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Marian Icons Survey

Marian Icons Survey

Mary's Many Ways with God

In 1996, the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute conducted a survey of favorite Marian Icons. The following are the results:

The first-place choice of all votes for the icon survey:

Virgin of the Passion

An Italian Greek Icon, unknown artist
Private Collection of Beuron Arts
ca. 1700.

Both the child's gaze and Mary's gaze are directed to the future which holds hardship and suffering, and requires much strength and acceptance.

The icon received an equal number of responses for men and women entries.However, in the overall statistic, it was first choice of our men respondents and the second choice of our women respondents.

The second-place choice of all votes for the icon survey:

Virgin of the Great Panhagia

Spaski Monastery, Yaroslavl,
Tretyakow Gallery, Moscow
12th century.

Mary's all holiness (= Panhagia) is grounded in Jesus Christ whom she bore in her womb and whose dwelling has been forever in her heart.

The icon received its predominant numbers of votes from our women respondents. It was the first choice of our women respondents and third choice of our men respondents.

The third-place choice of all votes for the icon survey:

Virgin Eleousa

Sinai, Monastery of St. Katharine
16th century

Mary's gesture is that of a loving mother, graced with intimacy with God.

The number of men and women respondents differed minimally in the choice of this icon. It was the second choice of our men respondents and the third choice of our women respondents.

We asked you about two more icons:

St. Anne with Mary the Theotokos

With forged signature and date: Emmanuel Tzanes
Rethymnon, Crete
Benaki Museum, Athens


Mary and John the Baptist flank Christ. Christ is portrayed as Holy Wisdom; Mary is shown giving human flesh to the Divine Wisdom

Novgorod School
Coll. George R. Hann, Pittsburgh, USA
15th century.

Several respondents added commentary to their answers. Thank you for the love, respect, and devotion shown toward Mary, the Mother of God, and for the courtesies regarding the Mary Page.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


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