Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Earliest Icons of Apostles Discovered

click images to enlarge
The catacomb of St Tecla last year yielded up the earliest icon of St Paul, this week the Holy See anounced that the same burial chamber also contained icons of the Apostles Peter, Andrew and John. These icon's date from the latter half of the fourth century. Though there are earlier images which form part of narrative scenes, these images are the earliest individual portraits, which indicates that there was devotion to these apostles in Rome at this time.

4 comments:

Sonia said...

Marvellous. In Orthodox liturgy after the 'exchange of peace' they still shout 'the doors, the doors' in remembrance of the danger of Holy Communion when under Roman law 'Christians must not exist' - a Christian being defined by state and Church as one who participates in the Eucharist, although I suppose these images must date from the time when Christians apparently could legally exist.

RJ said...

Great pictures. Thank you for posting those, Father.

Iris Hammond said...

These frescoes have been known since their re-discovery in the 1930s'. It is only recently that they have been cleaned. Public access is, however, limited due to their fragility.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Iris,
I think it is only with "technology" that it was possible to discern what they portrayed.