Icon of Christ Pantocrator (Detail) (Vatopedi Monastery, 13-14th c.) – J70


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This icon is a detail of a beautiful 13th or 14th century egg-tempera rendition of Christ as the “Pantocrator” (from the Greek, meaning “Ruler of All”).  His face shows the traditional form of the Lord from the very earliest times: long brown hair with reddish highlights that is parted in the middle, a long thin nose, a short beard, and very expressive and aware eyes that often look right into our hearts and minds, revealing the secrets of our thoughts and intentions, as He is always their silent witness.  

This revelation is a part of the Light of the Resurrection, which illumines all things with the brilliance of truth, for He is the living Truth, and His Light makes all things apparent, “for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” (Mat 10:26)  If we are living a life that goes towards this bright and revealing light, and are thankful to have the chance to amend every imperfection and sin that so easily besets us, then we will experience this light as great freedom and love of God for us.  If we are not living a Godly life, we will experience this light and truth as pain and do everything that we can to avoid it.

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Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece


13th – 14th c.