Around and About
a Catholic Church
A Tour of
Corpus Christi Church
Clifton Nottingham

Explanation of the Icon
of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

All positions are given from the perspective of facing the Icon.

To the left of Mary is an angel holding the lance and the sponge, which are mentioned in the account of the crucifixion of Christ. The angel depicted is Archangel Michael. ‘Michael’ means ‘who is like God?’

Above the Archangel Michael are his initials in Greek.

Larger initials appear towards the top left and top right of the picture. These are the Greek initials for ‘Mother of God’.

Below the large initials on the right is smaller script. This gives the Greek initials for Archangel Gabriel.

Archangel Gabriel is depicted to the right of Mary and is holding the cross of Christ. ‘Gabriel’ means ‘God is strong’.

Below the Archangel, to the right of the child, are the Greek initials for ‘Jesus Christ’.

The background colour to the original Icon was gold, symbolising heaven. The background to this icon, which in essence is a mosaic, is white.

There is symbolism about the main figures in the picture too.

Mary’s mouth is small, symbolising her few recorded words and the depth of her contemplation.

The tunic worn by Mary is red, the colour worn by virgins at the time of Christ.

Mary’s cloak is blue, the colour worn by mothers in Palestine.

The mother Mary’s hands are shown supporting the Christ child.

The Christ-child’s hands are shown clinging tightly and trustingly to his mother.

At the bottom centre of the picture one can just see the loosened sandal about to fall. This was to indicate Christ’s alarm at the thought of his Passion and death

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