This icon was painted by the famous Cretan iconographer Andreas Ritzos in the 15th century and shows the Lord as the Great High Priest for us in Heaven and on earth. Concerning why we need a Great High Priest, St. Paul says in his Epistle to the Hebrews, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus Christ the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Christ is depicted wearing the robes, the crown or miter, and the stole (omofor or omophorion decorated with crosses) of bishops as they vest in church during the Divine Liturgy. Christ, the Great High Priest of His Church on earth, is holding an open Gospel Book in His left hand and blessing with His right hand. The Lord is touched at our sufferings, for He suffered too, and is moved by our infirmities. Let us bring them to Him.