The Melkite Church is related to the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. It is mainly centred in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. While the Melkite Catholic Church's Byzantine liturgical traditions are shared with those of Eastern Orthodoxy, the Church has been part of the Catholic Church since the affirmation of its union with the Holy See of Rome in 1724.
On the lower border of the icon in Arabic script is an inscription apt for our times.
“Star of Heaven, please save us from the epidemic. Please answer our prayers, because your Son hears you and he will not hold back anything from us.
Our Lord Jesus, set us free from death, because your pure Virgin Mother hears our prayers, and for the sake of your Mother help us.
For our sake, you pure Virgin, the hand of Jesus, you are the saint and the Mother of God”.
The Temple Gallery is grateful to Professor Narguess Farzad, Chair, Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS, London, for help with the translation.