Monday, June 28, 2010

The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul

For tomorrow's Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, I wanted to show these icons, discovered last year, that depict the two saints.  They are from the 4th century and are believed to be the oldest icons in existence.  What amazed me, is how similar they are to icons of the two saints today.  The Eastern Church really has preserved the writing of icons, as it is called, down to the present day.

In both pictures, Peter is shown with white hair and a round white beard, and Paul is shown with brown hair, balding, and a brown pointed beard.

Traditionally, the icon of St. Peter and St. Paul represents the hoped-for unity between the East and the West. '

May it come quickly!


Anonymous said...

I would love to see that unity come about. May the Lord make us one.

I wonder if Paul and Peter looked like their depictions in icons... Maybe iconographers were at least close...

I can't help but wonder what they and other early saints would have thought if they had known so many artistic representations of them would be made.


Barbara said...

Last week or so ago I was researching these two icons and found that St. Paul is painted as the Greek philosopher,Plato, I think and St. Peter also represents a different philosopher. These depictions have remained consistent throughout the centuries although many people don't know the interpretation. I was looking for the article I read that explained this and can't find it now. The icon is gorgeous.

Dymphna said...

Good question, Evanscove. Barbara says they are modeled after philosophers.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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