Bought an Eastern icon


#1

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?


#2

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.


#3

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).


#4

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.


#5

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


#6

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