THE THREE-HANDED MOTHERR OF GOD

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19th century, *The icon of the Three Handed Mother of God is associated with St. John of Damascus (675 to circa 749). A theologian, historian and hymnographer, he held high office under the Muslim Caliphate of Damascus. The Iconoclastic Roman Emperor Leo schemed to convince the Muslim Caliph Abdun Mekhar that John was a traitor, and the Caliph, deceived by Leo, ordered that John's right hand be struck off. After long prayer before an icon of the Virgin, it transpired that the Saint's hand was miraculously healed. To comrnemorate this event, St. John caused a silver hand to bе anached to the icon which he took with him to the monastery of St. Savva in Palestine, to which he subsequently retired.