Reflections on today’s commemoration by Fr. Angelo—October 13, 2019
Can you imagine our church without icons? Today we remember the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, who met in Nicea in 787 A.D. At this council, they defended our faith against the “iconoclasts” or “icon-smashers” who wanted to destroy all holy icons. The Holy Fathers maintained the teaching that icons are forms of spirituality and used for Christian education. They taught that icons are not to be worshiped, but venerated or revered. The respect is being given not to the wood and paint but to the person depicted on the icon.
Christ took on human flesh, a part of earth’s matter; so it was possible to depict Him through material symbols. Just as the Gospels are verbal images portraying through words the divinity and ministry of Jesus, holy icons portray the divine sonship and actions of Jesus by means of paints and colors. We experience Christ’s presence today through the reading of the Gospels, and prayerfully remember Him in the beauty of icons.
Icons should therefore hold an honored place in the homes of all Orthodox Christians. In fact, it would be great if every Orthodox Christian family had at least one icon in every family room, kitchen, dining room, and bedroom, reminding us that the Lord is with us in all places and at all times! Your children would be blessed by having an icon of their patron saints near them in their bedrooms. If you need an icon of a Saint or event that our bookstore does not carry, please feel free to make a special request.