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This austere Virgin Mary interpretation adopts the iconographic symbol of Orant. A figure in the attitude of prayer is called an Orant in icon painting. In this ancient Eastern position, the figure either stands with arms outstretched sideways or bent at the elbow with palms facing forward. In early Christianity martyrs and deaconesses were represented in this attitude, which they assumed for certain prayers. The name of Oranta was then conferred on representations of the Virgin in this prayer position