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Icon of the Mother of God (the "Blessed Womb")


Commemorated on December 26

There are at least four distinct types of the “Blessed Womb” Icon. The Barlov Icon is a variant of the Hodigitria Icon. It appeared on December 26, 1392, and it is in the Annunciation Cathedral in Moscow.

The second example is similar to the “Milk-Giver” Icon (January 12), which itself is derived from the Greek “Galaktotrophousa” type. This “Blessed Womb” Icon does not have the angels crowning the Mother of God which are found in the Greek icon, and the Virgin is facing in the opposite direction from the “Milk-Giver” Icon. This variant sometimes has an inscription: “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts which Thou hast suckled” (Luke 11:27). The sun and moon appear at the top of the icon, and there are leafy plants in the background.

There is a third type which depicts Christ resting on His Mother’s right arm. Two angels crown her, and place a chain around her neck.

The fourth example shows the Mother of God with her hands folded above Christ, who is shown in half-length.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (

(Icon not exact)