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St. John in the Desert
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St. John the Baptist depicted as "The Angel of the Desert" according to Mark 1:2-4. The Ancient Greek word "angelos" means "a messenger", hense the wings.

I made some changes to the traditional version of this icon - I removed the morbid severed head that's usually there and I changed the useless traditional winy words on the scroll he's holding into something more meaningful - in my version the text reads "Change your mind for the kindom of Heaven is within you". St. John started his preaching with what is know known as "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near". Jesus started with the exact same words. What most people still don't know is that "repent" is an unfortunate and confusing translation of the Greek compound word "metanoeo" which literally means "change your mind" or "change thinking". For the second part I used the Christ's own explanation of what Kingdom of Heaven is that He gave in Luke 17: 20-21, so the whole sentence explained reads "Change your mind for the Kingdom of Heaven is within you".

The frame is a quote from Mathew 6:26-29 (both in words (look at the lower part, there are two lines of words) and illustrated in carved images), reminding people to stop fretting about their perceived problems and the future and to have faith that God will give them everything they need just like He gives to birds and plants. Later I used the elements of this and another frame carved around the same quote for the central arch of St. Sava's iconostasis.

15.7x25.4 inches (40x64.5 cm)
about 320 hours
Private Collection,WI
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