Icon of the Crucifixion (Sinai, 11th Century) – F67


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Movable Church Feast Day 1

Great & Holy Friday


Egg Tempera


St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, Egypt


11th c. (Late)


This 11th century icon of the Crucifixion is from St. Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai at the site of the Burning Bush.  The central image has been set into a lower plane to emphasize its importance in relation to the 18 saints who surround it.  Christ is shown already dead and with His eyes closed, with the Virgin Theotokos and St. John the Beloved Disciple standing below Him in sorrow.  The path to Salvation for all of Mankind has taken in this hour a radically different course than His Disciples had imagined just a week before when Christ came down from Bethany in His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.  His Kingdom is truly not of this world.

Often this simple fact, which the Lord Himself said plainly to His Disciples, is lost in our worldly expectations as we try to bring Heaven down to our worldly and imperfect understanding.  We, however, must go above ourselves, humbling asking Christ to give us more understanding which is Heavenly, not earthly, or we will continually misunderstand the spiritual reality hidden from proud hearts.  May Christ hear our humble prayer today!