Icon of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Theophanes) – F03


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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


Stavronikita Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece


Theophanes the Cretan


16th c. (Mid)


One of the famous 16th century Stavronikita Festal set of icons, this icon depicts the Righteous Symeon, the God-Receiver, holding the forty-day-old Jesus in his arms as He is presented to God in the Temple according to the Law while the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and the Prophetess Anna look on.  Christ came and fulfilled the Law while revealing new dimensions of life with God that the Old Testament only hinted at in foreshadowing.  God Who spoke through the Prophets and to the Righteous of old, now speaks directly to all who will come and listen.  It is a great Mystery.  

The monk Theophanes the Cretan painted this set of icons on the iconostasis, or icon screen which separates the Bema, or sacred Altar, from the body of the Church, or Nave, where the Faithful stand for Divine Liturgy and other liturgical services.  The set shows many of the most important events in the life of Jesus and the Church in its early and formative stage.  This icon is the third in that set.  Theophanes’ icons are considered masterpieces of iconographic art, still adorn the church at Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos, and show marvelous Cretan post-Byzantine form.