What do the children think about the icon of the Holy Trinity?

“Those of us who make the first steps on their way to God should take an example from the little ones”
Saint John Climacus. The Ladder of Divine Ascent, I, 23

The following excerpts were taken and translated from an Italian book “Dalla Trinità all'eucaristia. L'icona della Trinità di Rublëv” by Daniel Ange.  Children from all over the world were shown the icon of the Holy Trinity of Andrei Rublev. These children never received any primary or church education. The children were first shown the icon without any explanation of its origin. Then the author explained who was depicted on the icon and the children were asked to give a second opinion after the meaning was explained to them. Here is what they said as about the icon:

First impression
After the meaning’s explained
The tree watches the angel in the middle. He looks consented. It seems they have been invited, but they ask me to come too.

It seems Jesus has the sun on his vestments. They love each other. There’s an opened door for me, and it leads to the flame-colored house.
Jean-Maria, 8 years 
The angel from the right gives the glad eye on the cup that stands on the table. They are happy but they are among the sad land. 

Nadezhda, 11 years

The angels are having a meal of love. They are dressed in the festal Sunday vestments.

Mary, 5.5 years

These are the apostles or the angels…

This icon prepares the joy that will spread all over the world in future. All the three are talking without saying a word.

Cristian, 13 years
I see Jesus and two His disciples from Emmaus on the icon… He looks sad at them. The two disciples are listening attentively to risen Christ.

I think it’s the icon of love. I really like the background as it’s painted in bright and festal colors. They are watching, as if they are little orphans, who lost their faith and life with the Lord. They are sad and unhappy like poor people.
Domenic, 12 years
We can see the angels taking the Body of Christ…  They are looking at us and at the plate with alter-bread at the same time.

What amazes me most is their natural beauty. The Almighty Father wears really strange clothes. The rock is painted in a strange way too. I want to cry and to laugh at the same time.
Mary-Annic, 12 years
Jesus and two apostles are going to take the alter-bread. They have the same hair and depicted in the same way.

Oh! The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. You are asking me to come to you, into your house. You are dressed in special colors, in colors of joy.
Domenic, 11.5 years
There are three angels and a bowl of wine. There is a holly that doesn’t blossom behind the middle angel. They look as if they are praying in front of this bowl.

It’s strange that the Holy Ghost is depicted like a man. And since they have the wings they don’t need crooks.

Cecilia, 11.5 years
These are three Faces of the Holy Trinity. There are a bowl and bread in the middle of the table. They are sitting in the altar. It’s obvious they are praying whole-heartedly.

Their hearts are full of love and opened to everyone. They have attentive and gentle look.

Sofia, 11 years 
The faces of these three images are beautiful. They are a bit sad, but in their heart they’re happy. They left the door open for everyone passing by.

Oh, dear Lord. You are the source of life and God. You love us all and we love you too. Our hearts are bounded with yours for life eternal.

Catherine, 11 years 
These men have the wings, there are three persons… They are praying at the table. I think this is Jesus in Abraham’s house.

The icon represents the circle, where we can come back any time and stay for as long as possible. The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are really well-dressed, their clothes are beautiful. They are sad, and it seems their hearts are heavy. They hands look very tired.

Domenic, 12 years
What impresses me is that the icon shows three sad persons, who are silent. Jesus, look at these people, because they are sad, and make them feel happy, because I feel sorry for them.

It suggested me a thought about a family: a father, a son, and a mother. The icon reminds me a Sunday in my church.

Christian, 12 years
There are three creatures with wings… They look like as if they are very simple.

These are three Images: the Father, the Son and the holy Ghost. Their glance makes a semicircle. These three great men are wearing the blue tunics, but the Father has a very modest one on. There’s an entrance in front of the table. Those, who want, may enter the Kingdom of God.

Jean-Michel, 11.5 years
An icon is a work of a prayer, as the icon-painter spends a lot of their time praying in order to make it represent his resignation. When you look at it you feel someone looks at you too. 

They all have tender look and the Son looks fondly at the Father. There’s a rock on the icon which should symbolize the words like “you must build your house on the rock, because if you built it in the sand, it will ruin”.

Jaclyn, 12 years
There are people who are going to take the sacrament. They are sitting at the table, perhaps in the open air.

Three persons look very prayerful. They are going to take the sacrament. The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost look as if they are waiting for someone and discussing something significant.

Jean-Luca, 14 years
Three men are sitting at the table. This table looks like an altar.

They are happy and they want everyone follow them to live happy too. The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are dressed in blue clothes, just like Mother of God. They look as if they are searching for someone.

Patrick, 13 years
I think this icon represents God and His two disciples taking bread together, as if they are sitting on the altar. It seems strange to me, because we must not do so out of respect for God.

Oh, Father! Oh, Son! Oh, Holy Ghost! Come back and have a glance at us. Grant us courage, which will be good and pure. Make our hearts pure and sacred. Oh, how beautiful and holy is the church behind!

Lorenza, 12 years
All the three take something red in their hands. They look poor.

I’m impressed, because someone has managed to depict the whole life and the necessity of living by the spirit, because the real life is inside us… This icon shows how much God loves us.
Jean-Jacomo, 12 years
These are Jesus and His two disciples. It’s afternoon. They are taking something and, perhaps, they are taking the sacrament. It seems they are dressed like the ancient Romans.

This reminds me a discussion between the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost about the way to find the mean that will make the people’s life easier. In the bowl there are a bunch of grapes and communion bread, which will fill us with divine life.

Gwenell, 12 years
Jesus and two His disciples are praying in silence. They think about all the people who don’t know Him. A bowl of wine and bread can be seen there as the sign of the last dinner. They look sad and confused.

This icon reminds me about Christ and His readiness to suffer for all of us. The icon teach me to love the others as much as Jesus love us all.

Anna-Maria, 13 years
Oh, my God! You are almighty, You are the Lord of the whole earth. You gifted us the faith and this ability to faith brings us joy and happiness.

The blue tunic of the Son means the priest’s vestment, and the tunic of the Holy Ghost represents water. Water is transparent, and there can be nothing without it… The icon is “open” – there’s a small entry between the feet of the Father and the Holy Ghost. It’s a place for the Christians, so that they can life according to the Christianly.

Anna-Maria, 13 years
The icon suggested me a thought about the disciples from Emmaus, who share bread with Jesus. They met Him suddenly after the day He has risen.

They’re sitting in front of the altar and praying as they want people to adhere the Word of God. They are hard at prayer.  

Cecilia, 11.5 years
On this picture we can see these three women are saint… It depicts an episode that takes place in a castle in Jesus’ times. One may think that they are watching how Jesus is growing up in this little bowl.

They look upset and poor, but they are beautiful. They are anxious as they see people go towards a disaster and ignorance.

Paskal, 13 years
Three characters are very alike. They look like the kings sitting on their thrones. The colors are bright and festal.

Jesus looks at His Father, but the Ghost is depicted as hidden and forgotten. The rock means the stone on which Jesus has prayed to God. The Father is asking his Son if he wants to die crucified.

Lenaik, 11.5 years
Their Faces amaze me, because when you look at them you feel God’s fondness.

And now I’m amazed by the Ghost depicted as a human. What is more, the Father, Who’s dressed in the simplest clothes, impresses me too.

Veronica, 11.5 years
The icon reminds me Jesus, Who blessed the bread. And on the background we can see the women praying to Him.

The icon reminds me the dinner at the Abraham’s house. They are poor and they’re waiting for the birth of the Abraham’s son. So there will be one more Christian on earth!

Joel, 12.5 years
This icon is pure and saint. It’s nice. These three characters are looking at the gifts on the plate. I like the colors of their vestments, as they represent all the wonders of the world.

Oh, God, how wonderful You are in Your blue coat! You are looking at Your Father and You love Him to death. My God, how great you are in this lost in the universe world. My God, You have so much mercy on poor and unhappy people. You open us your heart and soul to save us all.
Thierry, 14 years
The icon of the Holy Trinity depicts the angels, because we can see the wings. They are going to take the Body of Christ.

I’m impressed by Jesus constantly looking at His Father and by his tunic. He was dipped into blood and that’s why His tunic is red. There’s also an entry for people so that they can pray together with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. There’s also a holly-tree.

Oliver, 12 years

Order Handpainted Icons from the Icon Painting Workshop of St.Elisabeth Convent

The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Here we can see the liturgy in Eden. The world seems peaceful and nice. Their look seems pure to me, they look not sad, but very happy. The houses around seem empty. Why is it so? Without any doubts they are praying because they want our world to be the as nice as theirs one. 
Valeria, 12 years

I see there three Faces of the Holy Trinity. They look at the earth and at people who do evil or who do some good. Why do they look so sad?
Emanuela, 10 years

The Holy Face in the middle is peaceful and nice. It fosters you to pray. Its head is a bit tilted as if it wants to express its desire or feeling. All of them have got a stick. Perhaps because they shepherd people, but they let them be free. Just like a shepherd let the cattle scamper and leap. We can see a bunch of grapes which means the blood of risen Christ. I think, Jesus sits in the medium, and two others are the Father and the Holy Ghost. Jesus has served the first liturgy, and it seems to me, that the Face in the middle is at the altar.
Christina, 10 years

Something makes me think about Lady Mary… This tree is Mary!
(The child has never heard about the stem of Jesse).
Philip, 9 years

They share a meal, just like on Sundays. But they have got the sticks. Perhaps, do they want to act like shepherds do?

Sandrina, 11 years

Three Faces of the Holy Trinity are placed around the table as if they’re praying. There’s a bowl. They should be speaking about the bowl. Are they in heaven?
Mark, 10.5 years

I don’t know what’s in the plate. Bread? I see the two reaching their hands to the plate. I believe there are two symbols on the table – oak-tree and church.
Sofia, 10 years

I see there the Father and two His Faces – the Son and the Holy Ghost. I believe Christ let them take the sacrament. This icon makes me pray, because these Faces are pure of heart.
Valeria, 10 years

These three Holy Faces mean the Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost. They don’t say a word because they are fully tender. I’d like to be here and stay in front of the icon forever. I just want to contemplate them and their silence doesn’t depress me. They are made of light that you won’t find on earth. It’s so bright that my eyes hurt. The only thing that surprises me is that none of them has wounds from crucifixion.
Nikolay, 13 years

This may happen after Christ’s death. He asks His father to forgive the people who have killed Him. Or maybe they discuss everything bad what people do on earth (wars, for example), talk about Christian life. Perhaps they think whether they could show people something special to encourage people (for example, the image of Saint Margaret).
Francisco, 11 years

I’m in front of the Father, the Son is to the right and the Holy Ghost is to the left. The Father asks me:
- Where are you from?
- Do you want to drink?
- Come with us.
- You may sit in the shadow and rest.
- Let us celebrate.
Ives, 11 years

There are three wayfarers who came to Abraham. It’s God. The Holy Ghost and the Son look at the Father. The crooks are the symbols of their journey. We don’t see the sun, because they are staying near the camp and it casts the shadow. There’s only one bowl, because they are three into one.
Michal, 13 years

We are involved into the icon and we can hear their conversation:
- Let us go and visit Abraham, – says one of them.
- But it’s far away in the desert, – says the other.
- That’s fine, God will save us, – answers the first one.
- Sure, but it’s too hot at this time, – says the third.
- Well, but when should we go then? – asks the second.
- We will go tomorrow in the morning. – answers the first.

Eve, 13 years

They are under the banner of the cross. These are the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. They are both alike and different at the same time. The Father’s hand looks like the Son’s one… And it seems they are talking and keeping silent at the same time. There’s a bowl, it’s Eucharist. There’s enough place for the whole world. He says us: I love you. The seat in front of the table means all of us are invited to join them and to take sacrament. He’s waiting for us. I have never seen this icon before, but I’m so happy I’ve found it!

                                                                            Eduard, 8 years