Item 1679 - The icon of the Virgin of Vladimir: an invitation to belong to God

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1679

Title

The icon of the Virgin of Vladimir: an invitation to belong to God

Date(s)

  • May 11, 1985 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

4 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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Scope and content

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ The Icon of the Virgin of Vladimir: An Invitation to Belong to God’, published in America, N.Y. May 11, 1985, Vol. 152, No. 18, pp. 387 – 390. Nouwen begins the article by asking, ‘To whom do we belong– the world… or God and God’s people’? He then goes on to state that during a recent 30 day retreat he found himself ‘drawn into [the] mysterious intimacy [of the icon] and came to know by heart its urgent invitation to belong to God’. Nouwen first writes of his impression of the eyes of the Virgin in the icon. He sees the eyes as gazing ‘upon the infinite spaces of the heart where joy and sorrow are no longer contrasting emotions, but are transcended in spiritual unity’. Nouwen then describes the hands of the Virgin as leading the viewer to Jesus. After the hands Nouwen moves to the child as portrayed in the icon. ‘The tender embrace of this mother and Child is far from a sentimental event. It is the portrayal of the mysterious interchange between God and humanity made possible by the Incarnation of the Word’. Nouwen concludes the article by suggesting that the icon portrays what it means to belong to God.

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Duplicate copy available in the file.

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Publication note

Published in America 152, no. 18 (May 11, 1985): 387-390.
This article is published in: Nouwen, Henri: Behold the Beauty of the Lord, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1987.

Notes area

Note

"Vor Vader von Harrie" written by Nouwen on the cover of the periodical.
The cover is a two-colour modern drawing of the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir that Nouwen is writing about.

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

Previous Item Number

43-277

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