Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

Marina Chizhova
08.07.2016

Icon "Three-handed": where did the Virgin come from in the image of the third hand?

The image of the Virgin "Three-armed" - one of the most honored and recognizable in Orthodoxy. But behind the third hand, which is distinctive for him, there is an important prehistory, and one can speak at length about the multitude of miracles that came from miraculous lists. We will only dwell on the most important and closer to us in time.

List of Athos icons

As the third hand appeared on the icon

The history of "Three-handed" is closely connected with the name of St. John of Damascus. He owes her the appearance of a third hand on the image and its name. At the time when the monk lived, at the beginning of the VIII century, the real war against the icons broke out, they were searched and burned.

Read also:

One of the most ardent iconoclasts was the emperor of Byzantium, Leo III the Isaurian. He had a special dislike for St. John, because in Damascus, in Syria, the veneration of holy images was preserved precisely because of the monk's written works in their defense.At that time, the saint served as adviser to the caliph - the ruler of Damascus. Not being able to directly harm him, Leo the Isaurian went to the trick. What was she like?

He found a man who forged the handwriting of John of Damascus and wrote a letter on his behalf to the emperor of Byzantium himself. In this letter, the adviser to the Caliph allegedly treacherously urged to take advantage of the absence of the Caliph and attack Damascus. Lev the Isaurian gave this letter to the Damascus caliph. The goal has been achieved. Without further investigation, suspecting his adviser of treason, the ruler of Damascus ordered him to cut off his right hand and hang it for edification to others in the central square.

In the evening, when the caliph calmed down a bit, the monk asked to take the hanged hand from the square. He was allowed. Throughout the night, St. John spent a tearful prayer in front of the image of the Virgin, a family heirloom. Putting a severed brush to his hand, he begged the Lady about healing and made a promise that if it happened, he would write all his life in defense of the icons. And the miracle happened!

In the morning, the saint was surprised to find that the brush had grown together, and only a thin scar remained in his wrist as a reminder.In gratitude, the saint commanded to pour a silver hand and put it to the icon in memory of the miraculous healing that happened to him. A similar tradition still exists, for example, in Greece. Thus, the icon "Three-armed" and gained its name. Also St. John, in gratitude to the Most Pure, wrote a songAbout You rejoices, Gracious ..., which we always hear on the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.

Upon learning of what had happened, the caliph immediately repented of his action and asked the monk to retake his position. But at that time, St. John had already decided for himself to choose another path and leave the world, wholly devoting himself to the service of God and the Theotokos.

Fresco with John of Damascus

The wonderful arrival of the image on Mount Athos

Soon, St. John left Syria and left for Palestine forever. Here, in the Lavra of St. Sava the Sanctified, he was tonsured as a monk. The icon has been with him all this time. In the monastery, he learned about the prophetic testament of St. Sava. Before his death, he ordered to strengthen the Igumenian staff next to his grave, and predicted that once the king's son with the same name as his Sawa would come to worship here. The hegumen's staff was supposed to fall on it.

To this most named royal son, Sawa, the Sanctified bequeathed to bless the hegumen's staff (pateritsa) and the venerated icon of the monastery "The Mlemae". Upon learning of this, the Monk John also left as a gift to the unknown Savva and his icon “Three-armed”.

Five centuries later, the tomb of St. Sava really visited the Athos monk of royal origin with the name of Sawa (we know him today as the famous St. Sava of Serbia in the name of saints). While worshiping, as predicted, the hegumen's staff fell on it. However, the fathers of the monastery first doubted and set the staff in place.

The next day, the monk came to the grave again, and again the paterina fell on him. Then the monks asked him the name, learned about the origin - there could be no doubt. They handed over to the chosen one of God the bequest staff and image. "Three-handed" Sawa took with him to the monastery Hilandar, in which he labored himself. So the icon for the first time arrived in Athos.

Monastery Hilandar

Centuries later, after the death of Sawa, the Serbian king Dusan, as a blessing, took the icon "Three-armed" from Athos to Serbia. From his court she came to the Studenitsa monastery.However, in the XV century there was a great threat of the looting of Serbian monasteries by the Turks. Wanting to save the miraculous image, the monks hoisted him on a donkey and, indulging in the will of God, let him go, being sure that the Mother of God would lead the animal to where it wanted to be.

After passing Serbia, Macedonia, the donkey arrived on Athos and stopped right near the monastery of Khylandar. The elders immediately understood which guest had come to them, and went out to meet her. The donkey died on the spot. And until now every year the procession with the “Three Hands” in commemoration of the marvelous return of the shrine to the Holy Mountain takes place.

The Constant Abbess of Hilandar

Another unusual event connected with the icon "Three-armed", happened some time later. Once the abbot died in a monastery, and it was necessary to choose a new one. Then, discord arose between the brethren, as the monastery was multinational — here Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Russians were involved — and everyone wanted the new superior to be their nationality.

Then, during the evening service, all the brethren heard the voice of the Virgin emanating from the icon, who said that from now on, she herself would be the Abbess of the monastery. However, this did not attach importance.The next morning, "Three-handed" was not found in the temple at the usual place, but they found it on the hegumen's throne. But then they decided that it was probably something that confused the altar boy, and moved the image back. When the same thing happened the next day, already in an empty and closed temple, the monks realized that such is the will of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Athos Monastery

And to this day, the icon "Three-armed" always resides in the abbot's place in Khilandar. The igumen is not chosen here, but is appointed only by the pro-abbot, the governor for solving economic issues, which always takes second place, next to the icon. The monks, every day in the morning approaching the image, are sure that they take the blessing for their obedience from the Most Pure Virgin. And the Mother of God, of course, does not leave novices without Her protection.

Other wonders from the icon

In addition to those already mentioned, many more miracles have occurred and continue to be performed from the miraculous icon. Of course, with the unusual healing of the hand of St. John of Damascus hardly anything can be compared, but we will tell about some of the most significant and large-scale cases of the intercession of the Virgin through her holy image.

In 1889, typhus broke out in Kiev, which threatened to take the lives of many people.Then the founder of Holy Trinity Monastery, who was glorified today as the Monk Jonah of Kiev, decided to serve a moleben before the image, asking the Mother of God for intercession. On the same day the disaster ceased. This icon is still in the monastery.

List of icons Three-Handed

In 1905, during the Russian-Japanese war, the Russian army asked the monks of the Hilandar monastery to bring the "Three-handed" to help the Orthodox army. In response to a request, they sent a close copy of it. Soon after that, the Russians were able to win a number of victories and a truce was signed.

In 1945, a strong fire engulfed the forest of the monastery and came close to its walls. Then the monks decided to make a procession along with the icon "Three-handed". However, only they managed to reach the bridge, as a strong wind blew and drove off the fire.

There are also cases where the attackers of foreigners themselves saw the unknown wife over the monastery, protecting the monastery.

Protector of the Orthodox faith

The celebration of the icon in our Church takes place twice in July:11 and 25 numbers.July 11- in memory of how the miraculous list was first brought to Russia by the patriarch Nikon in 1661.25 numbers- in memory of the Kiev image, which saved the city from Mora.

Through this image we honor the Mother of God as our Intercessor and Defender of the Orthodox Faith. This is evidenced by the case of the healing of John of Damascus, as well as other miracles associated with it. Traditionally, however, another “applied” meaning of the icon arose for our Church.

It is considered, for example, that it is especially good to pray in front of an icon for the healing of hands and for some reason legs. With the third hand depicted on the icon, someone else links help in various kinds of handicrafts and handicrafts. But it is worth reading Troparion "Three-handed", where there are such words:in the image of the Holy Trinity you are three hands: Dwema, for His Son, Christ our God, bear it, the third from evils and misfortunes is true to You who rescue you, - to understand the true symbolism of iconography.

And this, you see, is much more important than crocheting or even knitting.

Service with a holy icon

Anyone who wishes to pray before the icon can read the appropriate akathist with prayer.

You can learn more about it from the plot:


Take it to yourself, tell your friends!
Read also on our website:
Pochaev Icon of the Virgin: the most interesting facts about the shrine
Pochaev icon - one of the most famous images of the Virgin.But what is his story? Why is there a foot on the bottom of the icon? When and why was the Virgin Mary a pochayev monk? Where did the crowns come from? How did the Theotokos protect the monastery from the Turks and is it true that the laurel never closed?
About the Good Shepherd icon, or when God carries us in his arms
In Orthodox iconography, most of the images are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and various saints. But there are also various images of the Savior. Among them, the Good Shepherd stands out in contrast - Christ holds a sheep on his shoulders or in his hands. When did the icon appear and how to understand it correctly?
Three miraculous icons of the Virgin, who became famous in our time
When we hear the phrase "miraculous icon," we imagine the ancient face of the Savior, the Virgin or the Saints. But miraculousness is not measured in hundreds of years. The icons to which the article is dedicated became known at the end of the twentieth - early twenty-first century. In a short time, thousands of people received healing from them.
Why do icons, rings, chains and other decorations are hung on the icons?
If you have ever been to an Orthodox church, then you probably saw the images, hung with various jewels: chains, earrings, rings, crosses. For many people, this is puzzling: why do they hang decorations on the icons? On the decorations on the images, gratitude and Greek traditions, read on.
show more
The triumph of Orthodoxy - the festival of veneration of icons?
The first Sunday of Lent has an interesting name - the Triumph of Orthodoxy. The holiday was established in 843 as the “official” victory over iconoclasm. On the meaning of celebration, the anathema to heretics, the veneration of icons, miraculous images, myrrh, bleeding and healing, read on.
Who helps the icon of the Virgin "Joy of All Who Sorrow"?
Icon "Joy of All Who Sorrow" - why is it so respected by the people? How did she become miraculous, in what sorrows does she help those who turn to the Mother of God? What are the types of images of the Protector, whom it is customary to depict on the icon, except for the Queen of Heaven itself? On the miracles of healing the suffering - in this article.
Writing icon: what can hide behind the top layer of paint?
What is the writing icon? Is it possible to hide satanic symbolism behind the top layer of paint on the icon? Are there devilish images in our time? What was this demonic instrument used for? What does the psychics and the life of St. Basil the Blessed? In this article, you will find many discoveries!
Why do Orthodox pray before holy icons?
Holy icons are revered from early times of Christianity. What are the main reasons for the veneration of icons? Why is there a tradition in Orthodoxy to pray just before the images? Is this not idolatry? When did the very first iconographic images appear? Hurry up to find out.
“Holy Family”: did you know that this icon is uncanonical?
At first glance, this icon touches. But the Russian Church considers the image of the “Holy Family” uncanonical. Why? Can the Mother of God, Joseph and Christ be portrayed together at all? You will find answers to these questions below. Also you will find an unexpected surprise: the story of one icon, the day of which is celebrated in January.

Related news

  • How green gull will help lose weight
  • Museums of Lugansk region: a selection of sites
  • What helps heparin ointment
  • Games love the score
  • Interview with Alexander Shlemenko

  • Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand

    Icon Three-handed: from where the Virgin has the image of a third hand