Burning Bush Icon

Everything You Should Know About the Burning Bush Icon

Religious icons are often called the painted Gospel. In Orthodoxy, there are many sacred icons that vividly and accurately convey biblical events and images. The Burning Bush icon is one of such relics. The composition is based on the biblical miracle that we will talk about in this blog post. Read on to learn interesting facts about this amazing Orthodox icon. 

Everything you should know about the Burning Bush icon

Biblical story

According to tradition, the miracle called The Burning Bush occurred on Mount Horeb. The Prophet Moses witnessed a burning bush that was not consumed by fire. In the flames, Moses saw God the Father who commanded him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.

Icon description

The Orthodox icon depicts the Virgin Mary with the Child enclosed in an eight-pointed star. With her one hand, the Virgin is holding the Child Jesus; in her other hand, she often has Jacob’s ladder that symbolizes the unity of the earthly and heavenly Christ’s nature.

The eight-pointed star in the icon is an image of the Burning Bush. It consists of two rhombuses of green and red, symbolizing fire and bush. The Burning Bush icon also features evangelists located in star corners, who are sometimes depicted not in the traditional way but in the form of four creatures: Eagle (St. John), Angel (St. Mark), Lion (St. Matthew), and Taurus (St. Luke). The composition is completed by the images of angels, the number of which varies.

The symbol of the burning bush

The image of the bush that is covered in flames but does not burn up holds a deep religious meaning. According to Christian tradition, it symbolizes the divine light that appeared around the Virgin Mary during Her Immaculate Conception from the Holy Spirit. Besides, Christ Himself is often associated with light that brings salvation and purity. Such a flame can overcome sin and filth, as well as guide a human soul to the righteous path. The burning bush is also the embodiment of the Christian church. 

Prayer with the icon

Since old times, the Burning Bush icon has been protecting people against fires. Interestingly, there was even a special custom to walk with this icon three times around a building on fire. Besides, it is believed that prayer with the icon can help heal from illnesses, get rid of negative thoughts, and strengthen faith.