The goal of the icon writer is to externalize the sacred tradition and to enable the beholder to enter into the unseen world of the Spirit which transcends and yet interpenetrates the world of matter and flesh . . . The purpose of an icon is to take us into the world of the Spirit, where we can experience the transforming power of divine grace – J. Baggley, Doors of Perception.

Where do we begin to assess the authenticity of an icon? The extent to which an icon has entered into the life of the Church: the warmth of an icon’s reception by the faithful – only not in terms of aesthetic pleasure, but on the level of prayerful contact (I. Yazykova, Hidden and Triumphant).

The man who attains illumination of the nous becomes a real, natural man, entering into his true life’s work and climbing the eternal mountain – Metropolitan Hierotheos of Vlachos.

One does not only have to be born biologically in order to be called a man, but must also have the Holy Spirit within him . . . Otherwise, he is a man dead to God – Hierotheos of Vlachos.

Icons are one of the languages of theology, by means of which the Church carries the glad tidings into the world, bears witness to the truth and reveals Christ and His Church Triumphant, that is, transfigured, deified mankind – Evseyeva et al., A History of Icon Painting.

In a world full of grief, icons are a testimony to the divine joy and the inexhaustibility of hope. Within a world wracked by fratricidal wars, icons portray the promise of love. They are a beacon of light in a world darkened by enslavement, a world constantly beset by epidemics, famines, plague, fires and floods . . . Whatever the age, the senselessness and ugliness that so often scars this world encounters a bulwark of resistance in the icon –  I. Yazykova, Hidden and Triumphant.


Every creature builds itself a nest or digs a lair in which to live. Only humans also build temples. And only humans paint icons and compose poems. Art, somehow removed from the practical demands of everyday life, reveals that our kinship is not with the biological world only; it is also with the spiritual world – Irina Yazykova, Icons as a Witness to Eternity.