Icon of the Crucifixion (Dionysiou) – F99


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Movable Church Feast Day 1

Great & Holy Friday


Egg Tempera


Dionysiou Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece


George the Cretan


16th c. (Mid)


This 16th century icon is a part of a celebrated set of festal icons showing important events in the life of Jesus plus a few other renowned feasts of the year.  It was painted by George the Cretan for the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos, and together they are known to be great examples of Post-Byzantine Greek iconographic art.  This icon is the eighth of that set of icons.

Christ dies on the Cross in the midst of two thieves, in the most humiliating form of execution the Roman Empire saved for criminals of the worst kind.  Paradoxically then, this symbol of shame and degradation becomes, through Christ, the sign of victory over death and suffering and humiliation by willing participation of all Christians into its life.  It is the Door to Paradise, and the footstool of the Throne of God triumphant in Heaven.  This is a great and solemn Mystery that can only be understood by entering it ourselves.  Christ conquered Death by willingly accepting death Himself, even though He was always above it in His Divine Nature.  It was and is a great and continuous act of love for us, opening true life in Him Who is Life Itself.  May we always live in Him!