Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Orthodox Arts Journal: St. Mary of Egypt & St. Zosimas

(OAJ) - A New Icon of St. Mary of Egypt and St. Zosimas: Notes on Form & Symbolism
by Fr. Silouan Justiniano.

In thee, O Mother, was exactly preserved what was according to the divine image. For thou didst take the cross and follow Christ, and by thy life, didst teach us to ignore the flesh, since it is transitory, but to care for the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore O our righteous mother Mary, thy spirit rejoices with the angels.

- Troparion, Tone 8

Believe it or not Great Lent is almost over and the 5th Sunday of the Fast, which commemorates St. Mary of Egypt, is just around the corner. It goes without saying that in many ways this Fast has been difficult. Yet, without a doubt, with the struggle have come many blessings, not the least of which was completing an icon of St. Mary of Egypt for Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC. I was fortunate not only to have been given the honor of painting the icon, but of also to have great freedom in the conception of the composition. So I gladly took the opportunity to interpret the usual prototype which depicts her receiving communion. The icon conflates two episodes of her life: St. Zosimas, who discovered St. Mary, imparting to her the Holy Mysteries, and her walking across the waters of the Jordan. In what follows I’ll be highlighting some formal and symbolic features worthy of consideration...
Complete article here.

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