OCP News Service
Kisha D Dorado ( Director- Dept. of Church Research & Studies) – 11/2/14
Global: The OCP icon of St Gregorious of Parumala has been certified as authentic by the expert panel of Iconographers. It is one of the first ever icon written on the first canonized Indian Saint. It was prepared by Byzantine monks in the USA under the special instruction of OCP Chancellor- Rt Rev Dr. Kyriakose Thottupuram of Chicago. The original icon has been preserved at the residence of the Chancellor.
Recently some of them expressed their doubts about the authenticity of the icon and the case was referred to the Dept of Church Research and Studies of the OCP Society. With the consent of the OCP Secretariat, the icon was submitted for detailed verification to the expert panel.
Comments from the Expert Panel
Archimandrite Philaretos Klimakitis (Theologian and Icon expert of the Traditional Greek Orthodox Church – The Holy Synod in Resistance)
“The style is totally Byzantine. It resembles Macedonian (northern Greek) style. Of course, the vestments are Indian / Syrian Orthodox but the style is Byzantine especially the face. “
Anca Sirbu (OCP Delegate and Romanian Orthodox Iconographer)
“Certainly, it is an orthodox icon. The matter here is of style, whether is byzantine or not. I can say we have some distinguishing features for Byzantine art here: the gold leaf background and vivid colors and of course some features are plainer like the presence of some elements we always meet in orthodox icons -the halo (Nimbus), the cross and the specific garments. All these features along with the canonization make this icon a very orthodox one if I may say so, only the style of the writing is a mixture of Byzantine and realism.”
Stephane Rene (Icon Expert of the Coptic Orthodox Church)
“There’s nothing ‘unorthodox’ in this icon. Those who criticize it do not know the difference between one and the other. Do they have an alternative? It was probably done from a photograph, so it is not symbolic, but its iconography is correct. The fact that his name is written and he wears a nimbus makes it an Orthodox icon. Although it does not belong to any particular school or style, I think it is rather good actually. I ‘nearly’ made some icons for an Indian Orthodox church in the US and St Gregorios was on the list and they sent me this image as a model, so I am quite familiar with it. I think it is rather strange that there should be only one icon of him and this perfectly reflects the complete lack of interest in iconography from the Indian Christian community. Their iconographic tradition is dead and no one even tries to bring it back and this attitude just keeps it dead.”
Hence we reinstate the fact that the OCP icon of St Gregorious of Parumala is indeed written in pure Orthodox Christian style and it may be the first Oriental Orthodox Saint from India whose icons has been prepared by Byzantine Orthodox monks.
OCP Society had taken grave effort in popularizing the icon of St Gregorious of Parumala. It has been presented as a token of love to several Orthodox Christian personalities around the globe.
OCP News Service