In our church we have an icon of St.John the Baptist on which he is written with large wings. Can anybody tell me what this means?
I found some explanations as follows:
"In the icon, you will see the Prophet with the wings of an angel. The wings speak of St. John as a
message-bearer. As he said of himself, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight
the way of the Lord," thereby announcing the coming of the Incarnate God. The wings further direct
us to the life of a man who lived like a terrestrial angel or a celestial man. Through this vision, we see
clearly why Herod was afraid of John. One should be in dread of a messenger of the Lord. God
sent angels and messengers to make visible to earthly eyes the holiness of God, Whom "no man may
see and live" (Ex. 33:20). The conical rocks in the Forerunner's icon tell of his detachment from the
world, of a man pure and unspotted by the world. "http://www.balamand.edu.lb/theology/feastbeheadingjohn.htm
"The representation of the Baptist with wings is inspired by the Gospels, where Christ calls John 'messenger' ([ARABIC TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Gospel according to St Matthew, Chapter XI, verse 10; Gospel according to St Mark, Chapter 1, verse 2), repeating the prophecy in Malachi, Chapter III, verse 1, which is also found in Exodus, Chapter XXIII, verse 20 and Chapter XXXII, verse 34. (18) A number of Church Fathers deliberated at length on John's nature, debating whether he was an incarnated angel or simply Christ's messenger and forerunner. (19) But while the Orthodox church, for the most part, was willing to accept John's similarity to angels and their nature, as is demonstrated, for example, by a passage from the writings of Sophronios (560-638), who was Patriarch of Jerusalem between 634 and 638, (20) western ecclesiastical authorities tended to regard this view as heretical." http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PAL/is_501_158/ai_110735911/pg_2http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PAL/is_501_158/ai_110735911
"The icon of St. John the Forerunner (St. John the Baptist) was written by the hand of iconographer Wayne Hajos, of the Orthodox Church of St. Matthew in Columbia, MD. The icon is a copy of a Russian icon titled "Angel of the Desert."
St. John the Baptist is sometimes depicted (as here) with angel's wings to demonstrate his role as a messenger (see Matt. 11:10, Mark 1:2). Additionally, he is also shown here in his wilderness home (Matt. 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-8). The plate with his head alludes to his death at the hands of Herod (Matt. 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29).
The scroll reads: "Come Ye to Christ with Faith and Be Saved."http://www.stjohnsroch.org/iconofstjohn.html
My question is, aren't other Saints 'messengers' too? How about the Apostles? They had a message also.
Why the distinction with St.John the Baptist?
Shiloah, and thank you kindly