Emily asked me about how I choose my icons. I started writing back a comment to the question, and realized I wrote a blog post instead. so here it is!
Well, I had been thinking more of St. Panteleimon after hearing about Sylvia's story about how St. Panteleimon has interceded for her family. Also we have an icon of him in the back of our church that I have been aware of for a while. I often like to get icons of the Saints that are in my Church - bringing the comfort home as it were.
The icon of the Theotokos I recognized from a small icon I always noticed in my Church hall on the wall. I was overjoyed to see a larger reproduction of it in the Monastery chapel (I was in their store before I went into their chapel). When I saw this icon, I immediately picked it up.
I have a dear friend whose patron is St. John the Theologian and I have learned a lot about St. John through this friend. Also I think St. John of Rila is named after St. John the Theologian; the Akathist to St. John of Rila that I have speaks a lot about the love of God, which makes sense with St. John the Theologian as his name Saint! (FYI St. John of Kronstadt was named after St. John of Rila).
Also on the car ride up to the monastery, my friend and I were talking about the icons we own. He had one of St. John with St. Prochorus. So when I saw this icon of St. John the Theologian with St. Prochorus, it went in my to purchase pile immediately. Before doing so, I verified with my spiritual father that it was the icon I thought it was. I am no expert and depend on others as well. At monasteries of course you can also ask the nun who is there in the store!
Also at times I buy an icon of a Saint who I know to be an intercessor for a certain need. I got an icon recently for a friend I am concerned for and will pray especially to those Saints for assistance on behalf of this person. I find that the icons I need often come when I need them. For instance, I do not yet have an icon of St. Elizabeth the Mother of the Forerunner, my name's Saint. I believe I will have this icon when I am supposed to - not that it is wrong to order an icon at a particular time. This is no 'one way' to icons! But I do find that in general an icon comes to me when I need it. Often also I am drawn to certain ones instinctively. Or they draw me to themselves. Take your time with building an icon corner. It will come as it is needed.