A New Icon of Unification and the Question of Our Catholicity

The 1917–1918 Russian Church Council bolstered the Church in the beginning of persecution and was a veritable example of the catholicity of the Church. A patriarch was elected in the Russian Church for the first time in two centuries. It was in post-Soviet times already that an icon was dedicated to that event. It was aptly named “The Icon of Unification.”

The unique icon of the Fathers of the 1917–1918 Council was designed by specialists from the Orthodox Saint Tikhon Humanities University (OSTHU) and became the main icon of the university chapel in honor of Saint Tikhon and the Fathers of the 1917–1918 Council consecrated two years ago in the Diocesan House in Likhov Pereulok in Moscow where the Council had taken place. A replica of that icon was presented to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the 20th anniversary of the OSTHU.

Saint Tikhon, the Patriarch of All Russia, is on his throne in the center of the icon under the Reigning icon of the Mother of God, surrounded by clergy and lay people, most of whom died during the persecution. This icon, like icons of Ecumenical Councils, portrays not only saints but also other historical figures who played a major role during the Council: some hierarchs who supported the Patriarch, those who later joined the ROCOR, several supporters of the “right opposition” to Metropolitan Sergius, and even a holy Edinoverie cleric who used pre-Nikonian rites in the 20th century.

They had their controversies, including disagreements about major issues, but they were united in their love of Christ and willingness to sacrifice their lives for His sake.

This story first appeared in Neskuchny Sad magazine, 
Issue No. 2, February 2013

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

Source: http://vladivostok.eparhia.ru/blagovest/archive/articles/?ID=1997