Gabriel, Michael & Raphael

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Wikipedia Commons

Earlier this week I uploaded a new video in The Lives of the Saints – Second Series.  Episode Twenty-three pays tribute to the three Archangels: Gabriel, Michael and Raphael using some of the most strikingly beautiful art work I could find from both the Western and Eastern Church traditions.   The episode is among the longest in the series, running around 26 minutes.

One of the images of St. Gabriel (left) is a fresco from the early 14th C. found at the Georgian Orthodox Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, Tsalenjikha, Republic of Georgia.  The artist was Cyrus Emanuel Eugenicus, who was brought to Georgia from the imperial capital of Constantinople by the country’s royal family.  The style is described as late Byzantine, representing the beginning of the introduction of Western Church artistic styles into the Byzantine manner.     WATCH THE VIDEO         LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Apse Mosaic, 1191 A.D., Church of St. George, Kurbinovo, Macedonia. Image Copyright Can Stock Photo/Nehru

But the best, to my untrained but appreciate eye, is an apse mosaic of St. Gabriel, the most famous of the three Archangels, by an unknown group of artists working in the Ohrid bishopric, one noted for the exceptional quality of its frescoes and icons, in what is now the Republic of Macedonia.  The location is the little stone Church of St. George, Kurbinovo, Macedonia.  I suspect that these traditional Christians could use some outside help in the restoration of the building, which was completed around 1191 A.D.    The celestial blues and whites are, pardon the pun, stellar.  In the original, St. Gabriel is at the left side of the image.  He leans toward the central figure, a seated Blessed Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus Christ.

I find this picture so intriguing because it shows us the high spirituality found in the Eastern Church tradition of that era, and to a lesser extent today, to fill virtually every inch of a Church building wit with art which is not only beautiful but emotionally and spiritually uplifting.  This stands in very sharp contrast to today’s Church buildings which, to my eye, look more like auto showrooms without the auto.  The building in which this astonishing work is found is a small stone chapel, not a great cathedral as you might imagine.  It is this kind of confident spirituality, representing unwavering faith in the face of adversity as well as prosperity, that the Western Church so badly needs today.

I can also report that The Writing Prophets of the Old Testament, published earlier this year, is now available in Kindle format at $9.99 from my Amazon Author Central page.  Those who purchase the print edition can purchase the electronic version for $2.99.  For pricing and ordering Kindle Editions and Paperbacks visit Fr. Ron’s Amazon Author page,

As always, thank you for your interest in and support of the Anglican Internet Church’s online ministry.

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Anglican Internet Church

Fr. Shibley retired from pulpit ministry at Epiphany A.D. 2014. Since then he devotes his spare time to this online ministry producing videos, podcasts and books explaining traditional Christian theology and liturgy in layman's language with a minimum of technical or theological terms, and making them available either free or at reasonable cost.

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