Deisis. Acrylic and gold on birch panels. 18x12 inches (45x30cm)
I recently finished this Deisis with Saints Nicholas and Patrick. Deisis (Greek: δέησις, "prayer" or "supplication") is a traditional depiction in Byzantine iconography of Christ Pantocrator enthroned, flanked by the Theotokos and St. John the Baptist in prayer. Often, other saints are featured in prayer to Christ.
Great are the accomplishments of faith, for the Three Holy Youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though in the waters of rest; and the prophet Daniel appeared, a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!
Acrylic and Gold on gessoed birch panel. 18x24 inches (45x60cm)
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord (Luke 1:38). Here indeed, brethren, is a true handmaid of the Lord! If a handmaid is she who exchanges her will completely for the will of her Lord, then the Most-holy Virgin is the first among all of the Lord's handmaids. If a handmaid is she who, with intent and with complete attention, beholds her Lord, then again the Most-holy Virgin is the first among the handmaids of the Lord. If a handmaid is one who meekly and quietly endures all insults and trials, awaiting only the reward of her Lord, then again and again the Most-holy Virgin is the first and most excellent of all the handmaids of the Lord. She did not care to please the world, but only God; nor did she care to justify herself before the world, but only before God. She herself is obedience; she herself is service; she herself is meekness. The Most-holy Virgin could in truth say to the angel of God: Behold the handmaid of the Lord. The greatest perfection, and the greatest honor that a woman can attain on earth, is to be a handmaid of the Lord. Eve lost this perfection and honor in Paradise without effort, and the Virgin Mary achieved this perfection and this honor outside Paradise with her efforts. Through the prayers of the Most-holy Virgin Theotokos, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen. Source: St. Nikolai Velomirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid, Volume 2.