The most humble Handmaiden of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, is shown the greatest honor in this icon by placing her on a throne with her Son and God. The Orthodox Church honors her by crying out in her church service, “Thou art a gold-entwined tower, and twelve-wall encircled city, a throne besprinkled with sunbeams, a royal chair of the King. O, unexplained wonder! That thou dost feed the Master with thy milk.” Those of the household of God repeat what she said to the great Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation, “behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)
In this contemporary Greek icon painted by the Monk Michael of Mount Athos in Greece in 1987, the Divine Child sits in glory on her All-Pure lap and blesses us. He was aware of His Divine Nature and Rulership at every moment of His Life, as is seen in His icons which show the intelligent and aware face of an adult even when He was a child. In the halo around Christ’s head is a cross with the Greek letters for “I AM” as the infant silently proclaims to be the King of Glory and ground of Existence Itself.
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The Lord Almighty sits on a throne as the Ruler of the universe, and in His left hand He holds an opened Gospel. With His right hand He blesses with the priest's blessing, the fingers of His hand forming the Greek letters "IC XC", which is the abbreviation for "Jesus Christ". In Christ's halo are the Greek letters for "I AM", for this is the King of Kings as spoken of in Revelation (1:8), "I am Alpha and Omega...saith the Lord, Which Is, Which Was, and Which Is To Come, the Almighty."
This is an example of a modern rendition of a traditional depiction of Christ as He will appear at the end of time, for icons are a revelation of theology and a vision of eternity made manifest for us as a foretaste “before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” (Acts 2:20) Because Christ is Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet which St. John used when he wrote his Gospel, Epistles, and Revelation, He always stands at the beginning and end of everything, bearing witness to how we choose to respond to His call to holiness. It is up to us to choose well, and cooperate with His Will to sanctify His People.
Small (4″ x 6″), Large (8″ x 10″)
Small (4″ x 6″)