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Icons: beyond the tradition

This is one of a set of cards produced by Bridge Building Icons, of Burlington Vermont. This dates from 1986.

This image would probably not be regarded by the Orthodox church as an official icon, but it shows an example of the attraction of the form to those outside the Orthodox church

This is Oscar Romero of El Salvador (1917-1980). Named archbishop of El Salvador as the violence there was heating up he was not expected to be an important figure. But rather like John XXIII, he became a people's bishop. He began speaking out clearly against the violence being inflicted on the poor and calling, not for retribution, but for reconciliation and peace. He was very loved. Of course, anyone who suggests that war can be avoided and that we can learn to share the earth in fairness is a tremendous threat and has to be eliminated. He was murdered while he was celebrating mass on March 24th. Some in El Salvador, noting that his blood fell on the communion chalice, say that "his blood mingled with the blood of Christ."

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In Genesis 18, Three strange visitors come to visit Abraham and Sarah. "The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him."

Was this the trinity, prefigured in the Old Testament?

In any case, this is a famous type of icon, to portray Abraham's visitors. Making the visitors Native Americans is an interesting translation of the concept.

Click for a larger version.

A traditional image of this icon.

The famous version from the 1400s by Andrey Rublev (in the public domain)

By Fr. John B. Giulaini, 1992, The Benedictine Grange


Monastery Icons - produces icons in a blend of modern and traditional style. Other religious products. (Up 1/23/18; posted 7/30/04)

Legacy Icons - Icons for sale. (Up 1/23/18)

Last modified 1/23/18; posted 5/99; original content © 2018, 1999 John P. Nordin