An Icon of Love and Mercy

In our Second Cup series of occasional talks after Sunday Mass Dimitri Brady, Warden of Methodist International House, and an Orthodox christian spoke about an icon we have in Church. Here is a summary:

Our Lady IconPilgrims to 19th century Constantinople (Istanbul) often received a gift from the Ecumenical Patriarchate as a reminder of their visit. The icon we see here was a popular choice. The image, Our Lady of Mercy, is a popular and beloved image from that period. Most probably the image we have in Church was brought to England by pilgrims.

The image developed from the historic icon of the Mother of God as Guide. Here we see a nineteenth century softening of an earlier image, which emphasises compassion and mercy. The icon is one of tenderness. Mary holds Jesus in a gentle loving embrace. Uniquely, for such images, Jesus hand goes within his mother’s robe representing a mother’s protection, and also drawing Mary forward indicating his mission, is shared.

Around the image of mother and child are archangels, messengers who serve to remind that although the image is of compassion the story of salvation also includes suffering and death, and involves angels and humans.

The image, the icon, is a window to heaven, the figures inviting us into spiritual dimensions and encouraging us, through our senses, to contemplate and be at peace.

…and what is written on the scroll?

Fr Stephen Platt kindly provides the answer: “The inscription, in Church Slavonic, reads  ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor’ (Luke 4:18/Isaiah 61:1)”

Advertisements

About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
This entry was posted in Anglican, Anglo Catholic, Art, Catholic, Christian, Christianity, Mary, Pilgrimage. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s