Sunday, November 30, 2008

Icon Corners - my old and new apartments

My longtime (almost 11 years!) friend Tamie asked for pictures of my new place. I will try to do so sometime this week. First though I feel like I need to finish staying goodbye to my old apartment.
The picture above is from my Icon corner in my now former smaller cute apartment. I knew I would miss my former Icon corner and I do. It was this cute little room and I would light it with candles year round in the morning; it gave me a lot of hope, light and comfort during many hard and difficult times.
My new Icon corner is being assembled; the same shelf with the same Icons is up - a good friend of mine put it up for me the same afternoon that I moved. But it is different!
I picked the wall colour itself - a light blue - it almost seems too flat or dry looking. Perhaps I would of liked a glossier sheen, even though that is not what is typically done. And it looks so bare and empty still. And way to clean looking - by which I mean I do not yet have my prayers, lists and quotes up.
However, at least I have a start. And my Icon of my Patron Saint, Saint Irene of Chrysovalantou, is now up as well. Patron Saints are really important - they pray for us and can be Mothers and Fathers to us. Of course I do not know how to explain why or how this is, but I know it to be true. St. Irene is especially known for her prayers for peace; Irene means peace. I struggle to stay at peace, so she is a real gift to me.
About the Icon Shelf in the picture. The Icons from Left to Right are:
St. John of Rila, Patron Saint of Bulgaria
The Resurrection of Christ
The Crucifixion of Christ
St. Xenia of Petersberg
The Theotokos
St. Nicholas of Myra
St. John of Rila can teach us about prayer and the love of God.
St. Xenia prays a lot for provision of us - homes, jobs, families - and was a fool-for-Christ. This Icon was the first one I ever bought and is from St. Herman's.
The Theotokos is also referred to as the Mother of God - to understand Christ as Incarnate God and Man one has to understand that His Mother bore the Son of God and is His Mother. She can also be our Mother and prays mightily to Christ Her Son for us. I got this Icon from Holy Dormition Monastery shortly after I was chrismated.
The Icon of Christ was a gift from a fellow parishioner at St. Herman's. I remember looking at this Icon and the Icon of St. Xenia and wondering what I do with them. So I just looked at them a lot. To be honest, for a start, I think this was the best thing I personally could of done. I have a lot of tender memories of this beginning in my life. St. Herman's was the best place for me to have begun my journey into the Orthodox Church!
St. Nicholas of Myra - I was chrismated at his Church in Michigan and this Icon was a chrismation gift. St. Nicholas is also known for his prayers for financial provision and for protection. As a Bishop, spiritually he has been a Father to many through the centuries through the Holy Spirit and prayer.
I have been supported by so many over the past year in prayer - looking for work, the foot injury of this past summer, and starting a new job and moving. I hope I have been humbled by this, as I have seen how much others have interceded for me and I have struggled to do the same.
I know there are seasons in our lives and that we cannot always maintain things as we want to. I remember appreciating Fr. Thomas Hopko's comment about doing and praying as we can, not as we wish we could!
Thank God for His mercy and that there are Saints who can pray to Christ for us!


Simply Victoria said...

that was a beautiful prayer corner. I'm sure the new one will come together.
I like hearing about peoples patron saints. I think it tells a lot about a person. I'm always curious as to why people are drawn to their particular saint.
My patron saint is St.Cassianne the hymnographer. I love her story and her zeal and her fire.

elizabeth said...

Thank you V. ST. Cassianne - she wrote one of the hymns for Holy Week? for the Bridegroom Matins? Do remind me, please! I remember loving her and her hymn when I was taught about it...

Yes, my prayer corner will slowly come together... and it is partly getting used to the change!

I just found some of my prayer books - the mover had put it in the closet! Thankfully I did have one still on hand...

Anonymous said...

You had a beautiful prayer corner, and I am sure the new one will come together soon, and you will grow to love it.
I very much miss being able to have all my icons as well as incense, lampada, and candle stands since I live in a dorm room.
I only have four icons here - Christ, Theotokos (the Kazan icon), my patron Saint, Tatiana, and St. Serguis of Radonezh to help me in my studies.

elizabeth said...


That is hard. I was without a real icon corner a few years ago for a month; it was like I could not breathe.

I love the Kazan Icon; we have one in the front to venerate at my church and I have this icon on a small cord from Holy Dormition Monestary that I wear almost day...

the little I have read about St. Serguis of Radonezh I love very much.

Is there a church with matins or vespers or a small chapel that you can go to sometimes?

I feel for you! School is hard enough... Will say a prayer for you today! I am glad you have at least these 4 icons...

Mimi said...

This is so gorgeous! Wow, what a beautiful icon shelf.

I admit, I assumed your patron was either St. Elizabeth the mother of the Forerunner, or the New Martyr, I didn't realize it was St. Irene.

I also didn't know that Victoria's was St. Cassiane, wow.

elizabeth said...

well... I would be complicated!!!

My Name Saint is St. Elizabeth the Mother of John the spiritual Father gave me this saint to me... and I also love St. Elisabeth the New Martyr!

But my paton Saint is St. Irene!

thanks for seeing the beauty within my beloved Icon shelf!

Mimi said...

That makes sense. My Patron and Name Saint are the same - Holy Archangel Michael - Mimi is short for a feminine version of Michael.

I was kind of put out, I wanted something more exotic, but I realize that the Holy Archangel Michael has kept me under his prayers even before I knew it.

elizabeth said...

thank you for telling me who your name and patron saint is! I have a little icon of St. Micheal and I know his prayers are effective...

Thank God for such help!

E Helena E said...

This is a very informative post about the saints...
Your previous icon corner in that little room was a special and holy place indeed. It's good to know that it's reemerging in your new home.

elizabeth said...

yes, thank you E-H - it will take time, but it will be reassembled! Thanks be to God!

Meadowlark Days said...

Thank you for sharing this with us = lovely to see!

elizabeth said...

thanks and your welcome!