A: A Hungarian icon located at St. Stephan's cathedral in Vienna was festively honored on August 18. The icon was painted in 1676 by Stefan Pap and was first erected in the parish church of Pocs, Hungary. In November 1696 a miracle of tears occurred. A year later the image was transferred by the Hapsburg emperor, Leopold I to St. Stephan's cathedral in Vienna. In Pocs a copy replaced the original icon. Nevertheless, Maria Pocs remains till today the spiritual center of the Greek/Roman Catholic Church of eastern Hungary. The Maria Pocs celebration also commemorates the 350th anniversary of the union between the then Upper Hungarian region with Rome in 1646. More than 300,000 faithful of the Greek Roman Catholic Church retained their religious vitality during Communist rule.
The image is of the hodegetria type, meaning that Mary points her right hand to the Christ child on her left arm. She is Our Lady of the Way. The Hungarian Madonna is dearly loved by the people of Vienna. Even today, from morning till evening, people can be found in prayer by the icon.
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