Icons of the Beloved Life: Jesus with St Menas


‘I strike a match, bring the flame to the candle, watch it take. I kiss the icon. A kiss of greeting, recognition, humility, affection and yes, of love. And then a pause. How natural, how earthy, how good this seems. This practice of the Orthodox church has become part of my life. I’m an iconophile, I’m an iconodule, I love icons. I believe that they are a great gift of the ancient and unfolding Jesus tradition, simultaneously suggesting an alternative way to see the world for what it truly is – an earthly-heavenly paradise – and opening ways for us live that paradise to the full wherever we are…’*


icon of Jesus & St Menas
icon of Jesus & St Menas

We’ve been asked frequently about the icon on our website that we use as our social media avatar. It’s  a reproduction of a sixth-century Egyptian icon of Jesus with Saint Menas commonly known as the icon of “Jesus and his friend.” The original is at the Louvre museum in Paris, and a copy is used in prayer at the Church of Reconciliation, the home of the Taizé Community. We love it very much…

*This reflection by Ian Adams is from ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press) in which the gift of icons – and other ancient spiritual practices of the Jesus tradition – are explored further.

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