Introducing Orthodox Icons
Icons are an expression of the Orthodox church, an essential part of Christian faith, participating too in liturgical life. Each icon, of the Ever-Virgin Maria or of a Saint, keeps to the traditional style and new icons are revered just as those from earlier centuries. What our hymns say in words and music, the icons say in pictures. They are a window to heaven for as we venerate the icon our prayers rise up to the prototype. The iconographer does not allow his skill to flow unchecked but reins in his ego and prays for heavenly help in his assignment. On completion of the order, the icon is placed on the altar for sanctification before veneration. Most private houses have a number of treasured icons, and monasteries too safe-keep priceless works even from the 11th century. Preservation and restoration of icons is a technique vital to honouring the Church's wealth. A key for many to convert to the one, apostolic Orthodox Church, has been the appreciation of the beauty of Byzantine icons with their theological message. For icons depict the TRUTH. Every Orthodox knows to light an oil candili before his icon and crosses himself before venerating and praying.
Below are three of the portable icons which can be viewed at the Metochi.
The Holy Hieromartyr Polycarp
A model of faith, he was a disciple, along with Ignatios, of
John the Evangelist. The correspondence between Polcarp and Ignatios has great value for the church. As a child, early on it showed that he had been granted the gift of miracles by God. He was able to extinguish a raging fire, to bring rain to a drought stricken area, to fill the stores with food for the hungry, and to vanish a swarm of crop-eating insects. He is known as The Protector of the Seeds of the Earth.
In the year 156 and now in old age, the Ssaint was threatened with martyrdom if he did not deny Christ. Polycarp was then thrown into a fire, which did not burn him, then he was tossed to the beasts. The description of this Saint's death is the earliest recorded martydom. We see the moment in the fire, in an icon by Photi Kontoglou.
Some holy relics are at a men's monastery outside Nafpaktos. Many miracles occur today when believing, calling on his saintly help.
Saint Maximus the Greek (1475 – 1556)
The Corfiots are proud of their saint and God willing we will celebrate his memory every year on January 21 at the Holy Panayiopoula. The service chanted is that compiled by his Monastery. To everyone who helps this goal from the Hegumen Ephraim of the distinguished monastery Vatopedi to the historians of Corfu and President Pieri of the Corfu Reading Society, our sincere thanks.
'Modestos' (4th century)
website designed and maintained
by hereford web design