An exhibition of Orthodox icons opens in Mar del Plata
With a blessing of Bishop Leonid of Argentina and South America, an exhibition of Orthodox icons has been arranged at the Gallegas center through the efforts of the Parish of the Holy Passion Bearers in Mar del Plata, Argentine.
The grand opening was attended by Bishop Leonid of Argentine and South America, Bishop John of Caracas and South America, ROCOR; Ms. Maria Florencia Ranellucci, director general for international relations between communities and religions in Mar del Plata; Yu. N. Kuznetsov, Russian Federation honorary consul in Mar del Plata, Nikochea, Provinces of Chubut, Rio Negro and La Pampa; representatives of the Naval Prefecture, Argentinian air, naval and land forces, and public figures in Mar del Plata.
Mr. Yu. N. Kuznetsov and Ms. Ranellucci greeted the participants in the event.
In his address, Bishop Leonid noted in particular, “The attitude towards icons was not always the same in various periods of history. Thus, in 730, Emperor Leo III the Isaurian prohibited the veneration of icons. The iconoclasm resulted in the destruction of thousands of icons as well as mosaics, frescoes, statues of saints and decorated icon-screens in many churches. The clergy, monastics and ordinary people were persecuted for the veneration of icons, were thrown into prisons, tortured and even killed.
“The 787 Ecumenical Council approved he doctrine of the veneration of icons. After that, all the convicts for the veneration of icons were rehabilitated and released from prisons. But, unfortunately, iconoclasm raged for some more decades gradually dying down.
“I am very glad that now Christians have an opportunity to pray at sacred icons without obstruction, to kiss them and place them at home.
The speeches were followed by the performance of popular Russian romances.
The event was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Diocese of Argentine and South America/
DECR Communication Department