Orthodox icon | Extended Deesis | 24812.
The oriental Marian legends serve as thematic models for the depiction presented on this icon. Inspired by these legends, the scene portrays the poignant moment at the Last Judgment when the Mother of God and John the Baptist implore the World Judge for mercy on behalf of humanity. This profound plea for compassion, known as the Deesis, occupies a central place on the Templon or Iconostas.
While the earliest examples of the Deesis date back to the middle of the 1st century, the subject gained its full form after the period of the image controversy. Today, it is a widely embraced and commonly depicted theme throughout the Christian East.
At the heart of the composition sits the majestic figure of Christ, the Pantocrator, enthroned as the judge of the world. Flanking Him on either side are the revered figures of the Mother of God and John the Forerunner and Baptist. Positioned between them stand the resplendent Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who bear witness to the divine judgment unfolding before them.
Kneeling at the feet of the World Judge, we find Saints Venerable Zosimas, the Abbot of Solovki Monastery, whose memory is celebrated on April 17, and Sabbatius, the Founder of Solovki Monastery, commemorated on September 27. Their humble presence signifies their veneration and devotion in the face of divine justice.
Turning our attention to the back of the icon, we encounter an array of revered figures. These include:
- Saint Venerable Athanasius the Hermit (September 28).
- Saint Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (celebrated on May 8 and September 26)
- Saint Apostle and Evangelist Peter (honored on June 29).
- Saint Paul the Apostle and Evangelist (also celebrated on June 29).
- Saint Andrew the Apostle (commemorated on November 30).
- Saint Venerable Michael, a monk in Maleinos (observed on July 12).
Their collective presence serves to enrich the spiritual tapestry. This invites devotees to draw inspiration from their lives and teachings.
Above this sacred assembly, the figure of God the Father radiates divine glory, symbolizing His role as the ultimate authority and source of all creation.
Additionally, the margin of the icon features depictions of various revered saints, including:
- Saint Martyr and Deacon Lawrence of Rome (honored on August 10).
- Saint Venerable Xenia (commemorated on January 24).
- Saint Martyr Aquilina (observed on April 7).
- Saint Venerable Sergius of Radonezh (celebrated on July 5 and September 25).
Their inclusion further enriches the spiritual significance of the icon, honoring their sanctity and inviting devotees to seek their intercession and emulate their virtuous lives.
The luminous background of the icon is adorned with a poliment gilded finish. This adds a touch of splendor and reverence to this sacred representation. May the sight of this icon inspire contemplation, deep devotion, and a profound sense of awe in the presence of divine judgment and mercy.