[St. Pachomius Library]

The Life-Giving Spring


The Theotokos is frequently likened to a "holy fountain" in Orthodox hymnography, and an ikon depicting her over a font or spring is found in most Orthodox countries. Sometimes a connexion is made to the Annunciation or to the story of Rebecca at the well in Genesis. Bright Friday is celebrated as "the Feast of the Life-Giving Fount".

The ikon and the feast are especially associated with a monastery just west of Constantinople at Balikli, built on the location of a miraculously-revealed holy spring. The fish in the pool are supposedly descended from some which jumped from a frying-pan. Many other monasteries, especially in Greece, bear the same name.

Theologically, however, it should be noted that pege means "wellspring" or "source", and that the ikon refers to this deeper meaning as well as to the place near Constantinople.

Norman Hugh Redington

Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.


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