The 4th-Century saint is one of the most revered figures in the Russian Orthodox Church. After his death, Italian merchants brought his body from Myra, in modern-day Turkey, to Italy.
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The Orthodox church has never accepted the paintings of icons according to the imagination of the artist or from a living model, which would signify a conscious and total break from the prototype. The name which the icon bears would then no longer correspond to the person represented, and this would be a flagrant lie which the church could not tolerate…The ancient iconographers knew the faces of the saints as well as they knew those of their close relatives. They painted them from memory or by using a sketch of portrait ... all kinds of accounts, and particularly sketches … were preserved on icons. (Ouspensky L. Theology of the Icons. Translated by Anthony Gythiel and Elizabeth Meyendorf, 1992. As cited in Clendenin, p. 48)
Serbian Orthodox Church - Wikipedia
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The truth is that pagan holidays were not part of the earliest traditions of the church. The use of wreaths and evergreen trees reminds us that people are often unwilling to worship God as He intended.
John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
At the Eastern Council of Blachernae (Constantinople) in 1285, in fact, the decisions of the Council of Lyons and the pro-Latin theology of former Patriarch John XI Bekkos (1275-1282) were soundly rejected, under the leadership of Patriarch Gregory II, also known as Gregory of Cyprus (1282-1289). At the same time, this council produced a significant statement addressing the theological issue of the Filioque. While firmly rejecting the “double procession” of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, the statement spoke of an “eternal manifestation” of the Spirit through the Son. Patriarch Gregory’s language opened the way, at least, towards a deeper, more complex understanding of the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in both the East and the West. (see below) This approach was developed further by Gregory Palamas (1296-1359), in the context of his distinction between the essence and the energies of the divine persons. Unfortunately, these openings had little effect on later medieval discussions of the origin of the Spirit, in either the Eastern or the Western Church. Despite the concern shown by Byzantine theologians, from the time of Photios, to oppose both the idea of the Filioque and its addition to the Latin creed, there is no reference to it in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy, a collection containing more than sixty anathemas representing the doctrinal decisions of Eastern councils through the fourteenth century.
This is a site devoted to Holy Orthodox Icons
Despite this growing estrangement, a number of notable attempts were made to address the issue of the Filioque between the early twelfth and mid-thirteenth century. The German Emperor Lothair III sent bishop Anselm of Havelberg to Constantinople in 1136, to negotiate a military alliance with Emperor John II Comnenos. While he was there, Anselm and Metropolitan Nicetas of Nicomedia held a series of public discussions about subjects dividing the Churches, including the Filioque, and concluded that the differences between the two traditions were not as great as they had thought (PL 188.1206B – 1210 B). A letter from Orthodox Patriarch Germanos II (1222-1240) to Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) led to further discussions between Eastern and Western theologians on the Filioque at Nicaea in 1234. Subsequent discussions were held in 1253-54, at the initiative of Emperor John III Vatatzes (1222-1254) and Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254). In spite of these efforts, the continuing effects of the Fourth Crusade and the threat of the Turks, along with the jurisdictional claims of the papacy in the East, meant that these well-intentioned efforts came to no conclusion.