POPULAR JANUARY NAME DAYS: Agnes (1/13), Anthony (1/17), Aresenios (1/31), Athanasios (1/4, 1/18), Basil (1/1, 1/2), Cosmas (1/2), Demetrios (1/27), Dionysius (1/23), Efstathios (1/4), George (1/2, 1/8, 1/17), Gregory (1/1, 1/9, 1/10), Ignatios (1/29), Onuphrios (1/4)
POPULAR FEBRUARY NAME DAYS: Anna (2/13), Antonios (2/5), Basil (2/1, 2/28), Fotios (2/6), George (2/7, 2/11), Kryanna (2/28), Nicholas & Nikolaos (2/3, 2/4, 2/14)
POPULAR MARCH NAME DAYS: Alexios (3/17), Basil (3/3, 3/7, 3/22), Christodoulos (3/16), Demetrios (3/19), George (3/11, 3/22), Gerasimus (3/4), Ireneaeus (3/26), Nicholas (3/2)
POPULAR APRIL NAME DAYS: Alexandra (4/13), Basil (4/1, 4/12, 4/26, 4/29), Cosmas (4/18), George (4/4, 4/5, 4/7, 4/19, 4/23), Nektarios (4/29), Nicholas (4/9)
POPULAR MAY NAME DAYS: Andrew (5/15, 5/29), Arsenios (5/8), Athanasios (5/2, 5/17), Basil (5/8, 5/22, 5/30), Christopher (5/9), Constantine & Helen (5/21), Demetrios (5/21), George (5/26), Germanos (5/12), Ignatios (5/1), Nektarios (5/17), Nicholas (5/9, 5/16), Pachomios (5/7, 5/15, 5/21)
POPULAR JUNE NAME DAYS: Athanasios (6/3), Augustine (6/15), Bartholomew (6/11, 6/30), Basil (6/20), Christopher (6/5), Constantine (6/2), Demetrios (6/2), Dionysius (6/25), Nicholas (6/20), Onoufrios (6/12), Paisious (6/7, 6/19)
POPULAR JULY NAME DAYS: Anthony (7/10), Athanasios (7/5), Basil (7/19), Christina (7/24), Constantine (7/1, 7/29), Cosmas (7/1), Dionysius (7/9), Geraimus (7/3), Jacob (7/26), Nektarios (7/11), Nicholas (7/27), Nikodimos (7/14), Anna (7/25), Andrew (7/4), Anthony (7/10)
POPULAR AUGUST NAME DAYS: Andrew (8/19), Arsenios (8/18), Athanasios (8/22), Bartholomew (8/25), Cosmas (8/24), Dionysius (8/12, 8/24). George (8/18), Gerasimus (8/16), Nicholas (8/23), Nikodimos (8/16)
POPULAR SEPTEMBER NAME DAYS: Anna (9/9), Ariadne (9/18), Demetrios (9/11), Dionysius (9/29), Ierotheos (9/13), Joachim (9/9), Nicholas (9/23)
POPULAR OCTOBER NAME DAYS: Anastasia (10/13), Andrew (10/17), Athanasius (10/28), Christodoulus (10/21). Cosmas (10/12, 10/14, 10/17), Cyprian (10/2). Demetrios (10/26), Dionysius (10/3), George (10/28), Gerasimus (10/20), Ierotheos (10/4), Ignatios (10/23), Nestor (10/27), Nicholas (10/28)
POPULAR NOVEMBER NAME DAYS: George (11/3 & 11/26), Gregory (11/14), Constantine (11/14), Christopher (11/19), Nicholas (11/29), Andrew (11/30).
POPULAR DECEMBER NAME DAYS: Ananias (12/1, 12/17), Anastasia (12/13), Anna (12/8, 12/9), Barbara (12/4), Dionysius (12/17), Hanna (12/9), Ignatios (12/20), Nektarios (12/5), Nicholas & Nikolaos (12/6, 12/17, 12/23), Susannah (12/15)
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The Initials IC XC
The IC XC
letters are prevalent in Orthodox icons of Jesus Christ. The initials are
shorthand for Jesus Christ. It is Jesus’ monogram - a Christogram. When
written in Greek, the name Jesus Christ is written: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ. The
monogram is the first and last letters of each name: ΙΣ for “ΙΗΣΟΥΣ” and ΧΣ for
“ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ”. When translated to English, the sigma (“Σ”) converts to the
cyrillic “C” (from the lunate sigma). The "ΙΣ ΧΣ” converts to “IC
XC” . The line placed over each pair of
letters is a titlo (Greek word for title) and signifies it is a sacred name.
signifies Victory in Greek. Also “to
conquer”. It is the Latin form of “hoc
signo vinces” meaning “in this sign, you will conquer” The IC XC along with the NIKA shown in a
cross form is known as the Conqueror’s Cross.
The MP and ΘV
seen at top left and top right of an icon. The MP stands for Virgin Mary and
the Theta V stands for the Theotokos. “MP” is shorthand for the
Greek “μήτηρ” or “ΜΗΤΗΡ” (Mother). The “ΘΥ” are letters from the word
“ΘΕΟΥ” (of God).
IHS / IHC (and JHS / JHC)
initials of IHS and JHS are a christogram of the name Jesus Christ. The IHS (IHΣ) are the first three letters of Jesus
in Greek - IHΣΟΥΣ - iota (I),
eta (H) and sigma (S or C). The last
letter is translated to either a “S” or a “C”:
the sigma (“Σ”) can
convert to either the cyrillic “C” (from the lunate sigma) or to an “S” the
modern Greek form.
At times, you will see the “J” in the initials as the first letter: JHS and
JHC. The “J” was interchangeable with
the “I” in ancient Latin.
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icon – or eikon / εικων – is a sacred work of art that
provide religious meaning to the worshipper.
The icon is a flat picture of Christ, the Virgin Mary, a Christian
Orthodox saint or of a liturgical celebration.
The traditional preparation of an Orthodox icon is a painting on wood
with an egg tempera finish (egg tempera is a design finish composed of egg
yolk, powdered pigment and distilled water that relies on cross-hatching and
overlays of glazing to achieve dimensionality.).
Icons can be found throughout churches – predominantly in the nave of the
church – as well as in people’s homes. They are often illuminated with a candle or
oil lamp to symbolize that the saints are illuminated by the Light of Christ. Icons are
a major part of eastern orthodox devotion.
They serve to protect the home, place of business, or traveler. They are
hung in a place of honor in rooms that seek reverence to Christ. If one can not attend church, an icon can be
used in substitution as a focus for prayer in lieu of an altar.
Saint Icons: In the Eastern Orthodox
faith, a saint is defined as anyone who is in pure communion with God and
through their humility and love of humankind, loved all people. Saints are venerated but not worshipped. A
Saint is considered to be alive in Heaven and are referred to as if they are
still alive. Sainthood does not reflect
a moral code, but rather an example of Christian living through humility and
repentance. Many saints recognized by
the Orthodox Church lived in sin but where saved by their deep faith and
commitment to God.
A saint is determined by the Orthodox church in a manner that is revealed
naturally to others – usually a saint is first recognized by a local community
and then by an entire population. To be formally
recognized as a saint in the Orthodox faith, the a synod of bishops meets and
agrees on the injunction. A calendar
date is given that will celebrate the day in the Orthodox faith.
Sainthood often happens post-humously.
If a body is exhumed, the bones of a saint are said to give off a sweet
fragrance and the body is said to remain free of decay. Relics are considered sacred as the Orthodox do
not consider the body and soul separated