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Author Topic: Our Lady of Vilnius? Do RC and Orthodox both venerate her?  (Read 2416 times) Average Rating: 0
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Xenia1918
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« on: July 02, 2011, 08:17:08 PM »

I have a close friend who is a very devout Roman Catholic...she belongs to a Lithuanian-Polish ethnic parish that has a shrine to "Our Lady of Vilnius", and my friend is very upset becasue the Archdiocese is closing the parish, and she worries what will happen to the OL of Vilnius shrine in the church (she has a special devotion to OL of Vilnius, and told me her story).

I decided to go online to find a statue or icon of Our Lady of Vilnius, and I found one...I ordered it from the Ukraine on Ebay, but the back of the icon is all in Russian and I can't read it. I'm just wondering: the icon is Orthodox, does this mean both RC's and Orthodox venerate this apparition? Is there a fuller story to this apparition?
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 08:27:07 AM »

Yes, the Orthodox also venerate that icon. It's feast is on December 26.



Vilnius (or Gate of Dawn) Icon of Theotokos was brought to Vilnius from the Crimea by Grand Duke Algirdas in 1363. He gave it to his wife and she - to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Vilnius. In 1431 it had already been placed in a chapel above the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius. The Monastery became Eastern Catholic after the Union of Brest. In 1829 it was renovated so that it lost it's previous Byzantine-Slavonic style.

According to the RCC it was painted in the XVII century.
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 08:54:55 AM »

Yes, the Orthodox also venerate that icon. It's feast is on December 26.



Vilnius (or Gate of Dawn) Icon of Theotokos was brought to Vilnius from the Crimea by Grand Duke Algirdas in 1363. He gave it to his wife and she - to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Vilnius. In 1431 it had already been placed in a chapel above the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius. The Monastery became Eastern Catholic after the Union of Brest. In 1829 it was renovated so that it lost it's previous Byzantine-Slavonic style.

According to the RCC it was painted in the XVII century.

That is not the Vilenskaya, but the Ostrobramskaya, which arose first in Poland. Here are examples of the Vilenskaya:

http://days.pravoslavie.ru/Images/ii2811&110.htm
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 11:00:22 AM »

Gate of Dawn Icon is also called "Vilnius Icon".
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 11:39:30 AM »

Quote
In 1829 it was renovated so that it lost it's previous Byzantine-Slavonic style.


What does renovated  mean?  Do you mean the icon was painted over in a western style?  Or do you mean that a new painting was created in a western style and given the same name?
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011, 11:42:28 AM »

Quote
In 1829 it was renovated so that it lost it's previous Byzantine-Slavonic style.


What does renovated  mean?  Do you mean the icon was painted over in a western style?  Or do you mean that a new painting was created in a western style and given the same name?

I suppose the first option is more possible.

The problem is that EO and RC historians have completely different views about that icon.
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2011, 11:45:13 AM »

And I guess the Roman Catholics or Catholics added on the crown as in the Theotokos of Pochaiv Icon.
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2011, 04:04:20 PM »

Thanks so much for the detailed info, it was very helpful! I hope my friend likes this icon; she is incredibly torn up over the closing of her church and her worry of what will happen to the shrine. Hopefully no matter what happens, this icon will console her somewhat.
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2011, 10:01:16 PM »

And I guess the Roman Catholics or Catholics added on the crown as in the Theotokos of Pochaiv Icon.

It could be. I have one of those icons.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2011, 11:02:26 PM »

If one does an Internet search for "pravicon freeware" one can locate a fine little applet which shows dozens (or maybe hundreds) of Russian icons. One very similar to the one above is listed as "Ostrobramskaya (Vilenskaya)" -similar but more "Orthodox".
Sorry unless I do a screen capture the app will not allow a cut & paste to post here.
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 04:30:33 AM »

If one does an Internet search for "pravicon freeware" one can locate a fine little applet which shows dozens (or maybe hundreds) of Russian icons. One very similar to the one above is listed as "Ostrobramskaya (Vilenskaya)" -similar but more "Orthodox".
Sorry unless I do a screen capture the app will not allow a cut & paste to post here.

"Vilenskaya" means "of Vilnius", "Ostrobramskaya" means "of the Gate of Dawn".

It depends on the iconographer whether the icon looks more Byzantine of Latin.


And I guess the Roman Catholics or Catholics added on the crown as in the Theotokos of Pochaiv Icon.

In 1927.
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 04:54:30 AM »

If one does an Internet search for "pravicon freeware" one can locate a fine little applet which shows dozens (or maybe hundreds) of Russian icons. One very similar to the one above is listed as "Ostrobramskaya (Vilenskaya)" -similar but more "Orthodox".
Sorry unless I do a screen capture the app will not allow a cut & paste to post here.

These are the icons which are brought up through the pravicon applet. They are of the Odighitria-Smolenskaya type, and show the Mother of God bearing the three stars of perpetual virginity, and holding Christ. No crowns, no Virgin portrayed alone and looking downward. They look nothing like the Ostrobramskaya which Michal posted:





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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 05:21:23 AM »

@LBK: I don't deny the fact that there is an icon you post about but I'm 100 % sure that the Polish-Lithuanian friend of Xenia1918 means the one I've posted about.
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 05:38:08 AM »

@LBK: I don't deny the fact that there is an icon you post about but I'm 100 % sure that the Polish-Lithuanian friend of Xenia1918 means the one I've posted about.

I'd agree 100% with Michal. The icon that he posted is the one that is displayed in each of several Latin Lithuanian parishes of Our Lady of Ostrabama that I've visited, as well as in Lithuanian cultural centers - sometimes identified as Our Lady of Ostrabama, sometimes as Our Lady of Vilnius. (It has also been styled the 'Mother of Mercy' by some Poles - a title accorded it in 1927, I believe.)

Many years,

Neil

There is a photo on wikipedia that is asserted to be the icon with the oklad removed (which was done in 1927 to restore it).
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 08:41:56 AM »

If one does an Internet search for "pravicon freeware" one can locate a fine little applet which shows dozens (or maybe hundreds) of Russian icons. One very similar to the one above is listed as "Ostrobramskaya (Vilenskaya)" -similar but more "Orthodox".
Sorry unless I do a screen capture the app will not allow a cut & paste to post here.

These are the icons which are brought up through the pravicon applet. They are of the Odighitria-Smolenskaya type, and show the Mother of God bearing the three stars of perpetual virginity, and holding Christ. No crowns, no Virgin portrayed alone and looking downward. They look nothing like the Ostrobramskaya which Michal posted:







Check out icon #0244 which is the one I am referring to. Not these you have so thoughtfully posted.
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2011, 09:24:21 AM »

@LBK: I don't deny the fact that there is an icon you post about but I'm 100 % sure that the Polish-Lithuanian friend of Xenia1918 means the one I've posted about.

Yes she does, because I've seen it. Thanks again for the added info. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2011, 09:43:59 AM »

Please pardon my rotten skills at posting links (perhaps a mod can fix this?):http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?ie=UTF8&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://pravicon.com/icon-244&usg=ALkJrhh8YRpgQcoVbJwbZtfPg17cyZww6Q


will show 15 icons as one scrolls down the page.
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2011, 09:59:08 AM »

From Aristokles' Goggle translated page:

One thing is certain - in 1431, was already an icon in the chapel near the Trinity Church in the Russian (or acute) at the end of the city of Vilnius and was called Korsun.

The Korsunskaya icon of the Mother of God is yet again compositionally different from the Ostrobramskaya. It is of the Tenderness (Umileniye, Eleousa) type. Some examples:





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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2011, 10:19:40 AM »

Chuckle...LBK, my link in Post #16 shows none of those.
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2011, 10:31:54 AM »

Aristokles, please read again the translation of the pravicon.com page you linked to. You will find within it the excerpt which states that the original icon in the chapel in Vilnius was a Korsunskaya which may have been surnamed Ostrobramskaya at the time, but it is clear that the image known to us today as Ostrobramskaya is not the original Vilnius icon. This one, as I have stated before, has Polish Roman Catholic origins, and came into Russia, the Baltics and Ukraine from the west.

The translated page also states:  Shows the Immaculate Virgin at the Annunciation. There is no way a Korsunskaya represents the portrayal of the Virgin at the Annunciation.
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« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2011, 11:28:32 AM »

LBK,
I do not dispute you in the least. It was not my intention to argue any point, but merely to post simlar icons, one of which is described as pravicon does. Perhaps you might like to correct the website.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2011, 11:38:06 AM »

Aristokles, please read again the translation of the pravicon.com page you linked to. You will find within it the excerpt which states that the original icon in the chapel in Vilnius was a Korsunskaya which may have been surnamed Ostrobramskaya at the time, but it is clear that the image known to us today as Ostrobramskaya is not the original Vilnius icon.

Says who?

Don't you understand there can be many different icons named similarly or the same icon named differently?

Gate of Dawn Icon depicts Theotokos only, your Vilnius Icon is a Hodegetria Icon and your Korsun Icon is an Eleusa Icon. They are not even similar to each other.
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« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2011, 08:21:08 PM »

Quote
Says who?

Says the pravicon description.

Quote
Don't you understand there can be many different icons named similarly or the same icon named differently?

Gate of Dawn Icon depicts Theotokos only, your Vilnius Icon is a Hodegetria Icon and your Korsun Icon is an Eleusa Icon. They are not even similar to each other.

My dear Michal, this is precisely the point I am trying to make: the original Vilnius icon was a Korsunskaya, and the Orthodox Vilenskaya is of the Odighitria type. The Ostrobramskaya (Virgin alone) is a Roman Catholic import, which, according to the pravicon article, was brought to Vilnius at the time of the establishment of the Unia.
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« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2011, 01:10:12 AM »

And I guess the Roman Catholics or Catholics added on the crown as in the Theotokos of Pochaiv Icon.
Why is it considered wrong, from an Eastern Orthodox standpoint, to portray the Blessed Virgin Mary with a crown?
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« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2011, 10:08:40 AM »

I don't think it is wrong to depict the Blessed Mother with a crown.  LBK will probably object based on the relatively young age and Slavic origin (ie influenced by Roman Catholicism), but many icons show her wearing a crown.  The Axion Estin and the Joy of All Who Sorrow icons spring immediately to mind.  The risa on the Trojeručica (Three hands) icon has a crown for her, as well.
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« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2011, 10:47:34 AM »

I am sorry if this is tangential, but I am curious about the original question.  Our Lady of Vilnius is an icon of the theotokos so of course both the RC and Orthodox venerate her.  That was my initial thought at least.  Can someone explain the tradition(s) of devotions to particular icons and speaking in terms of "Our Lady of ______" instead of just venerating Mary as theotokos? 

Mods, feel free to split this off if it merits it.
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« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2011, 02:02:28 PM »

Quote
Says who?

Says the pravicon description.

Quote
Don't you understand there can be many different icons named similarly or the same icon named differently?

Gate of Dawn Icon depicts Theotokos only, your Vilnius Icon is a Hodegetria Icon and your Korsun Icon is an Eleusa Icon. They are not even similar to each other.

My dear Michal, this is precisely the point I am trying to make: the original Vilnius icon was a Korsunskaya, and the Orthodox Vilenskaya is of the Odighitria type. The Ostrobramskaya (Virgin alone) is a Roman Catholic import, which, according to the pravicon article, was brought to Vilnius at the time of the establishment of the Unia.

No, the pravicon description says that the name "Gate of Dawn" replaced the name "Korsun" after the icon was placed above the Gate of Dawn. It says nothing about replacing the icon.
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« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2011, 02:06:03 PM »

I don't think it is wrong to depict the Blessed Mother with a crown.  LBK will probably object based on the relatively young age and Slavic origin (ie influenced by Roman Catholicism), but many icons show her wearing a crown.  The Axion Estin and the Joy of All Who Sorrow icons spring immediately to mind.  The risa on the Trojeručica (Three hands) icon has a crown for her, as well.

Some people connect icons with crowns with the order of the Pope to add a crown to the Theotokos of Pochaiv when the Basilian Catholic order occuppied Pochaivska Lavra.  So in some minds crowns=Catholic.
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« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2011, 07:29:52 PM »

The work of the iconographer should be there for all to see, and not smothered with unnecessary embellishments like crowns, oklads and rizas to "prettify" them. Icons are works of theology, beautiful in their own right. Baubles should have no place on them.
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« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2011, 08:39:07 PM »

Fair enough, but that only concerns the Trojeručica icon.  What about the other two I mentioned?
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« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2011, 09:41:36 AM »

Fair enough, but that only concerns the Trojeručica icon.  What about the other two I mentioned?

Same principle, my dear Schultz. It doesn't matter which icon we're talking about, they were all originally painted, without external embellishment. The crowns, rizas and oklads were all added on quite a bit later, usually years, often centuries, after they were originally painted.

Interestingly, the Of the Three Hands icon must have the "third hand" in the bottom left corner of the icon painted silver or formed in metal, to correspond with St John of Damascus' gesture of gratitude to the Mother of God for her intercession in restoring his severed hand. It is an iconographic mistake (extremely common, and overwhelmingly made in honest ignorance) to paint this hand in the same way as the Virgin's "real" limbs. She is not a three-armed freak, and iconographers need to be careful to render this hand so as not to portray an anatomical anomaly.
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« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2011, 02:20:54 PM »

Some icons are so covered with soot and grime that the oklad is the only way the discern the figures depicted in them.
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« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2011, 07:49:17 PM »

Some icons are so covered with soot and grime that the oklad is the only way the discern the figures depicted in them.

But that's still no excuse to smother them with gaudy metal covers. Would it not be far better to restore the icon and reveal it anew, rather than bury it further under an oklad? Techniqhes for removing and reapplying olifa (which naturally darkens after a century or so) have been around for centuries. And if protection of the icon from candle soot and other elements is required, place it in a glass-topped kiot. It's not difficult.
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« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2011, 01:03:38 PM »

That is not the Vilenskaya, but the Ostrobramskaya, which arose first in Poland. Here are examples of the Vilenskaya:

http://days.pravoslavie.ru/Images/ii2811&110.htm


Although an icon of a particular title of the Theotokos can be painted in various styles, there is usually something distinctive that makes it identifiable as belonging to that title of the Theotokos.

For example, icons of Our Lady of Kazan exist in a variety of styles but one can identify it as being Our Lady of Kazan by the following:

1) the arms and hands of the Theotokos are not shown,
2) the Christ Child is shown half length,
3) the Christ Child is not looking towards His Mother but towards us with His right hand in blessing.


The three icons of  the Vilenskaya as shown in the pravoslavie.ru link are quite different. The hand and arm positions of Christ Child are not the same in each icon.

Jesus is shown reaching out to His Mother with His left arm and holding something with His right. The Theotokos has Her head bowed towards him. Is this the original icon?

Jesus has his right hand in blessing with His left hand resting. The Theotokos does not bow Her head. Where is this icon located?

This copy is currently enshrined in Holy Spirit monastery in Vilnius. Jesus has his right hand raised higher in blessing with His left hand resting. He has his head lifted up looking at His Mother, who has Her Head slightly bowed towards Him.

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« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2011, 12:21:20 PM »

Two links with a brief history of each icon:

Vilensky Hodegetria, Vilnius, Lithuania: http://www.wherewewalked.info/feasts/02-February/02-28.htm

Aušros Vartu Gailestingumo Motinos, Vilnius, Lithuania: http://www.wherewewalked.info/feasts/11-November/11-16.htm

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