By Matthia Langone

Week 1: Lenten Reflections with the Icon: The Face of the Icon

March 1, 2021
Column: Way of the Icon

This week I invite you to quietly look upon the face of this icon of Christ…

Take note of the size of the eyes, the fineness of the nose, the delicacy of the mouth, because in the upcoming weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at each of these features of the face.

There is great mystery and meaning behind each of these features, as you’ll learn.

As you look, consider the words of St. John of Kronstadt below:

You gaze upon the icon of the Saviour and see that he looks at you from it with brightest eyes: This look is the image of how He actually looks upon you with His eyes, that are brighter than the sun, and sees all your thoughts, hears all your heartfelt distress and sighs.

The image is an image, and represents in lines and signs that which cannot be delineated, cannot be given in signs, and can be comprehended by faith alone.

Believe, then, that Saviour always protects you and sees each one of you—with all your thoughts, sorrows and sighing, in all your circumstances, as upon the palm of the hand…

Therefore pray before the icon of the Saviour as before Himself.

The Lover of man is present in it by His grace, and with the eyes depicted in it really looks at you… while with his ears as represented on the icon, He hears you.

But remember that his eyes are the eyes of God, and his ears are the ears of the omnipresent God.

—St. John of Kronstadt


Matthia Langone, M.Div., is a Vancouver-based artist and iconographer whose works have been exhibited in Canada, Rome and Portugal, and also a pastoral animator at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  Sign up for her weekly Lenten series here:

Matthia Langone, D. Min., is a Vancouver-based artist and iconographer whose work has been exhibited in Canada, Rome, Portugal, and in private collections. She also serves... MORE »

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