Icon of our Jesus Christ "The Good Shepherd"
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them." John 10:11
Jesus Christ "The King of Glory" icon (1)
Orthodox icon of Christ or "King of Glory. Contemporary icon, Greece
Contemporary icon by the iconographer Dionysios Fentas.
In this icon, the nakedness of the body, the closed eyes, the open sarcophagus, the Cross, the instruments of the Passion, the wounds in the hands and the ribs and the hair down, consist the inclusion of the Holy Passion and forewarn the Resurrection.The Cross comprises the symbol of triumph of the Extreme Humility, the victory of immortality and life, and hope and salvation for the orthodox Christian.
The Theological Interpretation: The composition, while it is connected with the element of glory in a way that one illumines and completes the other one. The Humility of Christ is not meant in pietisitic, psychological or moral terms. Christ is not humbled to reach a moral perfection or for His own benefit. • His humility is emptiness, it is the pouring out of Himself and it is understood under the existential terms. He freely takes the human nature, except sin, and reaches the edge of death to heal it and deify it.
The icon of The Extreme Humility is the symbol of the Passion, which leads to the ultimate humility of Christ, with the ignominious death on the Cross, which He endured for the sake of human kind. He thus reaches at perfect condescension, into the absolute self-denial. Death is the ultimate enemy, who entered the life of man because of sin, because of his separation from God. Therefore, Christ comes as the Savior and gives his battle on the Cross as a King. His rule can only be nothing but servitude, since the king has become a servant out of love: "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20: 28)
St. Leon Pope of Rome
Orthodox icon of Saint Leon the Great, Leo or Leon Pope of Rome.
Commemorated February 18th.
Saint Leo I the Great, Pope of Rome (440-461), received a fine and diverse education, which opened for him the possibility of an excellent worldly career. He yearned for the spiritual life, however, and so he chose the path of becoming an archdeacon under holy Pope Sixtus III (432-440), after whose death St Leo was chosen as Bishop of Rome in September 440. These were difficult times for the Church, when heretics assaulted Orthodoxy with their false teachings. St Leo combined pastoral solicitude and goodness with an unshakable firmness in the confession of the Faith.
He was in particular one of the basic defenders of Orthodoxy against the heresies of Eutyches and Dioscorus, who taught that there was only one nature in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was also a defender against the heresy of Nestorius. He exerted all his influence to put an end to the unrest by the heretics in the Church, and by his letters to the holy emperors Theodosius II (408-450) and Marcian (450-457), he actively promoted the convening of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, at Chalcedon in 451, to condemn the heresy of the Monophysites.
At the Council at Chalcedon, at which 630 bishops were present, a letter of St Leo to the deceased St Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople (447-449) was read. St Flavian had suffered for Orthodoxy under the Robber Council of Ephesus in the year 449. In the letter of St Leo the Orthodox teaching about the two natures [the divine and the human] in the Lord Jesus Christ was set forth. All the bishops present at the Council were in agreement with this teaching, and so the heretics Eutyches and Dioscorus were excommunicated from the Church.
St Leo was also a defender of his country against the incursions of barbarians. In 452, by the persuasive power of his words, he stopped Attila the Hun from pillaging Italy. Again in the year 455, when the leader of the Vandals [a Germanic tribe], Henzerich, turned towards Rome, he persuaded him not to pillage the city, burn buildings, nor to spill blood. He knew the time of his death beforehand, and he prepared himself, with forty days of fasting and prayer, to pass from this world into eternity. He died in the year 461 and was buried at Rome.
His literary and theological legacy is comprised of 96 sermons and 143 letters, of which the best known is his Epistleto St Flavian.
Resurrection icon (5) (741-VE)
Orthodox icon of the Resurrection of our Jesus Christ (5). The icon is made with the old technique of making the icons.
The dimensions of the icon are: 11 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 3/4"