This icon shows St. John standing in the center, with wings, for he lived like an angel on earth. Around him are scenes from his life, which was always dedicated to God, for he even leaped for joy when he heard the Virgin’s voice while still in his mother’s womb. From birth (Luke 1) he became famous by virtue of the divine signs which attended him. Many thought that he was the Messiah. Denying this, with his customary forthright humility, he proclaimed Jesus as Christ, saying that he was “Not fit to untie the thong of His sandals” (Luke 3:16; Mark 1:7, and John 6:36).
St. John was killed because he reprimanded Herod and Herodias for their unlawful union, and because Herod was pleased at the dancing of Herodias’ daughter Salome. He was a fiery and blazing torch of faith and repentance, calling many in Israel to the baptism of repentance before Christ would give the baptism of spirit later. He is an icon of faith, of faithfulness, of repentance, and of love, and by Christ’s own words, “The greatest among those born of woman.” He stands now at Christ’s left hand in His Kingdom that can know no end. O Holy St. John pray unto God for us!