Icons for Catholics

Icon is the Greek word for “image.” The elements of iconography as an art form date back to the Byzantine Empire. Icons are known for their simple and stylized — rather than realistic — depictions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. The use of stylization and order is meant to show the timeless and heavenly nature of a moment in earthly history.

Secular paintings have been created by artists. Those who create icons have been called writers rather than painters because their work contains symbols that can be read. Light streaming from heaven indicates God’s presence. Large eyes and ears are reminders that the saints depicted focused on God and His Word. Raised hands give blessings. A book in the hand shows that the person depicted could read. Quill pens are included with images of those such as St. Thomas Aquinas, whose writings enhance our understanding of the Catholic Faith. 

Originally posted 2019-05-17 17:36:32.