Friday, May 4, 2018
What is the flame that St. Ephraim is holding?
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Every icon of St. Ephraim depicts him blessing with his right hand, and with his left, he is holding a flame. This is through divine revelation to the first iconographer of St. Ephraim, Blessed Photi Kontoglou. Of course, St. Ephraim was martyred by having a flaming piece of wood pierced into his abdomen, but this pious reflection by a faithful Christian above gives another interpretation:
"What is this flame? It is the flame of the faith, which blazed in his heart and became divine eros! This was his strength through so many martyrdoms which he endured, and this flame he wishes for all Christians to have within them again during the last days..."
St. Ephraim of Nea Makri, the Newly-revealed Great Martyr and Wonderworker (source)
Another beautiful icon of St. Ephraim, where the iconographer explicitly writes "XC", which stands for "Christ", in the fiery heart of the Saint (source)
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!