Synagogue of Panagia Axion Esti
The icon of the Virgin Mary, “Axion ἐστι”, is one of the famous icons of Mount Athos. It is located in the temple of Protatos in Karyes of Mount Athos, considered as the “common patron saint” icon of all the Agioritei Monasteries, bearing in its frame the seals of all 20 Monasteries. Initially this image was in a pan-imperial cell in the location of the so-called valley of “Aden” near and below the hermitage of Agios Andreas.
On June 11, 980 AD (according to others in 982 AD) the elder was absent from the cell, as he had gone to a vigil in Karyes, leaving only his subordinate. The submissive at night did his rule normally. In a moment he hears a knock on his door, opens it and sees a passer-by asking him to host him, which is done. The monk continues his rule until he reaches the 10th ode “The Holy One of the Cherubim…”. Then the guest interrupts him and says to him: “No, first you will say: Axion ἐστιν ὂς ἐλιθῶς…” as a supplement to the Virgin Mary under Cosmas Maiuma Megalynarius. The monk excitedly asks the young man to write the hymn for him so he can sing it too. But since ink and paper were not found in the cell,the mysterious foreign monk engraved the hymn with his finger on a stone tablet and adding From today and henceforth so sing this hymn you too, but also all the Orthodox to our Lady Theotokos. And then it disappeared. It was the Archangel Gabriel, sent by God, to reveal this angelic hymn to humanity. that this is how this hymn should be sung from now on by all the Orthodox, became invisible.
Our Church celebrates her memory on August 15