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#1 Algernon

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 01:50 PM

Sometimes in icons where the hand is raised in blessing, the back of the hand is forward, like here and here.
 
I'm curious as to why that is.
 
Thanks
A


#2 Olga

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 02:00 PM

The one of Apostle Jude is painted in error - he should not be blessing himself. Prophet Joel is blessing the scroll he is holding, which represents divine wisdom.



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 05:38 PM

I happened across this icon of St Silouan showing his right hand blessing. Can saints who were not clergy be shown blessing?

 

saints_112_silouan.jpg


Edited by Reader Andreas, 21 July 2015 - 05:39 PM.


#4 Olga

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:48 PM

The only ones who come to mind are apostles.



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:17 PM

Though the apostles were bishops since bishops are their successors. I just wondered if there was some convention born of logic that a male saint who was not a priest or bishop ought not to be shown bestowing a priestly/episcopal blessing.



#6 Olga

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 12:02 AM

Iconographically, clerical blessing with the distinctive finger arrangement is reserved for saints who were priests or bishops. Apostles are considered a higher rank than bishop, iconographically speaking. Those apostles who were bishops (not all of them were, notably St Paul) are shown in the garb of teachers, not in clerical vestments.

 

Christ is also seen blessing in countless icons, as He is the eternal High Priest. Sadly, the icon of St Silouan has been painted in error, very likely an honest mistake - but still an error, if the saint never held the rank of priest or bishop.



#7 Algernon

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 01:46 AM

Thank you, Olga.

Is this icon of the Prophet Amos also intended to depict the Prophet blessing the scroll?

http://www.easterngi...rophet Amos.jpg

 

A



#8 Olga

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 02:47 AM

That might be the intention, but, like the St Jude you posted earlier, it doesn't look that way.



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 07:04 PM

My wife has consulted a Russian book she has on iconography and it confirms that only saints who were priests or bishops should be shown blessing.



#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:17 AM

I have noticed that some icons of OT prophets and of St John the Baptist show the blessing gesture, including the back of the right hand facing - is there a reason why this should be so?

 

Attached File  John the Baptist.jpg   264.29K   15 downloads (Click to enlarge.)


Edited by Reader Andreas, 24 July 2015 - 11:17 AM.


#11 Olga

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 12:36 PM

St John is gesturing to the messenger's staff he is holding, which is topped by a cross, symbolic of his death as a martyr.



#12 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:59 PM

Attached File  St John BM.jpg   287.64K   16 downloads

 

This well-known icon in the British Museum shows an apparent blessing gesture unless there is a different explanation.



#13 Olga

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:13 PM

attachicon.gifSt John BM.jpg

 

This well-known icon in the British Museum shows an apparent blessing gesture unless there is a different explanation.

 

Interestingly, St John here is shown wearing not his usual tunic of animal skin under a cloak, but is dressed in the garb of a teacher, the same as how Christ and the apostles and prophets are depicted. The gold band extending vertically from the right shoulder, is the mark of a teacher with authority. Given that St John is Prophet (speaking the word of God) as well as Forerunner, this seems to be the explanation for this sort of depiction.



#14 Carolyn C.

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:30 AM

     I am trying to find information about, and an icon of, St. Archondia [St. Archontinus; St. Archonton] whose feast day is September 3.  My friend, whose grandparents came from Greece, would like to get an icon written of her mother's patron saint, St. Archondia. 

 

     On the website www.christopherklitou.com I found St. Archontion, martyr, feast day September 3, but without an icon.  In the book Wondrous is God in His Saints I found:  "St. Archontinus, martyr with St. Chariton, September 3".  In The Book of Saints by Mary P. Hallick, I found:  "St. Archonton, the word is translated as 'ruler, magistrate'.  September 3 is reserved in memory of St. Archonton the martyr."  Also in the same book:  "Archontisa, feminine of Archonton." 

 

     Elsewhere on the internet I found a Greek archeologist named Archondia Thanos; a recent obituary of Archondia Kallergis of Lancaster, PA who was born Archondia Drosos in Phili, Kos, Greece; and an ad for Archondia Apartments in Kefalos, Kos, Greece.  The name Archondia must be fairly common in Greece so why is this saint so obscure?

 

     Can anyone tell me anything about St. Archondia [St. Archonton; St. Archontinus]?  Was he martyred in Greece in the early centuries A. D.?  Has anyone ever seen an icon of him?



#15 Olga

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:07 AM

The name Archondia must be fairly common in Greece so why is this saint so obscure?

 

The name is actually very uncommon, and is mainly restricted to Cyprus and a couple of the Aegean Islands. IIRC Fr Christopher Klitou is of Cypriot ancestry, and this shows in his iconography. Many of the icons he has painted are of saints associated with Cyprus.

 

Also, unlike Russians and most other Slavs, whose tradition specifies there must be a saint who bears the name of the person being baptised, Greek naming practice is somewhat looser. For instance, names based on feasts are widespread, despite some of these names not having a saint bearing that name. Some of the islands have quite peculiar names, which may or may not have a saint associated with them. People with such names celebrate their namedays on the Sunday of All Saints.

 

On St Archontion, the only information which is available from synaxaria is simply this: His feast date, and this entry: He was martyred through starvation. Nothing on when he lived, where he came from, if he was of noble or humble birth, whether he was married or monastic, his station in life, or how old he was when he was martyred. So, without such information, it would be practically impossible for an iconographer to paint an icon which even comes close to depicting this saint with any accuracy.

 

Perhaps the only way of a "proper" icon being painted of this saint is by divine revelation of details of his life and death, such as has happened from time to time, notably with the martyrs Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesbos.



#16 Ben Johnson

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 02:59 PM

Do we know for sure that the subject of the icons are blessing themselves.  It looked to me that they were motioning for people to come there way or follow their direction.  That is just from what I am seeing.  I do not know anything about the icons themselves.



#17 Olga

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:04 PM

Do we know for sure that the subject of the icons are blessing themselves.  It looked to me that they were motioning for people to come there way or follow their direction.  That is just from what I am seeing.  I do not know anything about the icons themselves.

 

Note the bolded words. Icons are, at their essence, calls to conform ourselves to God and His way. The Way is Christ, not St Joseph. No saint points to himself as the Way, this goes against the humility and deference of saints.

 

When a saint points, it is to Christ Himself, or a scroll in his hand which represents divine wisdom, or a martyr's cross, or some other symbol representing the Divine, and the Mother of God points to her Son in her icons.






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