Icon of the Good Shepherd (Mosaic) (Ravenna, 5th c.) – J69


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Ravenna was an important city in the history of the Roman Empire.  It was the base for the Roman Western Mediterranean fleet during the reign of Emperor Augustus (1st century a.d.) and was made capital of the Western Roman Empire by Honorius in a.d. 402.  In the time of its rule under the Goths in the late 5th and early 6th centuries (King Theodoric conquered it in a.d. 493) and under Byzantine rule from a.d. 540, the city was enriched with many outstanding monuments and buildings.  In particular, during this Byzantine period, many great mosaic icons were completed in the churches and other building made at this time.  This icon is one of them and is in the Galla Placidia Mausoleum.

As the Good Shepherd, Christ leads His flock of the Faithful, and they hear His voice and another they will not hear (cf John 10:3-5).  The Lord seeks that one lost sheep of the hundred, and also seeks those to be brought into His fold so that “there will be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16)  There is only one Good Shepherd Who lays down His Life so freely in love to fill His House and His Kingdom with all who will respond in simple love.

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Mosaic, Good Shepherd


Galla Placidia Mausoleum, Ravenna, Italy


5th c. (Early)