We do not venerate the matter in icons

In former times, God, who is without form or body, could never be depicted. But now when God is seen in the flesh conversing with men, I make an image of the God whom I see.

I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake and deigned to inhabit matter, who worked out my salvation through matter. I will not cease from honoring that matter which works for my salvation. I honor it, though not as God.

Based on Saint John of Damascus

An icon is painted in the Vatopedi’s workshop, Mount Athos

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