On Holy Icons and the Victory of Orthodoxy

Protopresbyter George Dion Dragas

The aniconic policy of Western Christians provided the opportunity for rationalism to de-materialize the historical revelation of God in Christ, to mythologize the traditional Gospel of the Incarnation of God’s Son and Word, and even to deny the unbroken ontological unity of the Church.

For Orthodox Christians, who have and use holy icons in our ecclesiastical life, the truth is not only metaphysical but also physical, not only theory but also history, not only word which is heard but also vision which is seen. Salvation is not only connected with the soul but also with the body, so that it does not separate spirit and flesh (matter), but, on the contrary, unifies them, incarnating or “materializing” the spirit and “spiritualizing” the flesh or matter by means of mystical and saving communion which incurs no confusion. The grace of salvation, deification, union with God through participation in His uncreated energies, embraces the entire human being, the inner and the outer man, i.e. the mind and the reason of the inner man as well as the vision and the hearing of outer man.

Orthodoxy means fullness of truth and catholicity (completeness or integrity) of salvation. This is why the restoration of the holy icons was, and continues to be, greeted as the “Victory of Orthodoxy”. (Ecclesiasticus II: Orthodox Icons, Saints, Feasts and Prayer)

icon source: http://iconreader.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/the-triumph-of-orthodoxy-and-holy-icons/