Icon Akimov 102.275 «Guardian Angel carrying human soul»
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- Miniature relief, casting, gilding, niello, handwork.
"The Holy Scripture speaks of Angels as of supreme sentient beings that glorify God and fulfill His will. God endowed them with rich gifts and settled them down in the Heavenly dwelling places. The word ""angel"" in Greek means ""messenger."" Angels are the faithful servants of God, whom He sends to proclaim His commands.
In common with human beings the Angels were God created, but with another nature. On the icons they are portrayed in human appearance with large wings. Their mighty wings symbolize the quickness, with which they perform God’s behests, small ribbons around the Angel heads and beside ears symbolizing their permanent hearing God’s voice.
There exists the infinite number of Angels, all of them making up harmonious Heavenly system. It is divided into the Nine Choirs of Angels that make up three hierarchies. The first hierarchy includes seraphs, cherubs and the thrones; the second comprises the dominations, virtues and the powers; the third involves the principalities, Archangels and Angels. The Archangel Michael stands above all the nine ranks as God-appointed leader and superior.
Guardian Angels are of lower rank and closer to people. They protect everyone on the Earth. They heave the abandoned, help the devout and never leave anybody of us in the course of our earthy life.
Everyone has a Guardian Angel of one’s own that is attached to him (her) when getting baptized, and invisibly remains beside all one’s life. The Guardian Angelic ministration consists of not only guarding the person but to contribute to his (her) soul saving for futurity. Therefore the Guardian Angels evangelize us spiritually, set us on the right path, and invoke God for us. As holy and pure creatures capable only of loving and doing good, the Guardian Angels try the best to serve for our true good and salvation. Being your constant companion the Guardian Angel secretly edifies you and not only offers your prayers to God but also on behalf of itself guards and protects you against visible and invisible enemies, and on behalf of itself intercedes for you before God. The Guardian Angel does not leave the person in the mortal hour. It is the Guardian Angel that goes along with the soul in all the ordeals after death and leads it to the eternity.
The Guardian Angel’s concern in one’s soul is comparable to mothering. Therefore in 16th century in the Orthodox icon-painting there appeared the image of Angel cautiously carrying human soul in hands. But just as parents are unable to change the life of their adult children, the Guardian Angel is unable to participate one’s life counter his (her) wish. Human being has free will, and without his (her) personal participation the Angel cannot save him (her). Many saints who were able to see spirit world observed weeping Guardian Angel beside a sinner.
Just like human beings the Guardian Angels are personalized creatures, but we are not allowed of their names to be known, as well as of the name of our personal Guardian Angel. That is why there is no special form of worship for the Guardian Angels either for all of them or for everyone separately. But Church teaches that it is incumbent on us to revere and thank our Guardian Angel daily in prayers, to appeal to him for patronage and protection as to the nearest spiritual guide. One of such short prayers is written on the icon reverse: “O Angel of God, my Holy Guardian, pray unto God for me”.
The image was assiduously created by Olga Pikovskaya, the artist, and team members of the “Akimov” Company."
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