This icon is a detail of the fresco wall painting called “The Holy Women at the Tomb” in the Mileseva Monastery in Serbia, and was made between 1222 and 1228. Here the radiant angel dressed in the brightest white robes announces the Resurrection to the Myrrh-Bearing Women. They had come to the Tomb to bring fragrant spices to adorn Christ’s body for burial early on Sunday morning after the Sabbath had ended, now a day and a half after He had been laid in a new tomb. The angel tells the women to fear not, as they seek Christ, for He is risen from the dead and will meet the Disciples soon. The angel then points to the empty tomb with the folded grave-clothes telling them to “look where the Lord lay.”
This White Angel has also been called the Angel of the Resurrection, since he announced it. Pure white in icons often represents the Glory of God illumining Creation. Christ is often shown in white garments after the Resurrection and at the time of the Transfiguration, for it is at such times that the immaterial Light that illumines all of the immaterial Heavens is seen on earth by those whose hearts are ready to receive it. May we, too, join them.