Theotokos of the Passion

South of the pond is the shrine bearing the “Theotokos of the Passion” icon: The Forerunner and Baptist John holds a scroll written in Greek, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” gesturing toward Jesus. The Christ-child’s body is contorted and His sandal is falling off, bringing to mind His prayer before the Crucifixion, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39). Mary directs us toward her Son, as a profound sadness fills her eyes — for a sword will pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). Theotokos is Greek for “God-bearer,” for she bore the Incarnate God in her womb.