Icoane de la Vatopedu

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Possibly a contentious unbeliever will maintain that we worshiping images in our churches are convicted of praying to lifeless idols. Far be it from us to do this. Faith makes Christians, and God, who cannot deceive, works miracles. We do not rest contented with mere colouring. With the material picture before our eyes we see the invisible God through the visible representation, and glorify Him as if present, not as a God without reality, but as a God who is the essence of being. In fact, the whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. Based on Saint John of Damascus
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The honor shown to the image passes over to the archetype: If I point to a statue of Caesar and ask you ‘Who is that?’, your answer would properly be, ‘It is Caesar.’ With your words you do not mean that the stone itself is Caesar, but rather, the name and honor you ascribe to the statue passes over to the original, the archetype, Caesar himself. So it is with an Icon. An iconographer from Vatopaidi while painting the finishing touches of an icon of St. George.
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An iconographer should ideally have a powerful ascetic life since their internal state will be reflected in manifestation of their icons. More generally speaking, any artist will express his internal world through his external art. That’s why any man, but especially an artist, must see with his internal eye the beauty of Paradise and not so much the pain of Hell. This photo depicts an iconographer from Vatopaidi’s workshop painting a copy of the miracle-working icon of Paramythia.

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Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Chalkida incensing. On the left, Paramythia. On the right side, St. Maximus the Greek, a great Vatopaidi saint which is celebrated in the very same day with Paramythia.

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The Mother of God can “save” us through her intercession. At Vatopaidi Monastery there is a miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary called Paramythia, the “Comforter”. This icon saved the monks of the monastery from pirates, even though the Lord placed His hand over her mouth in order to prevent her from warning the monks, because of their sinfulness and neglect of their monastic promises. The Mother of God drew Christ’s hand down from her mouth and repeated her warning to the monastery’s abbot, Saint Gennadius, as he was about to hand over the keys for the main gate to the gatekeeper, that there were pirates in hiding outside the walls waiting to invade the monastery. According to her instructions, the monks mounted the walls and drove the pirates away. Since that time, the icon has retained this unusual pose of the Virgin Mary drawing Christ’s hand down from her mouth. Of course, this was a spiritual “setup” on Christ’s part in order to move the monks to repent and change their lives, while at the same time showing the power and efficacy of the prayers and interventions of His Holy Mother. In the photo, the icon in its small chapel.

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