A little over 4 years ago, in May of 2005, I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Russia on a study abroad trip focusing on Russian and American Folk Tales. We spent our time in the city of Vladimir, a few hours outside of Moscow. We visited the Pedagogical University as well as an English Magnet School, Vladimir School #23. We had a great time, and it was an experience that I will never forget. I would love to go back sometime! Occasionally I will share some things that I brought back from my trip.
Today, I would like to share this Icon, from the Russian Orthodox Church. There were street vendors selling these and I was attracted to them. Our Russian guide told me that the ones that you buy on the street would not do you any good, that you needed to purchase one in a cathedral as they were the only ones that you could purchase that were blessed by a priest. So, upon visiting a cathedral, I purchased this Icon. People keep them in their homes and work places to have a place to pray and to keep their homes safe.
Being a Christian man, I was intrigued, despite my personal feeling that it wouldn't make any difference if it was blessed by a priest or not. I'm not going to discuss my thoughts on theology here, so I'll just say that I was drawn to this piece for it's artistic value. It sits at the top of my display of Russian items in my dining room, which includes many pieces of Russian crystal, some nesting dolls, onyx, traditional wooden bowls and spoons, and a beautiful music box that looks like one of the beautiful Russian cathedrals.
Have a blessed Sunday!