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The controversial icon of the "Holy Family"


The icon of the "Holy Family" shows the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and infant Jesus. The icon has been painted by great icon painters, both in the West as well as in Orthodox, Byzantine iconography and has been verbally attacked by numerous people who consider it "heretical." Those who claim the heretical depiction of the "Holy Family" are based primarily on the "subordination" of Saint Joseph and his contribution, and the "undermining" of the virginity of the Theotokos. However, icon painters who depict this particular theme, as well as many others who are experts on doctrinal errors, argue that such criticism is based on erroneous reasoning which leads to misinterpretations and extreme views.


The Holy Family is being depicted for hundreds of years in Orthodox iconography and this refutes the argument that this particular icon is part only of the Catholic Church’s faith. Moreover, Christ, from his birth and until the revelation of His divine nature, lived among people as a man, without of course committing any "human” mistake. However, He was "protected" and "brought up" by His mother, the Theotokos and by Joseph.



Characteristic is the protection of Jesus when he fled to Egypt and from the wrath of Herod. The relationship between Jesus and His mother is overwhelming, which is apparent by His request to John, while He is on the Cross, to protect her and take care of her. The Holy Family depicts infant Jesus and the "human" phase where His "family" is the man who takes care of Him and of course the Theotokos, Our Lady.


The icon is accepted by icon painters and priests and by millions of people who have loved it and have chosen it among thousands for the message of "family protection" and "love" it conveys. In this context and with an eye to the message of love that the Orthodox faith spreads with every possible means, Christianity Art produces and sells the "Holy Family" icon and strongly defends its religious painting.


Discover our Collection of "The Holy "Family" icons.

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