Traditionally, the icon depicts what orthodox Christians call the theotokos (the Mother of God) in a variety of ways. It can also represent the Divine Infant, the Savior-Emmanuel, and martyrs holding the crown of martyrdom. In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at all of these features of the icon.
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Physical features of the icon
Orthodox Christians consider icons to be a sacred work of art. They are created to bring the living presence of God through the transfigured subject. These images are venerated through prayer and touch.
The origin of iconography is the Incarnation. When God made man in his own image, He was also able to reveal Himself to humanity in human form.
By the 4th century, churches began painting the walls to reflect their faith. However, during the 6th century, church authorities prohibited the use of religious and non-religious human images.
The most popular icon subjects are angels, saints, and the Mother of God. Angels are depicted as guardians, guiding the viewer to God. Saints are shown to be stable and haloed.
Some Eastern Christians place icons in homes. They are also found at wayside shrines. Holy Icons are venerated with burning candles and incense. A priest recite prayers before the icons, which are then kissed by the faithful.
Representation of the Mother of God
In the Orthodox Christian Church, the Representation of what orthodox christians call the theotokos is a vital part of the liturgical year. The feast days of the Mother of God are among the most celebrated in the Church.
As we celebrate the life of the Theotokos, we are reminded that Jesus was incarnate and entered the world through the Holy Virgin. The Immaculate Conception of Mary means that she had no actual sin. She was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. Her child, Jesus, also sinned and was redeemed by the Crucifixion. However, the Orthodox Christian view of the Theotokos differs from that of many Protestant Reformers.
The term Theotokos literally translates to “God-bearer.” The Orthodox Church uses this phrase to emphasize that the person born to the Virgin is fully human, and fully God. It is also used to describe the piety of the Virgin.
Although the term is translated in many ways, it is often used in hymns. Some hymns employ the term Theotokos to refer to Mary, while others use the term to refer to Christ.
Martyrs holding the crown of martyrdom
There are many ways to earn the title of “martyr”. It takes an immense amount of courage and faith to put your life on the line. Thankfully, martyrs are willing to make the sacrifice. Martyrs have the ability to overcome adversity and reshape their own lives for the better. In fact, many of the most influential Christians in history have been martyrs.
In the ancient world, the palm tree was a symbol of victory. In medieval times, a winged figure carrying a crown sported the same attribute. Modern day artists have used the same symbol as a metaphor.
The palm tree has been shown to represent entry into Heavenly Jerusalem. One can also draw a direct line from the palm tree to a victory over one’s enemies of the soul.
The palm tree is a common symbol for martyrs. Artists have used the symbol to convey the notion of triumph over evil. Even the early Christians employed the palm tree to convey their commitment to Christianity.
Representation of the Divine Infant the Savior-Emmanuel
The Nativity of Jesus is a crucial element in Christian teachings from early Church Fathers to 20th century theologians. During the earthly ministry of the Savior, the Blessed Virgin and Child were presented to the people of Jerusalem at the Temple. This presentation gave rise to several miracles performed by the Lord, which were reported in Arabia, as well as in the Syrian city of Edessa.
The icon of the Mother of God (Theotokos) is considered to be the first iconographic representation of the Mother of God. Its date is from the 6th century and its iconographic style is Byzantine. Various early depictions of the Theotokos show her with arms raised in prayer. One example is the tomb of Saint Agnia, which is located in the Catacombs of St. Agnes in Rome. Another example is the icon that is found in the Novgorod Icon of the Sign, which was painted in the year 1170.