The original of this icon is almost four feet tall and is located in Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, a peninsula in the Chaldiki region of northeastern Greece. Vatopedi is one of the twenty ruling monasteries on this monastic self-ruling community of Athos which has traditionally been an international community of monks from the whole Orthodox Christian community of believers. Much of the cultural treasures of Byzantium passed to Mount Athos at the close of the Byzantine Empire in a.d. 1453 with the conquering of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) by the Moslem armies. It has also been enriched by many other Orthodox kingdoms throughout its thousand year monastic history.
Christ holds a prophet’s scroll, for He is the fulfillment of the prophets’ yearning from the Old Testament for the final deliverance of Israel and its kingdom from amidst the pagan world. Christ brought far more in that He established a Kingdom that will never end, even after chronological time. “Pantocrator” is the Greek word for “Ruler of All” and indeed this is true, for Christ reigns eternally even now, for He opened the doors of Paradise.