2016 icon class sessions 2 and 3 we will study saints of healing and miracle working icons. The student will be able to choose their icon of choice from the following prototypes:
St. Panteleimon– 4th century Greatmartyr and Unmercenary healer living during the time of Emperor Maximian. Feast Day July 27.
article from Father Paul Paris: St. Panteleimon and Healing in the Church
Archangel Raphael– (1 Thess 4:16) The Archangels are messengers of great and wondrous tidings. They reveal prophecies and the mysteries of the faith. They enlighten people to know and understand the will of God, they spread faith in God among the people, illuminating their minds with the light of the Holy Gospel. Archangel Raphael is a merciful healer, sent by God to comfort the sick and the sorrowing. Feast Day November 8.
Icon of the Mother of God “Quick to Hear”– from http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panagia_Gorgoepikoos Panagia Gorgoepikoos (Gr., Γοργοεπήκοο, “She who is quick to hear”). The Icon of the Mother of God, “Quick to Hear” an ancient wonderworking icon, is located on Holy Mount Athos at the Docheiariou monastery. The icon was given this name by a monk whose sight was restored while praying in front of the icon therefore he proclaimed from that time forth it shall be named as such because all who come to it will be given quick mercy and complete forgiveness. The Most-Holy Theotokos fulfilled then and even now fulfills her promise manifesting quick help and consolation to all who hasten to her with faith. Feast Day October 1, November 9.
The recommended reading material during these session will be the book by Georgia P. Kounavi, The Pain An Orthodox Scriptural and Patristic Approach. She shares in the experience of pain not in theory but in experience of both daily physical and spiritual pain. The pages offer written thoughts and experiences from the Great Fathers and Mothers of the Church about pain, that are full of wisdom and holy spiritual illumination. It brings us to the realization that when human pain passes through the pain of Christ, and its sacred content and depth is understood, we are brought into the birth of true Paradise preparing one for the Kingdom of Heaven and eternity.
For session 3 at The Basilica of Saint Mary- the icon of “The Merciful Jesus” will be offered in addition to the above choices. The year of Mercy is a celebration for 2016 in the Catholic tradition.
The excellent book “Orthodox Worship” describes the meaning of the word mercy as follows:
“The word mercy in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos. This word has the same ultimate root as the old Greek word for oil, or more precisely, olive oil; a substance which was used extensively as a soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. The oil was poured onto the wound and gently massaged in, thus soothing, comforting and making whole the injured part. The Hebrew word which is also translated as eleos and mercy is hesed, and means steadfast love. The Greek words for ‘Lord, have mercy,’ are ‘Kyrie, eleison’ that is to say, ‘Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.’ Mercy is the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children! It is in this sense that we pray ‘Lord, have mercy,’ with great frequency throughout the Divine Liturgy.”
“Open to me the doors of repentance, O Life-Giver …But in your compassion purify me by the loving kindness of your mercy. (Orthodox Hymn)
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