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Ukrainian Madonna of the Protective Cloak of the 17th century

As maphorion ( Greek Μαφόριον "veil", "sound" , plural Maphorien even Maphoria ) is known in art history and in the history of Christian relics the veil , which in pictorial representations hair and shoulders of Mary , mother of Jesus, covered.

The maphorion or a held for the veil of the Mother of God tissue was next to the belt and Marie-portrait , which is said to have painted in their lifetime the evangelist Luke, one of the three main relics of Mary in Constantinople Opel , where he was in the Church of Saint Mary of Blachernae kept , sometimes together with the other two main relics. Legend has it that the Maphorion has been there since the 5th century after it was stolen from the property of a Jewish woman in the Holy Land by two Greek pilgrims named Galbius and Candidus and brought to Constantinople.

The liturgical feast day of Maphorion was July 2nd and it is said to have saved Constantinople from ruin several times, especially in 860 from the siege by the Russians. Even after Constantinople was sacked by the Crusaders in 1204, the Maphorion is said to have continued to be venerated in the Blanchern Church until the church burned in February 1434.

Relics that have emerged in the West and that have been associated with the Maphorion are therefore likely to have a different origin. Particularly noteworthy is a veil fabric that the Eastern Roman Emperor Charlemagne was given as a gift and is said to have been donated from the Aachen church treasure in 876 to Chartres Cathedral by his grandson Charlemagne .

Another veil relic is said to have already been donated by Helena , mother of Constantine the Great , to the St. Maximin monastery in Trier and was the subject of regular exhibitions and pilgrimages in the 14th century. A third of this Trier relic was acquired by Emperor Charles IV for his Prague reliquary and, at his request, Pope Innocent IV provided a promise of indulgence in 1354. This Prague cloth ("peplum") has since been shown every seven years on the day of the Assumption and also at the exhibitions of the Prague Passion relics, to which it was counted because it came into contact with the blood of Christ after Christ was deposed during the Lamentation should be.

The Maphorion is an integral part of the Christian iconography of Mary, especially in the Mary icons of the Eastern Churches . It appears as a covering of hair and shoulders, sometimes extended as a cloak hanging further down, and experiences a special expression in the form of the protective cloak ( Russian Покров , Pokrov ) in the different types of the protective cloak Madonna , such as in the so-called plague pictures on which Mary their worshipers from God's arrows and thus saved from the plague is represented. In the background is the Greek legend of the Marian vision of Blessed Andreas "Salós" , the "fool" of Christ († 936 or 946), in which the Blachernae step out of the chancel to the believers during a night watch in the church of Blachernae, perform longer prayers with tears and then take their veil off their heads and spread them over the believers.

While the Andreas legend has continued to have an effect particularly in Russia since the 12th century and was adapted there by Prince Andrei Bogoljubski for the ecclesiastical legitimacy of his principalities of Vladimir and Kiev , in the Roman Catholic Church of the West it was especially the Cistercians and Dominicans who have been In the 13th century, through new protective cloak visions - in which Mary in the afterlife takes the deceased members of the respective order under her cloak - propagated the preferential position of her order.

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Individual evidence

  1. ^ Peter Dinzelbacher : Pestbild. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1128.