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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Iconic

Somewhere this week I read or heard about someone blogging about the religious symbols in their home and decided to give you a tour of the ones in our home.  First up the ichthus on our back door. 
The Greek spelling for ichthus is -- These are the first letters of the Greek words Iesous (Iota), Christos (Chi), Theou (Theta), Uios (Upsilon), and Sotor (Sigma). The English translation is IXOYE. The five Greek word stand for the English words meaning, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior" or "Jesus Christ God's Son Savior". This symbol was used primarily amongst Christians of the early church years (1st and 2nd century A.D.) The symbol was introduced from Alexandria, Egypt; which at the time, was a very heavily populated seaport. It was the port in which many goods were brought over from the European continent. Because of this, it was first used by the peoples of the sea as a symbol of a familiar deity, in this case, Jesus Christ. The symbol was later used as a means of identifying or acknowledging a fellow believer in Christ without the need for any verbal communication being exchanged. Why was this necessary? During the reign of Emperor Nero (54 A.D.- 68 A.D.), and throughout the reign of subsequent evil emperors of the Roman Empire, Christians were commonly persecuted, tortured, and put to death because of their faith in Christ Jesus. Emperor Nero himself personally despised Christians. He blamed them for the great fire of A.D. 64 which burned nearly half of Rome. It was during Nero's persecutions that both Peter and Paul are thought to have perished. Spread throughout the empire, Roman soldiers were stationed everywhere to keep order and to act as police. This included keeping a watchful eye on the happenings of the daily lives of the people. Often times, when a soldier spotted a Christian, he would report it to his superiors who in turn would be ordered to arrest the Christian and to be brought in for interrogation. The Christian would then be harassed and tortured in order for them to recant and to submit to the many polytheistic religions of Rome. In most cases death would be the final end. In order to prevent this unnecessary capture and persecution, Christians would often draw an ichthus in the dirt, mud, sand, or on the walls of caves to let another Christian know that he too was a fellow believer of Christ and that it was safe to talk about their faith without the fear of being turned in. The way our country is removing God and Jesus from public life is very similar in many ways. 
  This is a Mary Englebreit print of the Madonna and Child.  I have a bunch of her prints from her magazine that I supposedly rotate out.  This one is left from Christmas.

This is an image of St. Roch, the patron saint of dog's.











My Mother-in-Law did this cross stitch of Jesus for me.  To my knowlege it is the only cross stitch she ever did.
What does your home say about your faith?



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