This 15th century Russian icon of St. John the Baptist was originally on the top row of an iconostasis, or altar icon screen, from Novgorod. The Deisis represents the Lord with His Holy Saints and Angels supplicating towards Him, in these matching icons?J27: Christ Enthroned, with T36: The Theotokos Supplicat-ing; S150: The Archangel Michael, and S162: St. Peter, (all standing on Christ’s right hand), and S120: The Archangel Gabriel, and S160: St. Paul (all standing on Christ’s left). Their hands are outstretched and their heads are bowed towards Christ sitting on the Throne of His Kingdom which will never end.
St. John the Baptist was the blessed Forerunner of Christ and came to prepare the hearts of His People for the Lord. He preached repentance to those who would hear, affirmed that Jesus was the Messiah for Whom all of the Prophets before him yearned for, and stood steadfastly before King Herod and his unlawful wife Herodias as had the Prophet Elias (Elijah) before King Ahab and Jezebel so long before. For his faithful witness to Christ and His Righteousness, St. John gave his head as a martyr’s gift in a.d. 33.