Artwork at Our Lady of Lourdes

Protection of the Mother of God

A gift of Alma Rose In memory of the Rose and Pucci Family

In A.D. 911, when the people of Constantinople were threatened by invaders, they fled to the Church of Blachernae and implored the aid of the Mother of God. During the All-Night Vigil, one of those there, Andrew saw a vision of the Mother of God approaching the center of the church. She knelt down and prayed tearfully for a long time.

Andrew said to his disciple Ephiphanius, “Do you see our Lady, the Queen of the World?” Ephiphanius replied, “I see her, my spiritual father.” After the Mother of God finished her prayers, she took off the shining veil, which enveloped her, and extended it over the people in the church. Though only Andrew and Epiphanius saw the vision of the Mother of God and her veil, all who were present felt the grace of her protection.

A Prayer to the Mother of God Steadfast protectress of Christians, constant advocate before the Creator: “Do not despise the cry of us sinners, but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith. Hasten to hear our petitions and to intercede for us, O Mother of God, for you always protect those who honor you. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim: as a virgin you gave birth to God the Word. True Mother of God we magnify you.

—Brian Nicholas Tsai, iconographer 2004

The Holy Trinity Icon

In honor of Waltraud and Richard Denten and Robert Peyre

Genesis 18:1-3  And the Lord appeared to him [Abraham] by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.”

Christian artists have depicted the Holy Trinity in a variety of ways. Early artists never depicted God the Father in human form, but as the Dextera Domini, the Hand of God. In the 9th-century apse of St. Mark’s, Venice, Christ stands below the Hand of God and above a dove. In the 16th century, God the Father, depicted as the Ancient of Days – a bearded old man in white garments – sat on a throne, with Christ the Word on his lap, and Christ holding a halo containing a dove.

In the Orthodox Church, the visit of the three men to Abraham is interpreted as a revelation of the Holy Trinity. Abraham and Sarah offered food and drink to the visitors who, in turn, promised the aged couple that the barren Sarah would bear a son.

In Andrei Rublev’s 15th-century icon, from which the icon before you is copied, the three angelic figures represent the three Divine Persons of the Trinity. The table has become an altar, and the meal has become the eucharistic chalice with the head of a sacrificial animal. In the background, Abraham’s tent is represented by a temple – the House of God. The Oak of Mamre is now the Tree of Life planted by God in Paradise. From it, according to Tradition, came the wood of the Cross. The mountain signifies spiritual ascent.

Which Divine Person is represented by which angelic figure? There are different interpretations. The interpretation that I understand is that the figures represent, from left to right, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Son and the Holy Spirit are bowing their heads toward the Father, Who is the Source of both. The Son points with two fingers to the chalice, indicating his mission to become the sacrificial lamb, human