In the Spotlight: The Theotokos

Gallery Byzantium’s Kursk Root Icon medallions are based on the Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign, which prominently features the Mother of God

The icon was originally discovered by a hunter at the foot of a tree on the riverbanks of the Skal River just outside the city of Kursk in the year 1295.  No sooner had the hunter picked up the icon than there immediately gushed forth an abundant spring of fresh water.

Throughout the years to come, the icon traveled to many cities and brought forth many more miracles.  In fact, many of the copies made of the icon have also been associated with miracles.

The holy icon has brought consolation to hundreds of thousands of people who have experienced trials and tribulations of different wars and battles throughout the world.  Today, the Kursk Root Icon has found its permanent home in the Russian Orthodox Church outside the Russian Synod cathedral in New York City (however, the icon travels throughout the year, visiting churches and monasteries all over the world).

At a glance, our Mother of God Medallion is very similar to the Kursk Icon Medallion.  Both feature the Theotokos and the Christ child.

This design, however, is adapted from an icon painted by the Evangelist Luke during the Theotokos early life In the front of the medallion the Icon of the Mother of God (“the Directress”) is framed with columns and an arched canopy adapted from an 11th century ivory carving.

The reverse side of the medallion features a cross with the letters IC XC, NI KA, which translate to “Jesus Christ Conquers.”

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