Embrace in your arms the icon of the Panagia as if she were alive, as you embraced your dear mother when you were little. Tell her all your pain, wet her icon with your pure tears, and you will derive constant consolation. She will intercede with her Son, Who is so good, Who loves the good, has mercy on the bad, and forgives repenting sinners. He will open the noetic eyes of your soul and fill your heart with love and divine eros. And then your eyes will become two fountains of tears. I pray you will attain this.
—Saint Joseph the Hesychast
When you see an icon of the Theotokos with the infant Christ in her arms, do you know what you are looking at? Heaven and earth! Heaven is Christ, Who is above the heavens; He is the Creator of heaven and earth. And the Mother of the Lord represents all the people on the face of the earth, for she was chosen from among us. She was born from both royal and priestly lineage. The arms of the Mother of the Lord are more powerful than the shoulders of the Cherubim and the most blessed Thrones. Who does she hold in her arms? Do you know? She holds the One Who made heaven and earth, all things visible and invisible!
---Elder Cleopa Ilie (+1998)
We pray to the all-merciful and most pure Mother of God - and she prays for us. We glorify her - she who is above all glory - and she prepares eternal glory for us. We often say to her: `Rejoice,' and she asks her Son and God: `my beloved Son, give them everlasting joy in return for greeting me with joy.'
---Saint John of Kronstadt