Iverskaya Mother of God The Portaitissa (or Gate-Keeper)
The Iverskaya (Iveron or Iberian) Icon of the Mother of God is especially honored on Mt. Athos at the Iberian Monastery. She made Her appearance in the middle of the 9th century at a time when the Church was agitated by iconoclasts under Emperor Theophilus. In order to protect icons, pious people hid them or entrusted their destiny to the will of God by setting them afloat. One day, a blow dealt by a soldier left a mark on the cheek (some said chin) of the Holy Virgin. The sight of blood so terrified him that he turned to God and to the life of a holy ascetic. According to tradition, the Iversaya icon was floated on the waters of the sea and finally appeared to the Monks of Iveron Monastery, where a chapel was built on the spot. This miraculous icon then became the Portaitissa (or Gate-Keeper) of the present life and of life hereafter. The icon was especially venerated in Russia beginning in the 17th Century. Patriarch Nikon ordered two copies made and one was left in the Tsar's palace in a special chapel by the Resurrection Gates of Moscow. 4"x6". Entirely hand painted, "written" in Russia, by a master iconographer in Rostov-on-the-Don. 1 only.