The Most Holy Hodēgḗtria Icon is one of the earliest Icons in the Church's history. The Mother of God holds her Divine Child with her left hand, and with her right hand she indicates that the way we must follow on our earthly pilgrimage is that which leads us to Christ, Who said: "I am the way (οδός), and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, except through me" (John 14:6).
The Icon is traditionally ascribed to Saint Luke, as the following Megalynarion from the Canon of Supplication to the Most Holy Theotokos bears witness: "Speechless be the lips of the impious, who refuse to venerate your revered Icon, which has been painted for us by the most holy Apostle Luke, and is called the Hodēgḗtria."
According to the Synaxaristes, the Holy Evangelist Luke painted an Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on a panel, using various colors. Then he painted two more Icons of the Mother of God and showed them to her. Receiving them with great joy, she blessed them and said, "May the grace of Him Who was born of me be imparted to these Icons."
The Hodēgḗtria Icon was kept at Jerusalem, and was sent to Constantinople in the reign of Emperor Theodosios the Younger by Empress Eudokia, as a gift for Saint Pulkheria (February 17), the sister of Theodosios. She then brought it to the Odigon Monastery, which she had founded.
After performing innumerable miracles for centuries, the Hodēgḗtria Icon disappeared during the Fall of Constantinople (May 29, 1453).
There is a copy of the Hodēgḗtria Icon at Xenophontos Monastery on Mount Athos.