Icon of the Holy Family

The most frequently written and most beloved by me icon of the Holy Family.

description taken from the http://www.elazaricon.pl/


The prototype of the painting – an icon* with such an image of the figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph was created by the Orthodox writer of icons from Canada, G.K. Schlijper in 1987. However, this motif does not fully correspond to the canons of the iconographic tradition. In traditional iconography, Jesus, Mary and Joseph are not depicted as a family community full of tenderness. All three Persons appear together on icons commemorating the Mysteries of the Redemption, such as: Icons of the Nativity of the Lord, Proclamation of the Nativity to the Shepherds, Homage to the Three Wise Men…

However, the image – the Icon of the Holy Family approved for worship in Rome – is guided by a modern idea.It is a symbol of the family community and of the community of the Church, the People of God, the Family of God hidden under God’s protection. This way of presenting the Holy Family is full of spiritual content, hidden in the colors, gestures or attitude of each figure.

Already in the first glance we can see the interdependence of the family relationships of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. And the arrangement of persons in a triangle refers to the symbol of the Persons of the Holy Trinity. The golden nimbuses above the heads of all Persons indicate their holiness. Gold in iconography symbolizes indestructibility, the glory of God, life in the Kingdom of God and holiness.

Holy Family – Icon of the Year of


Jesus Christ is at the center. He sits in Mary’s hands. This is a reference to the iconographic images of the Mother of God with the Child. Jesus is, as it were, “carried” by Joseph and Mary. They, Mary as the Mother and Joseph as the protector, bear the Fruit that has been given to them by God. It is they, as earthly parents, who help Him to grow in faith. Jesus’ right hand is arranged as a gesture of blessing, because he came into the world to save it, not to condemn it (cf. Jn 3:17). His fingers form letters that are an abbreviation of the name, IC XC (short for “Jezos Chrystos”). The deacon’s clothing symbolizes Him as the Servant of Jehovah, the Servant of Salvation (Is 42:1-9). The bright color of Jesus’ underside is purity and innocence. The color gold is a harbinger of the future Kingdom. The colors used (characteristic of the icon of Christ Pantocrator: Lord of Creation) symbolize the divinity, power, holiness and indestructibility of God.

Icon of the Holy Family

Icon of the holy family

Mary introduces us to the mystery of the Annunciation, her bowed head directs us to the Icon of the Annunciation and to the words: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1:38). She is turned to Jesus, she serves Him as Mother and educator. The red color of Mary’s dress has a rich symbolism expressing love, beauty and youth, but also struggle and struggle. The veil on the head (the so-called Syrian veil) is an attribute of a married woman who has her own home and support in her husband. This is also symbolized by Mary’s head, which rests on Joseph’s shoulder. The three stars on Mary’s robe indicate her virginity before, during and after the birth of Jesus.

Icon of the Holy Family – gilding 23i 3/4 carat gold

Figure of St. Joseph was most shifted into the depths, although it is his person who unites everyone. Joseph embraces Mary with a gesture full of tenderness and love. An expression of these feelings and respect for the Mother of God is also the gesture of bowing the head. Joseph is still in the attitude of serving, of doing what the Lord has commanded him to do: do not be afraid to take Mary, your Spouse, to yourself (Mt 1:20). He guards and serves Mary and Jesus, as it was in the Judaic tradition, transmits the faith, the wisdom of the law, justice and teaches the Son to work. Joseph is a symbol of a father who accompanies a child so that he can grow up to do the will of God.

Icon of the Holy Family

Joseph’s robes are subdued, brown. This reflects very precisely who Joseph is and how he lives: earth, matter, poverty. She supports the Family from the work of her own hands, she takes care of material matters, because this is the duty of the husband and father. In the form of Joseph, the color of the underside of the robe draws attention, a small fragment of which can be seen between the heads of all Persons. It’s green that turns blue. It symbolizes the connection of “two worlds”. The color blue, attributed to Mary, is the color of heaven, spiritual life and mysticism. The color green (attributed to prophets and saints) expresses peace and balance, symbolizes spiritual rebirth, eternal youth and is a sign of hope. The combination of these two colors in such a small and important place space of the icon (the center of all figures) is a symbol of faith, love and conjugal unity.

Our attention is drawn to the position of the hands of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They are very close to each other, almost touching each other, but very gently. This indicates the importance of both the closeness and the distance of persons, because each of them has its own vocation, which it fulfills individually and at the same time in the community. Despite the mutual turning towards each other, a clear space of freedom remains between the figures, because only in it can there be a healthy, harmonious community, a family corresponding to the order of creation.

Icon of the Holy Family for the Presidential Couple

Icon of the Holy Family for the

Presidential Couple

Painting – icon of St. The family, therefore, does not illustrate any salvific event, which undermines its canonicity in the Orthodox Church. However, it presents the mystery of the Holy Family. And it is precisely the contemplation of this mystery that we need very much at a time when the image of the family is so disturbed.