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May 13, 2018: An Icon of Humility and Charity

Dear All Souls Friends,

Icon GroupLast Sunday at The Church of the Holy Trinity in NYC, we blessed and installed the icon that All Souls commissioned as a gift when I left as rector in 2015. Thank you to all who were a part of this wonderful gift.  The icon can be seen on at https://www.holytrinity-nyc.org/franciscan-icon and there one can also read an essay by the iconographer (excerpted below), explaining some of the imagery. It is an exquisite icon and made all the more special because it represents the people of All Souls.  Joining us for the blessing from All Souls were Jeff Wells (former senior warden) and his husband David Crane, Mother Cameron Soulis, and Ed Perlman. Also pictured is iconographer Zachary Roesemann. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness.   Father John Beddingfield

While here at All Souls, Father John taught us much about St. Francis, who was such a prominent source of inspiration to our church founders that the original front façade of our church (now the chapel) features a series of windows commemoratting his life.

Icon CloseupIt was while praying before a painted cross in the church of San Damiano that St. Francis was called by Christ in a vision to “Go and repair my house”—a commission that launched the Franciscan movement to work for renewal in the Church.

St. Francis, kneeling on the earth at the foot of the cross and tenderly venerating Christ’s wounds, is closest to the viewer when the image is on the wall. In this way the viewer can connect with Francis in his humility and “earthiness.” Indeed, the whole structure of the image shows the link, through Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice, of the divine and the human, from the heavenly seraph at the top, through Christ’s living human body to the solid ground and St. Francis at the bottom, and even the “dust thou art” of Adam’s bones.

Franciscan spirituality focuses on the person of Jesus and strives to imitate Jesus’ life and work. May we, like St. Francis before the San Damiano cross, pray for God to “bring light to the darkness of our hearts;” and may we, too, be inflamed with love for Jesus and a desire to follow always in his way of humility and charity.

Last Published: May 10, 2018 3:42 PM
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