Popular Icons of Christ
The term popular is used to designate icons that are most widely venerated and familiar throughout the world. A brief history as well as the image will accompany each icon.
The Mandylion which is also called the Holy Napkin is the image from the cloth which the Lord sent to King Abgar of Edessa. It is the first icon and is the model for all icons of Christ. It was kept in Edessa until 940 when it was brought to Constantinople. It was taken from there in during the 1204 pillage of the city by the Crusaders to France. It disappeared from Louis IX's Sainte Chapelle Chapel during the French Revolution.
Christ the Pantocrator is the most widely know image of the Lord as ruler of all. The icon is from the Monastery of St. Catherine's in Sinai and dates from the 6th century. Prominent elements include the halo (holiness), the hand raised to bless (three fingers symbolizing the Trinity while two are raised to show the divine and human natures) and the and jewelled Book of the Gospels. An unusual quality of this icon is seen by covering half of Christ's face: the right side with the darker eye appears somber and anguished while the right side is peaceful and hopeful, perhaps reflecting the Passion and the Resurrection.