The Icon of the Mother of God, named "Of Three Hands" ("Troeruchitsa"):
Commemorated on June 28, July 12
The Icon of the
Mother of God, named "Of Three Hands" ("Troeruchitsa"):
In the IX Century at the time of the Iconoclasts, the Monk John Damascene (+ c.
780, Comm. 4 December) was zealous in his veneration of holy icons. Because of
this, he was slandered by the emperor and iconoclast Leo III the Isaurian
(717-740), who informed the Damascus caliph that the Monk John was committing
treasonous acts against him. The caliph gave orders to cut off the hand of the
monk and take it to the marketplace. Towards evening Saint John, having asked
the caliph for the cut-off hand, put it to its joint and fell to the ground
before the icon of the Mother of God. The monk begged Our Lady to heal the
hand, which had written in defense of Orthodoxy. After long prayer he fell
asleep and saw in a dream, that the All-Pure Mother of God had turned to him
promising him quick healing. Before this the Mother of God bid him toil without
fail with this hand. Having awakened from sleep, the Monk John saw that his
hand was unharmed. In thankfulness for this healing the Monk John placed on the
icon an hand fashioned of silver, from which the icon received its name
"Of Three Hands". According to tradition, the Monk John wrote a song
of thanksgiving to the Mother of God – "All of creation rejoiceth in
Thee, O Full of Grace", which appears in place of the Mother of God hymn
"Mete it is in truth" in the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.