Christian Icons of Saints Peter and Paul
The iconography of Saints Peter and Paul originated in Byzantium and did not significantly change over time. Every believer now easily recognizes icons of Saints Peter and Paul in a temple or church. The deeds of these Apostles had a great impact on the development of Christianity, although one of them did not immediately follow the word of God. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the life of St. Peter and St. Paul and how they are depicted in Christian icons.
The life of Saints Peter and Paul
The Apostle Peter was one of the closest followers of Jesus Christ. Initially, he and his brother Andrew were fishermen. However, after meeting Christ, the brothers left their trade and followed the Savior. St. Peter eventually became the greatest Apostle whose sermons had a tremendous impact on Christians and unbelievers alike. According to one legend, the Apostle Peter even cured a lame beggar in the name of Jesus in Jerusalem.
The Apostle Paul, in his turn, was among those who did not immediately believe in God. He was a strong opponent of Christianity, but his encounter with Jesus changed everything. Paul became a great preacher who traveled around the Mediterranean Sea, proclaiming the gospel of Christ to people in every city. Besides, he wrote a number of religious epistles, making a great contribution to Christian teaching.
The Apostles Peter and Paul were executed in Rome.
Christian icons of Saints Peter and Paul
All Christian icons of Saints Peter and Paul share some specific features of the Apostles, which were developed in early Christian iconography. The Apostle Peter is depicted with short gray hair and a beard, while Paul has a typical Jewish appearance – dark hair and a high forehead.
Usually, the saints are depicted standing side by side. The Apostle Paul holds a closed book in his hand, while Peter often holds a rolled scroll, staff, or golden keys. The right hand of each of them is folded in a sign of blessing.
Some icons of Saints Peter and Paul depict them slightly turned toward each other. Sometimes, the image of Jesus Christ appears between them.
Christian icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul are highly revered by believers and are kept in every Orthodox Christian church so that everyone can turn to them in times of need.