During its working session last week, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church established a new Order of the Praying Theotokos (Virgin Orans).
“This order is fundamental to highlighting the importance of prayer this year. The Mother of God is generally depicted with the Child on her left arm, near her heart, and with her right hand pointing Christ to the world and receiving His blessing,” His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel explained.
The Patriarch of Romania noted that the representation of the Child on Virgin Mary’s right side should be avoided.
The Mother of God holds the Child Jesus “on her left arm, as on a throne, and shows the Child Jesus to the world with her right hand; at the same time she prays to Him, and He blesses her.”
“This is also the icon of the Church, which prays to Christ and lives from Christ’s blessing, because when He ascended into heaven, Christ blessed the disciples, and in iconography, the Mother of God also appears in the icon of the Ascension of the Lord into heaven as the recipient of the blessing of the Son who ascends in glory into heaven,” the Patriarch of Romania added.
“There is also the icon in which the Mother of God is in prayer with extended arms; on her chest is the image of the mature Christ, Who blesses. Therefore, the icon of the Praying Mother of God is, even more precisely, the icon of the praying Church. It is called Orans in Latin, which means Praying.”
At the end of the meeting, the Patriarch of Romania presented the Order of the “Praying Mother of God (Virgin Orans)” to all members of the Holy Synod, together with the Diploma and Medal of the Solemn and Commemorative Year 2022.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu
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