"I'm still a novice concerning pain-
that's how small I feel in this great dark;
but if you are there, be heavy and and break through;
have your whole hand do it's work on me"*
The Three Handed Virgin is the Icon in honor of the Theotokos, healer of St. John of Damascus. St. John of Damascus' hand was cut off by the Iconoclast Emperor, Leo III, but when he took his pain to the Virgin, She restored St. John's hand, and he wrote the Icon in gratitude. Originally, the third hand hung around Her neck, but later versions have it as it is in the Icon above, a natural part of Her.
The Three-Handed Virgin, the miracle working Mother of God, reminds us always that God is the restorer of hope, and the healer of all wounds. She is magical, this Mother, offering 'a river of grace' to the children of God who come in faith to rest beneath her mantle. Restoring hands and hearts, bodies and souls, to wholeness.
"And though I am like leaves and loam,
as often as I pray or paint
it's Sunday and deep down I am