Virgin Mary of Stillness Icon
The Virgin Mary of Stillness icon was inspired by the writings of the desert monastics. Where their way of life in stillness and quietude helped them become closer to God and internalise the Jesus Prayer. Quiet and especially not talking is imperative to deep inner prayer. I had the idea for this icon in my head for many years from my own experience of struggling with the Jesus Prayer and when the corona virus hit and most of the world's population was forced into self isolation, it gave me the motivation to finally make the icon a reality.
The icon is a combination of three icons. The Virgin Mary is taken from the Holy Monastery of Amirou in Cyprus. In Cyprus, many traditional icons have a colourful head covering on the Virgin Mary and I found this design very appealing. I wanted the body of Jesus to face towards the viewer but I couldn't find an icon of Him with a head that I liked so I combined two different icons. Once I had a base, I then rearranged and added elements in to suit the hand of the Virgin Mary being inserted which was NOT taken from any other icon. The whole concept and meaning behind the icon is that the Virgin Mary is instructing us to be quiet, be still, she is literally shushing us and as a result Christ will bless us as he is facing us and His hand is blessing the viewer.
The Greek name of the icon is Παναγία Ἡ Ἡσυχάζουσα.