Tuesday, September 02, 2008

St. Nikolai (Velimirovich) on Eastern Orthodox Statues: St. Veronica

That story on the ancient Portmahomack monastery in Scotland mentioned sculptures/statues. Here's a tidbit from the Prologue of Ochrid by St. Nikolai of Zhica/South Canaan, which can be found on the website of Archangel Books, a conservative book seller affiliated with ROCOR. It quotes St. Nickolai in this entry:

St. Veronica with Holy Napkin (Russian Silk)

Commemorated on July 12/25

According to Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich in The Prologue from Ohrid:

This is the woman with the issue of blood, whom the Lord healed (Matt. 9:20). In gratitude to the Lord her healer, Veronica caused a statue of the Lord Jesus to be made, before which she prayed to God. By tradition, this statue was preserved up to the time of Julian the Apostate, when it was altered to become a statue of Zeus. This is one of the very rare occasions that a holy statue has been used in the Eastern Church. As is known, this later became a common custom in the Western Churches. St Veronica remained faithful to Christ till death, and entered peacefully into rest.

Veronica / Veroniki literally translates "true image" or "true icon."

You can also see the full day's saints here. You can also skip to any given day in the Prologue through the ROCOR archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand website. Both are according to the Old Calendar. Of course, we've found (and continue to find) that Orthodox statues were not as rare as perhaps he thought.

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