Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amusing Icon

Upon walking into the Greek church the other day, all lit candles and venerated the festal icon of the Dormition of Our Lady. This actually depicted the funeral procession of the Virgin, after her death (according to ancient tradition, she truly died - the contrary view is a late Western innovation - and was buried, like her Son; but a few days later, like Him, she was discovered to have been resurrected, and assumed into heaven, when her tomb was opened to reveal nothing but flowers).

There was an amusing and most politically-incorrect detail: a man with his hands chopped off - complete with blood coming forth! - by an angel wielding a sword. This illustrates the ancient tale of how a Jew attempted to upset the bier, but instead lost both hands (they remained grasping the bier). Chastised in so miraculous a manner, he thereupon confessed Holy Mary to be Mother of God, and, having come to Faith in Christ, his hands were restored to him: for, as the Good Book says, Seek first the Kingdom, and all else shall be added unto you...

1 comment:

Ritualist said...

I must have mentioned it before, but there is a very interesting feast in the Proper of the Diocese of Goa, that according to 'Fasti Mariani' is not celebrated elsewhere - the Transitus of the B.V.M. It's now online in GoogleBooks though I don't know whether it's accessible outside the States.