Matthew, also called Levi, was born in Galilee, the son of Alpheus. He was a publican tax collector and was the author of the first Gospel written in Aramaic. Matthew preached in Judea and went to the East, where he suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia. St. Matthew is shown in his role as evangelist with the symbol of the Bull visible on the scroll in his right hand. His left hand is raised in the gesture of blessing, the fingers forming the monogram of Christ (IC XC). The original of this Icon was created in the traditional Russian manner using ground stone pigments suspended in an egg yoke medium and 23K gold leaf.
The Image of the Evangelist has always been a powerful one for they are the bringers of the Word, something we are all called to do by how we live in the world. In the Eastern tradition prayer begins by gazing, or looking with fixed attention until one sees beyond the physical image to what is truly there. In gazing upon the Image of the Evangelist, a human vessel, the viewer opens him or herself to the presence and power of the Divine in our midst.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque.)
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