Bought an Eastern icon

I bought an icon from a Greek Catholic nun who was set up in our (Roman) cathedral atrium after Mass. I didn’t think to ask at the time… I think she wrote the icons herself… would it be fair to assume it’s already been blessed in the Eastern manner (which I understand is quite involved)? Should I bring it to a Latin priest to be blessed either way?

If you are uncertain it is not against Eastern tradition to take it to a priest and have it blessed to be sure. She may have done the icons privately and they may not be blessed.

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Although Orthodox today do have a means to bless icons, this actually goes against the earlier practices of the Church. Based on the 7th Ecumenical Councils, Icons are holy/blessed by virtue of the person it depicts. So blessing icons aren’t even necessary (I personally don’t have any of my icons blessed). But at the same time, it’s not a big deal if someone does get their icons blessed. And likewise for you as a Catholic, there should be no problem getting a Latin Priest to bless your items (icons included).

Thanks for this. This is actually very similar to something my first priest told me years ago when I was in the process of becoming Catholic. I asked him whether I could venerate an icon or statue before it was blessed, and he said that yes I could as the intent to honour the saint depicted is ultimately what counts.

Icons acquire blessing through the process of writing them.

The iconographer has different prayers and fasting as they write them, which a Greek Catholic nun would certainly follow (if she wrote it).

There is a pious custom of taking new icons to an Orthodox church, where they are laid on the altar for 30 days; I generally do that with icons I bring from Greece back to America. Not needed - just a pious custom.

I certainly wouldn’t ask a western priest to bless an icon.

Adoring our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Deacon Christopher

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