Author Topic: Icon Of Christ And The Virgin Mary  (Read 576 times)

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Offline Studying_Orthodoxy

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Icon Of Christ And The Virgin Mary
« on: July 28, 2012, 07:28:31 AM »
I have seen an icon of Christ and the Virgin Mary together. Christ is depicted as a small child near to his mother. Please may I know the meaning of this icon and what it is seeking to depict?

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Icon Of Christ And The Virgin Mary
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 10:52:19 PM »
There are tons of different icons of this type, and sometimes those icons mean to emphasize certain things, but in general the Theotokos and Christ-child icon means to depict the following:

This is an icon, primarily, of the Incarnation, the second coming of Christ. This type of icon is found on the iconostasis (icon wall) in front of the nave of an Orthodox parish, that separates the nave from the altar, and is balanced by the Christ Pantocrator, that depicts the Second Coming.

Christ, in true Byzantine form, is not depicted as a child, but has a mini-sized adult, which means to show he is not an ordinary child, but that he is fully God incarnate. He also has the special Christ halo (or "nimbus") that are found in most Christ icons these days.

The robes of the Theotokos generally has three stars on it, one on each shoulder and one on the head, proclaiming her virginity before, during and after the birth of her Son (this is also the norm for all icons of the Mother of God). Some types of icons (the "Directress" type) show her free hand motioning to Christ, pointing the world to him. Other types, usually called "Tenderness", shows the Theotokos and Christ-child sharing a loving embrace (their cheeks usually pressed up against each other), showing the intimacy of their mother/son relationship, confirming the full humanity of Christ.

I hope that's helpful, in a nutshell...
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Icon Of Christ And The Virgin Mary
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 02:08:58 AM »
This is an icon, primarily, of the Incarnation, the second coming of Christ.
First Coming, you mean.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Icon Of Christ And The Virgin Mary
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 02:16:48 AM »
Christ, in true Byzantine form, is not depicted as a child, but has a mini-sized adult, which means to show he is not an ordinary child, but that he is fully God incarnate.
This is true, but to expand: Like the Sinai Pantokrator, the two natures of Christ are being depicted; here, a small child with certain "wizened" features shows that Christ is both a true infant and the Logos who sustains all things.

But we are not to understand this to mean that Christ was born with an adult mind hooked into "the Logossphere" for access to all knowledge in the ashakic records [replace with acceptable Greek analogue] or something. Christ was a real human infant with a real human infant mind, who developed and grew in wisdom and in stature. I believe this icon shows the authentic incarnate human reality of the Logos, alongside his eternal reality which he now expresses theanthropically.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 02:19:08 AM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Icon Of Christ And The Virgin Mary
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 02:55:55 PM »
This is an icon, primarily, of the Incarnation, the second coming of Christ.
First Coming, you mean.

Yes, that's what I meant. Silly me.
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy