Byzantine Iconography

Icons, that is images of holy persons, were an important part of the Byzantine Christian Church from the 3rd century CE onwards. Venerated in churches, public places, and private homes, they were often believed to have protective properties. 

Meaning of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius IX, associated with a celebrated Byzantine icon of the same name dating from the 15th century.

This icon has been in Rome since 1499, and is currently in the church of Sant’Alfonso di Liguori all’Esquilino. The image has become very popular among Roman Catholics in particular, and has been very much copied and reproduced.

1) Greek initial for Mother of God.

2) Greek initial for St. Michael, the archangel.

3) Greek initial for St. Gabriel, the archangel.

4) Mary’s mouth is small for silent recollection. She speaks little.

5) Mary’s eyes are larger, for in all our troubles, they are turned towards us always.

6) Star on our Lady’s veil means she is the star of the sea who brought the light Jesus into this world.

7) Red tunic is the color worn by virgins at the time of Christ (AD33).

8) Christ’s hands turned palms down into his mother’s indicate that the grace of redemption is in her keeping.

9) Mary’s left hand supports Christ possessively. That means she is his mother. It’s a comforting hand for everyone who calls on her.

10) Dark blue mantle – the color worn by mothers in Palestine. means Mary is both virgin and mother of Christ.

11) The entire background is gold representing the heaven.

12) Golden crown placed on the original picture as a token of many miracles wrought by our lady invoked under the title of perpetual help.

13) Greek initials for Jesus Christ.

14) Foot with falling sandal represents Christ’s divine nature, barely clinging to earth. The human nature is symbolized in the other foot to which the sandal is more firmly bound. This simply means that Christ has two natures, Human and Divine.

Icons of the Iconastas at Dormition

These Icons are done in Oil paint on untempered Masonite hardboard and are glued onto the glass panels.

1)  ‘Christ the Teacher’ sponsored by William & Olga Kondra in memory of Semko Kondra and Kazimer Burtney.

2)  ‘Mary with Child Jesus’ sponsored by William & Olga Kondra in memory of Maria Kondra and Mary Burtney.

3)  Royal Doors consisting of the following Icons:  Annunciation (Mary with Arch Angel Gabriel), Evangelist Luke (sponsored by Victor & Violet Hrapchak); Evangelist John (sponsored by John & Alice Bilenski); And Evangelists Matthew and Mark.

4)  The Last Supper above the Royal Doors was sponsored by our UCWL.

5)  Deacons Door – St. Stephen sponsored by Iran & Patricia Kachur.

6)  Deacons Door – St. Michael sponsored by Monsignor Luzney & Luzney Family in memory of Mary & Michael Luzney.

7)  St. John the Baptist.

8)  St. John Chrysostom, sponsored by William Dubyk, Michael & Jean Dubyk & Elsie Wozniak in memory of Kay Dubyk.

Church Interior Icons

These Icons are done in Oil paint on 4’x 8’ sheets of untempered Masonite hardboard and attached to the wall by screws.  A separate 5” border surrounds each Icon, also done in oil paint is similarly attached.

1)  Baptism of Ukraine – Sponsored by Paul & Sally Zultok, commemorating their family.

2)  Dormition of the Mother of God – Sponsored by Hunchak & Lukowich Family.

3)  The Accession of our Lord Jesus Christ – Sponsored by Joseph & Mary Hnatiw in memory of Ann Hnatiw and Dmytro Boyenko.

4)  The Holy Pentecost – Sponsored by the Luzney Family in memory of Mary & Michael Luzney.

5)  Patronage of the Mother of God – Sponsored by Norbert and Natalia Wasylenko, commemorating their family.

6)  Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Sponsored by St. Mary’s Seniors Golden Age Action Club.

7)  Crucification of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Sponsored by Paraskavia & Wasyl Butz.

8)  The Holy Resurrection – Sponsored by Katherine Zinkowski & Terry & Norma Zinkowski, in memory of Mike (Dmytro) Zinkowski.

9)  Symbolism of Resurrection (Easter Bread, Eggs & Willows) – Sponsored by Fr. John Kratko in memory of mother Annie Kratko.

10)  Theophany Icon – Sponsored by Nick Smolinski & Children in memory of Olga Smolinski.

Click for Icons from Our Church