This icon was commissioned by my parish priest Father James O’Kane to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his priesthood. The icon contains the elements which Father described as holding a lot of meaning for him: the saints, places and words surrounding the figure of Jesus.
The central figure of Jesus walking towards the viewer is based on a picture which Father had with him throughout his seminary training. It is dear to him.
The words on the top left scroll and along the base of the icon, “Pray for those whom you will serve. They are waiting for you as you are for them” are words which have special meaning for him.
Father is trained in civil law and canon law and therefore the patron Saints, Saint Thomas More and Saint Raymond of Penafort are depicted prominently at top left and top right.
Father initially hoped to be a missionary priest and went to Saint Francis Xavier ‘s college when he was young .Therefore Saint Francis Xavier is included. When the college closed, he attended Blairs Seminary in Aberdeen. His uncle was a Verona Father whose influence was felt in Father’s life and so on the bottom right Father is shown standing next to his uncle beside St Mary ‘s church, Blairs. Father is holding the “pearl of great price” – the priesthood and it is resting on a scallop shell , associated with Saint James the Greater – Father’s patron Saint. The other place of importance which is depicted is the courtyard in The Royal Scots College Salamanca Spain where Father O’Kane completed his seminary training.
Father also works in mediation and so two hands shaking are seen under the dove, image of the Holy Spirit.
The Images of saints are important to Father and in the main body are: Saint Cecelia, Saint James the Greater, Saint Colette , Saint Martin de Pores, Saint John, Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Thomas beside Christ and Saint Francis Xavier.
On the scrolls are mentioned the schools and hospital where Father ministered.
This icon was completed for Father O’Kane in December 2022.
Overall size of icon: 22 x 30 inches.