Friday, May 12, 2006

Serendipity, and Icon and an Answered Question

So I think I wrote about having to move out of my office by the end of this week, and I wrote about my new class in Gradual School being Early Church History. I am reading a book called Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers by Christopher Hall. In it he talks about the influence of the "Church Mothers" or the women in the early church who don't have a designation, but nonetheless were equally as influential to the men of the era. Some were even more influential, by the addmition of their male counterparts.

Anyway, just the day after I read about Macrina, the sister of Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa and how influential she was to them I happened to be taking down the Icon of the Greek fathers from the wall of my office which has Basil and Gregory and Gregory of Nazianzus and another figure, that I had always assumed was a woman, because the three men are dressed alike in Greek Vestments, and the fourth figure has a soft face and is dressed softly and is veiled. On the back of the icon there is a paper that states who is in the picture. The paper says that the fourth person is St. Proccuratus? And that the original image comes from the wall of a Church in Turkey and is from the 7th or 8th Century.

After reading Christopher Hall, I am going to take a big leap of faith here and say that the original painter knew that he (or she) was representing Macrina, The fourth of the influential members of the Greek "fathers" and over the centuries that little known fact was simply misplaced. When the icon maker decided to use the image on the icon, he (probably a man) knew the identity of the "fathers" and assumed that the fourth person was a student of theirs and so gave "him" a name with a question mark? Because of the uncertainty.

It would be interesting to find out if my guess is correct and my icon is really of the Greek Fathers and Macrina. I can't wait to take it to School with me next weekend and show it to my professor and see what he thinks.



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