatly.

    Thank you so much, and Most Holy Theotokos Pray to God for us!

  3. I read this beautiful description and almost wept, first in joy for you, that you were able to visit her, and secone in frustration, because she visited Boston, too, *and I was unable to go.* There were several parties attending, but for me to take off on “some church thing” during the evening, when my husband is home, would have set him off no end; and if there was a way to venerate her during the day, I didn’t hear of it. You were smart to take advantage of this opportunity.

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