WMoF Icon of the Holy Family at Radio Maria Ireland Studio.

Written by on August 9, 2018

WMoF Icon of the Holy Family at Radio Maria Ireland Studio.

The Official Icon of the World Meeting of Families visited the Radio Maria Studio on Thursday 9th August 2018.

There was much anticipation for those gathered in the Radio Maria Ireland station to see the stunning Icon, which is a triptych style representing the Holy Family in the centre. The icon arrived shortly after 12noon and was delivered by the same company who manufactured the timber for the icon whose founder John Bosco O’Hagan was in studio with us the previous Tuesday for an interview. The icon was written by Mihai Cucu with the assistance of the Redemptoristine Contemplative Community in Drumcondra as part of their ongoing prayer for families. The icon which is meant to encourage both reflection and prayer is now on the final leg of the journey in preparation for World Meeting of Families 2018. Petition boxes were also carried in from each diocese which will accompany the Icon as it traveled around the country.

The Icon travelled to all the Irish Church’s 26 dioceses as part of the preparation and awareness-raising ahead of the international gathering of the World Meeting of Families from 21–26 August 2018. It was accompanied by petition boxes and contemplative communities around Ireland who agreed to take petitions collected from families and to pray for them during the coming year.

In the Radio Maria Chapel Studio the Priest-Director Fr Eamonn McCarthy led a prayer service, which included a Rosary, for the congregation present and to those listening in live over the airwaves and Fiona McHugh who played music on the keyboard which helped to mark the event. There was also a Facebook live video service for those who wanted to see live video footage and also recording the event was William Tuke who provided a video recording.


Some information below on the Icon:


Introduction to the Icon of the Holy Family

Pope Francis encourages families to look at or ‘gaze’ at the icon of the Holy Family. Why? The word ‘icon’ means an image. But it is more than a picture or photograph. When we read the bible with reverence we are not just reading words, we are already praying. It is the same with an icon. When we look on it with reverence – when we ‘gaze’ on it – we are praying. God is speaking to us through the images and we are responding.


Explanation of the Holy Family Icon

The angels on the outside – This icon of the Holy Family is shaped a bit like a house with a double door. On the outside of each door there is an angel. Michael on the left, Gabriel on the right. We remember the prayer from our childhood. ‘O angel of God, my guardian dear. ’Angels represent God’s desire to protect us, our home and our family. When we pray to the angels we pray for God’s protection. The words at the bottom of the door mean ‘The Joy of Love’ – the message to us from Pope Francis about family.

The Holy Family at the centre – When we open up the doors we see in the centre the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph gathered around the table. They are sharing a meal and celebrating the Passover, a Jewish religious festival remembering God’s goodness. Like all families they had experiences of joys and sorrows. They were once refugees in another country, fleeing the violence of King Herod. This image of the Holy Family is very similar in form to another icon – one of the Blessed Trinity. This reminds us that God is like a family, and that family is the place where the love of God is experienced through the love we have for one another.

Family stories from the gospels at either side – On either side of the Holy Family there are images from the Gospels, showing Jesus’ care for marriage and his deep compassion for those living with the burdens of family life. The image on the left depicts a story from the gospel of St Mark. Jesus brings back to life the daughter of a man called Jarius. The image on the right is from the wedding feast at Cana, a story from St. John’s gospel. Here Jesus reaches out to the newly married couple in a moment of need.


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