Icon of the Ascension – F81


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This is a beautiful icon of Christ’s Ascension into Heaven just forty days after His Resurrection from the Dead.  In those forty days, the Lord had showed Himself to His Apostles and Disciples as alive, in a renewed physical body that could eat and drink, yet pass through walls.  He still retained the visible signs of the wounds in His hands, feet, and side that showed that indeed He had suffered and been wounded and crucified for our sakes.  He also then taught the Apostles the original form of Divine Liturgy and other sacramental forms within the Church, so that they would be able to give spiritual life and grace to others after they had been empowered from on high at Holy Pentecost.

In this icon we see Christ ascending up in a red medallion carried by two angels who are kneeling in the air.  Below, the Virgin Mary flanked by two angels in white, has her hands raised up in wonder as she beholds her Son entering into His Heavenly Kingdom, with two Disciples looking on.  From the iconographic tradition, these are St. Peter and St. John the Evangelist.  Christ ascended up from Mount Olivet above the Garden in Gethsemane.

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