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THE SIMPLICITY of Orthodox iconography is a fruit of divine memory, expressed not only in iconography but also in the (equally simple) doctrinal or ethical teaching. The Orthodox iconographer depicts a living testimony from his life with the Christ. He does not figure a ‘great event’, but he remembers Him, contributing this memory to the identical memory of the Church. Orthodox iconography is what exists, when we don’t have ‘artistic’ ambitions, and also when we don’t believe in a God unknown, abstract or private. This is why Orthodox icons make miracles.

   ORTHODOX iconographers are not individuals with artistic abilities in the service of a religion; they exist in a real unity and they can be rightly understood only into this unity, as living members of a living Church. Each icon they make presupposes, re-founds and creates concepts in harmony with the concepts of the whole tradition, in a language of the Church. We can ignore a work of Michelangelo or be impressed by another work of his or of someone else’s, but if just one icon of Panselinus does not ‘speak’ to us, we have the same distance from all his works and from the whole Orthodox creation. As if all iconographers were discovering, always new and unique the same face. In this face the Orthodox World is united. “I saw the human face of God’s and my soul is saved”, St. John Damascene confesses.

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Just as the stones and the rocks broke at that time, and the graves opened by seeing the Christ, the same happens when He reveals and shows in Light His loving face in the soul; the grave stone of sin breaks, giving place to Him, to enter and dwell Himself in the soul

St. Macarius


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