Handmade Orthodox Icon Virgin Mary Portaitisa with hand carved frame in natural rombolo pine wood. This icon was created on canvas and is made by a craftsman by hand according to the style, tradition and criteria of Byzantine art.
A unique feature of this image is what appears to be a scar on the Virgin’s right cheek or chin. There are many different traditions to explain this, but the most common among Orthodox Christians is that the icon was stabbed by a soldier in Nicaea during the period of the Byzantine iconoclasm under the emperor Theophilus (829-842).
According to historical traditional information, the large-sized image of Portaitissa, which bears a wound with dried blood under the right jaw, was struck by the sword of an Arab, who was named Rahai and was the leader of a pirate fleet. When this fleet sailed into the Iberian sea, Rahai sent pirates to raid the Monastery. But they could not carry out their leader’s order, because they were prevented by a woman and returned to their ships idle.
When Rahai heard the excuse of his companions, he insulted them and immediately ran towards the Monastery brandishing his sword. When he saw the holy icon of the aunt Portaitissa, in anger he struck it with his sword. A lot of blood began to flow from the wound, which surrounded him. At the sight of the blood from the horrible miracle, he began to tremble, and repenting of his impiety, he asked for forgiveness. Then he was baptized and became a monk and weeping for his sin”.
It was given the nickname Portaitissa, because the icon is placed in the chapel of the monastery of Iberon, which is located to the left of the central Gate. The image is encased in silver and gold plating that covers the entire surface except for the faces.