Likenesses of Saint Nicholas

Part of the Saint Nicholas Page honoring Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker

[St. Nicholas]


Orthodox Christianity prefers icons (Greek eikonas - "images") to other representations of saints and sacred scenes. Icons are most often painted ("written") in Byzantine style, which purposely avoids a realistic depiction of the object. Icons are both teaching aids and "windows into heaven", reminding us of the union with God that is the end of our spiritual endeavors, and of the "great cloud of witnesses" that has preceded us in the faith.

In Orthodox Christian practice (as in Roman Catholic and other ancient Christian usage), icons are not worshiped, as some mistakenly suppose, for God alone is worshiped. Rather, icons are venerated: shown great respect, kissed, carried in processions. They are, if you will, the family pictures. The devotion shown to the icon is considered to be given directly to the ones depicted on the icon.

For a concise description of the purpose of icons in the Orthodox Church, see WINDOWS INTO HEAVEN from Tom Tsagalakis Iconography, Seattle, WA. Tom (Rev. Fr. Athanasios) is an ordained Orthodox priest serving in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Several of the linked icons are "life icons". These portray the saint in the center, with scenes from the life and death of the saint clustered around the edges. A picture is worth a thousand words: Life icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, from The Orthodox Church in America

Painted Icons of Saint Nicholas

Icons in Orthodox churches, church properties, or church web sites
Icons in other church-related sites
Icons in Turkish sites -- ancient Myra

Other pictures of the Demre/Myra area may be found in the Turkey section of the Saint Nicholas pages .

Other icon sites

Return to the St. Nicholas Icons Page .

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Last modified December 31, 2009, Saint Melania, Nun of Rome

Copyright © 1999-2009 Stephen Parsons