The Icon of the Theotokos “She Who is Quick to Hear” (“Gorgoepikos”)

The Icon of the Theotokos “She Who is Quick to Hear” is celebrated on October 1st. The Icon of the Mother of God ” She Who is Quick to Hear” is located at the Dohiariou Monastery on Mount Athos.

According to tradition, this ancient miracle-working icon was painted in the 10th century during the time when Saint Neophytos (November 9th) served as the abbot of the monastery. The icon is painted in fresco technique on the exterior wall of the western side of the refectory, to the left of the monastery’s entrance.

In the year 1664, the monk Nil, who had duties at the refectory of the monastery, used to come to the dining hall holding a burning torch that emitted a lot of black smoke. On his way to the refectory, the monk would pass by the wall where the Icon of the Mother of God was painted. One day, as he was passing by the wall, monk Nil heard a voice coming from the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, telling him not to dare to smoke the revered icon with that suffocating smoke anymore.

The monk, thinking it was a joke from a brother, ignored the warning and continued walking towards the kitchen with the torch emitting a lot of soot. Then the Mother of God scolded him harshly: “Unworthy monk of this title, will you continue much longer with your insolence, smoking my image?” And with these words of the Mother of God, monk Nil became blind.

Only then did Nil understand that it was the Mother of God herself who had spoken to him, enduring daily the suffocating smoke coming from his torch. After this incident, the monks placed a candle in front of the Holy Icon and a vessel in which incense was burned, so that the Mother of God could be honored.

Being blind, monk Nil spent all his time before the Icon, praying to the Most Holy Mother of God for forgiveness and healing.

After a long period of repentance before the Icon of the Mother of God, monk Nil heard the wonderful voice once again, saying, “Nil, I have received your repentance, and God in His goodness has forgiven you, restoring your sight. Therefore, tell the brothers that I am the caretaker and protectress of this monastery. All those who are in need of help should come to me, and I will not overlook them. Therefore, let this icon of mine be called ‘ She Who is Quick to Hear’.”

After these words of the Mother of God, Nil regained his sight, thanking and glorifying the Most Pure Mistress.

In front of this Holy Icon, the Paraclesis to the Theotokos is sung daily, and the Icon is an unfailing source of healing and comfort, honored throughout the world, especially as the protector of Christian families and as a helper for women who cannot give birth.

Copies of the Athonite Icon ” She Who is Quick to Hear” have always been cherished with great love and fervent prayers in Russia. Many of these copies have been glorified through miracles, with known cases of healing from plague and demonic possession.

In 1838, the Dohiariou Monastery offered a copy of the miraculous Icon of the Mother of God ” She Who is Quick to Hear” to the Russian Missionary Diocese in Jerusalem.

In 2006, on July 23rd, the Lainici Monastery received from the Dohiariou Monastery a copy of the miraculous Icon ” She Who is Quick to Hear”.

Translation and adaptation: Mihai-Alex Olteanu
Source: via

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