Author Topic: Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?  (Read 1489 times)

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Offline Croix de Fer

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Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?
« on: August 27, 2015, 09:12:09 AM »
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    In the region of Kapandriti near Athens, a beautiful thing had happened. Ten years ago, a pious beekeeper Isidoros Timinis, got an idea to place an icon of The Crucifixion of the Lord into a hive. Soon after, when he opened the hive, he was astonished, honey bees showed respect and devotion to the icon, they have made their cells in the wax, but left the face and the body of the Lord uncovered. Since then, he places icons of the Savior, the Mother of God and the saints, into a hive every spring, and the result always remains the same.

    Once I brought a hand painted icon from the monastery, which represented the Calvary with the three crosses. Bees have waxed the whole surface of the composition, except the Christ and the repentant robber on his right side, while the robber on his left side was covered with the thick layer of wax.

    The last time when I came, we have put an icon of the Saint Stephen the First Martyr and Archdeacon into one hive, whose name our modest publishing house bears. As you may see in this picture here, the whole icon is covered with wax, but leaving the face and the body uncovered.

    Monk Simeon

    Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war. ~ Psalms 143:1 (Douay-Rheims)

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?
    « Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 09:42:06 AM »
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  • Interesting ... assuming that the guy didn't just cut away the area over the image.


    Offline Pelly

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    Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?
    « Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 11:35:41 AM »
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  • There are similar stories of bees building a shrine over a consecrated Host, etc.

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?
    « Reply #3 on: August 29, 2015, 12:26:34 PM »
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  • Quote from: ascent
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    In the region of Kapandriti near Athens, a beautiful thing had happened. Ten years ago, a pious beekeeper Isidoros Timinis, got an idea to place an icon of The Crucifixion of the Lord into a hive. Soon after, when he opened the hive, he was astonished, honey bees showed respect and devotion to the icon, they have made their cells in the wax, but left the face and the body of the Lord uncovered. Since then, he places icons of the Savior, the Mother of God and the saints, into a hive every spring, and the result always remains the same.

    Once I brought a hand painted icon from the monastery, which represented the Calvary with the three crosses. Bees have waxed the whole surface of the composition, except the Christ and the repentant robber on his right side, while the robber on his left side was covered with the thick layer of wax.

    The last time when I came, we have put an icon of the Saint Stephen the First Martyr and Archdeacon into one hive, whose name our modest publishing house bears. As you may see in this picture here, the whole icon is covered with wax, but leaving the face and the body uncovered.

    Monk Simeon



    It seems to me that Isidoros Timinis could easily offer these icons for sale, as they represent what is contained in our liturgy, where it speaks of the wax in candles as the product of the work of bees.  Churches all over the world could have a special shrine for an icon from this prayerful beekeeper, for all to see and wonder.  It is a potentially intense source of contemplation -- even the bees give honor and deference to Our Lord and His saints!

    This reminds me of the Agnus Dei tradition, which was a figure made of bees' wax, and decorated with silk ribbons, beads and sometimes gemstones.  They were blessed by the Pope on a special day, and kept by the faithful, perhaps hung on a wall or made into a shrine in the home.  There have been no Agnus Dei's blessed in something like 50 or more years.  Pope Pius XII may have been the last pope to bless any.  BTW they lose their papal blessing the moment they are offered for sale.

    The appearance of the honeycomb surrounding the icons provides a framework that cannot be duplicated by man.  The best we could do would be to use some plastic imitation of wax, complete with its inherent imperfections.  But the real thing in its nearly perfect execution, is a work of art in its own right.  

    Very interesting.

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    Online Pax Vobis

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    Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?
    « Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 06:37:09 PM »
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  • Very neat.  Thx for sharing.


    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Honey Bees Revere Holy Icons?
    « Reply #5 on: October 22, 2015, 09:38:34 PM »
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    These are really cool.  Especially this one, it looks like angel wings made of honeycomb:

    Quote from: ascent






    As for cutting away the wax over the image, it seems nearly impossible to fake the fine edges of wax the bees make without trying, apparently.  Any melting job would leave blobs or imperfections, but the bees do it perfectly every time.  This is a good example of one of nature's miracles.  And that makes it very appropriate for icons!

    The Eastern Church icon tradition is to portray an image that helps the viewer imagine he's looking through a portal or window into eternity, and when I see how the bees framed these icons, it makes me think that the bees were seeing something there that caused them to stop and look, such that they didn't want to stop looking, and so they left it open so they could come back and look some more later.  In any event, what they left makes me want to come back and look later, too!

    Does anyone know the translation of the Greek words at the bottom?

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