"Christ lives, he has overcome death, he has overcome all these powers. We live in this certainty, in this freedom, and in this joy." (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 12 XI 2008)
"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks the truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie." (Blessed John Paul II, Canonisation of Edith Stein, 11 X 1998)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Our Lady is an Icon, don't touch

Icon of the Assumption of Mary in Suprasl
I just got back from a short holiday in Poland. While there I was blessed enough to visit the Russian Orthodox Icon Museum in Suprasl. The monastery has been in the town since 1500 and has a collection of more than 1200 icons.

There was a particular icon that caught my eye during the tour. You can see the photo on the left. It is an icon depicting the assumption of Our Lady. The most striking feature of the icon is at the bottom, there you see a man whose hand's have been cut off by St Michael the Archangel (see detailed picture below).
Why did St Michael cut the hands off? The story goes that the man was a Jewish Priest who did not acknowledge the
the sanctity of Mary and wanted to push the funeral bier over. As can be seen, Saint Michael intervened.
Close up detail from icon of Assumption of Mary
But the story has a happy ending. The hand less priest's hands were miraculously re-attached and healed once he acknowledged the sanctity of our Lady. You can read more about the details of this icon here.

Another icon that raised my heart was an icon depicting the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharistic bread and wine. You can see Christ (although it may be one of the Church Fathers) holding a chalice in which his blood resides, along with His body. Thanks be to God for these revelations in art.

Icon of the Real Presence

From the walls of the Icon Museum in Suprasl


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