Christ is the flanked by the Virgin Mary Theotokos or Birth-Giver of God and St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia in this mid- 16th century Deisis icon. It is from east wall of the narthex of the main church or katholikon dedicated to St. Nicholas at Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos. Although normally in Deisis (from the Greek word for Supplicating) icons, St. John the Forerunner and Baptist stands to Christ’s left, because St. Nicholas in the patron of this church, he is included in this icon in St. John’s place.
The Deisis icons show forth the condition of prayer and supplication that the Holy Ones are in, asking Christ’s blessings and great intercession to cure our many spiritual, psychological, and physical ills. The Saints are a mystery of Grace for they have manifested the Light of the Transfiguration and the Resurrection by their conscious and willing obedience to Christ Who has remade them into His Image and Likeness so that they shine with His Glory reflected in them. Since we are all called to be holy, or sanctus (from the Latin), to become citizens of Heaven, these are truly our spirit-filled older brothers and sisters in Christ.