One of the most popular and beloved Christian Orthodox Icons from the most ancient times is the Orthodox icon of the Good Shepherd. As you look at Christ beautifully holding a sheep on his shoulder you are instantly taken to the Gospel of St. John, chapter 10, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep..I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
This Orthodox icon is one of the most ancient as it adorned the catacombs of ancient Rome where the persecuted Christians celebrated their Liturgy. The image of the Good Shepherd is the most common of the symbolic representations of Christ found in Early Christian art in the Catacombs of Rome, before Christian imagery could be made explicit. The image continued to be used in the centuries after Christianity was legalized in 313. Initially it was probably not understood as a portrait of Jesus, but a symbol like others used in Early Christian art, and in some cases may also have represented the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century. However, by about the 5th century, the figure more often took on the appearance of the conventional depiction of Christ, as it had developed by this time, and was given a halo and rich robes, as on the apse mosaic in the church of Santi Cosma e Damiano in Rome, or at Ravenna (right). Orthodox Christian icons of the Good Shepherd often include a sheep on his shoulders, as in the Lukan version of the Parable of the Lost Sheep.
Through Legacy Icons you can order your own professionally replicated image of this most beloved and ancient representations of our Lord Jesus Christ today.
Praise to Jesus Christ
Posted by Jeffery Johnson on Jan 27th 2018
What a fantastic icon! Just to think that countless souls prayed before this same image in the catacombs in the early days of the Church fills me with awe. Beautiful job, Legacy!
Very Very well done
Posted by Unknown on Dec 28th 2016
Wonderfully wrapped and sent most expeditiously and with great care. Bravisimo.
Posted by Rachel on Sep 2nd 2016
This item shipped fast once it was hand made and looks beautiful in our prayer space. I've gotten many compliments on it already and can't wait to have it for years to come!