An icon is an artistic form which portrays holy people relating to the Orthodox faith. They are used for worship, and possess a special symbolism which has been handed down through the ages. Certain images placed in the painting have significance. Icons are studied and used for meditation. This image of the Mother of God is very well known and reproduced throughout the world.
General information regarding Madonna and Child images:
The Madonna and Child or The Virgin and Child is often the name of a work of art which shows the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The word Madonna means "My Lady" in Italian. Artworks of the Christ Child and His mother Mary are part of the Roman Catholic tradition in many parts of the world including Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, South America and the Philippines.
Paintings known as icons are also an important tradition of the Orthodox Church and often show the Mary and the Christ Child. They are found particularly in Eastern Europe, Russia, Egypt, the Middle East, and India.
Further information on Greek Orthodoxy:
The name Greek Orthodox Church, or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several Churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of both the Septuagint and the New Testament, and whose history, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire. Greek Orthodox Christianity has also traditionally placed heavy emphasis and awarded high prestige to traditions of Eastern Orthodox monasticism and asceticism, with origins in Early Christianity in the Near East and in Byzantine Anatolia.
Historically, the term "Greek Orthodox" has also been used to describe all Eastern Orthodox Churches in general, since "Greek" in "Greek Orthodox" can refer to the heritage of the Byzantine Empire. During the first eight centuries of Christian history, most major intellectual, cultural, and social developments in the Christian Church took place within the Empire or in the sphere of its influence, where the Greek language was widely spoken and used for most theological writings. Over time, most parts of the liturgy, traditions, and practices of the church of Constantinople were adopted by all, and still provide the basic patterns of contemporary Orthodoxy. Thus, the Eastern Church came to be called "Greek" Orthodox in the same way that the Western Church is called "Roman" Catholic. However, the appellation "Greek" was abandoned by the Slavic and other Eastern Orthodox churches in connection with their peoples' national awakenings, from as early as the 10th century A.D. Thus, today it is generally only those churches that are most closely tied to Greek or Byzantine culture that are called "Greek Orthodox".
Local churches in Greater Cincinnati include Holy Trinity Saint Nicholas on Winton Road and Saint Anthony of Padua on Victory Parkway, which is a Maronite Catholic Church.