As a tradition in the Christian world, miracles like some other events in the life of Christ, the Mother of God and the saints are represented in icons.
The icon of the Miracle of Montevergine of 1256 is to be included in this tradition.
Looking at the icon of the Miracle of Montevergine in 1256, the first thing we see is the face of the Mother of God with her gaze towards us. We think to look at the icon but in reality it is the icon that looks at us. Through her gaze, the Mother of God invites us to prayer, her face is as sweet as her presence. The gaze is loving, an invitation to take that first step towards Christ through his intercession and with his help and guidance.
He invites us to trust her without delay. Do not hesitate to ask for his intercession and his help in life. To believe firmly in the power of prayer for the salvation of our soul and of those dear to us who are alive or dead for the purification of their soul.
Above his head we find Greek letters which are two digraphs that mean Meter Theou or Mother of God. The star on the veil that covers the head is one of the 3 stars that are written in the icons that belong to the ancient tradition of Syriac Christians. These 3 stars have different meanings. Her perpetual virginity before, during and after childbirth. The trinity, in some icons the third star is covered by the body of Jesus is part of the Most Holy Trinity.
The colors of Mary's veil (maphorion) indicate that she is the Mother of God who is full of grace.
The gold of the background represents the sky where you are. When the litanies of the Madonna are sung, one of them defines her as Queen of Heaven.
It is noted that the veil of the Madonna is positioned and ideally can also cover the boys with its protection, as if there were a rectangle inside the icon itself. In Western art there are many representations of Our Lady that envelop humanity in their dress.
The slightly inclined position of the head is found in many icons of the Mother of God called Odigitria, that is the one who indicates the way to Jesus Christ savior of the world.
The first painted Odigitria icon (written) according to tradition was made by Saint Luke the Evangelist. This fell and was destroyed during the procession the day before the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Today we find copies of Madonnas Odigitrie in many churches and monasteries.
The icon of the Miracle of Montevergine of 1256 invites us to take the safe path through the help of Mary Most Holy to get to Jesus
In this icon Jesus is not represented but everything makes it present.
The two boys are tied to the tree where they wait for death to arrive in the cold or eaten by wild beasts that inhabit the forest like wolves and bears. They were condemned by the laws of the people who did not understand their authentic sentiment. Instead of letting go to the anger and despair always fruit of the evil one, they trust in the prayer and love of Mary Most Holy Mother of God for all her children who call her with trust.
She does not wait, reads in their hearts, sees what men can not and do not want to see, She in her infinite greatness, mercy and humility helps them.
How he has helped them, helps us and anyone who addresses you with trust and devotion.
In the icon you can see the ray of light that melts the icy ice around them and the ropes of imprisonment. In the iconography the ray of light has the meaning of the coming of the Holy Spirit, so that comes from God. Exactly how the tradition tells us the miracle of Montevergine.
The two boys are tied to the tree and are on the side. In the iconography only the saints can be painted with the body visible completely. The head is bowed together in prayer to the Mother of God. Even the gestures of the body are part of prayer and are as important as prayer itself.
The blue background represents God's incomprehensibility to man.
The tree is in the Christian tradition a symbol of faith and of the bond between God and men, Jer 17 7-8. The tree of life in paradise is mentioned in the last chapter of the Gospel of St. John, the Apocalypse. The tree also represents the cross on the Golgotta which has its roots in the skull of Adam to whom he forgives his sins, teaches us to leave the old man and to reborn the new man following the steps of Jesus Christ.
Also note how the tree splits the icon horizontally into two. Ideally the Mother of God and the branches of the tree are in the upper part representing the spiritual fruits that we will know when we will be in the invisible world. While the lower part advises us to remain steadfast in the faith and that the life of the soul is eternal. The passing is only a phase in the life of the Christian.
In the narration of the miracle of Montevergine we know that the two boys have been tied to a tree but this is not described. In this icon the tree vaguely recalls that of another icon much loved by the LGBT + community, the icon of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian tied to the tree pierced by arrows thrown by the archers. In reality San Sebastiano was not a boy ephebic to his martyrdom but rather a large manly muscular man, much more similar to what in the gay community would call musclebear. San Sebastiano was a Roman soldier. If you are in Rome do not miss the opportunity to go to his basilica to his grave and visit the catacomb.
The sole purpose of this icon like any other icon is to help man in his search for spirituality and prayer by entrusting himself to the surest way, Mary Most Holy Mother of God.
My personal invitation and to recite every day, preferably in the morning, 3 Ave Marie to the praise of the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Of course it would be good to pray also the rosary, the Akathistos, the angelic crown, the miraculous medal, the green scapular, the guardian angel, the medal of St. Benedict, the prayer of the heart and any other devotion recommended by the church. Without forgetting our personal prayer. Each according to his will.
May the blessing of Mary Most Holy Mother of God accompany you always in your life.