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During a vigil of prayer in honor of God the Father on an estate in Sassone (Rome), during the evening between August 6th and 7th, Mr. Luigi Brazzale officially presented "The Icon of the Father," the first in the world. created by the iconographer Lia Gaidlolo of Padova.

We would like to include the two presentations that were made on that occasion. Padre Andrea D'Ascanio's "Why This Icon?" and Mr. Luigi Brazzale's "How to Read the Icon of the Father."

Why this Icon?
By Padre Andrea D'Ascanio

In the message given to Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio by the Father in 1932, 'The Father Speaks to His Children," we read: I also desire that every family prominently display the picture I will later show to My "little daughter." I wish every family to be able to place itself under My special protection in this way, so that they can honor Me more easily. There, every day, the family will share with Me its needs, its works, its sorrows, its sufferings, its desires, and also its joys, because a Father must know everything that concerns His children. I do know it, of course, because I am there, but I love simplicity. I know how to adapt Myself to your condition. I make Myself little with little ones; I make Myself an adult with adults: and the same with the elderly, so that all may comprehend what I wish to tell them for their sanctification and My glory. (32).

Therefore, through this Image, the Father wants to take possession of your world, the world of your children, the children that He loves.

Mother Eugenia saw to it that a painting of the Father was made, of which we have a very poor quality photo. To find the original, we have conducted a long search in Italy and France. But all we have been able to find out about the original is that perhaps it is in the Vatican files along with the dossier of Mother Eugenia. We have forwarded an official request for at least a good copy, but we have not had an answer.

In addition to this, the original picture did not correspond to the reality contemplated by Mother Eugenia, who, for instance, saw the Father "without a beard." This detail caused innumerable objections, so in the painting, the beard was insisted on because it was inconceivable that the eternal Father did not have a beard.

The Providence of God allowed us to meet Lia Gaidiolo of Padova, a creature of light and a noted iconographer, and we begged her to create a possible icon of God the Father.

Lia did much suffering to create her icon. She paid a heavy price, (all works of God have a price) -- finishing it just before entering the hospital for a delicate and difficult procedure; that's the reason why we're here tonight.

It is not just an icon. As I explained, by glancing at it one understands and is absorbed. Mr. Brazzale, the most qualified expert on icons in Italy, will do us the privilege of reading the Icon for us. As we read in the messages, Father, You wanted to establish a special feast day on August 7th. It is appropriate that this Icon is presented on this day, it is a concrete sign of your arrival in the midst of us, to take back possession of your children.

To each of us is given the assignment of spreading this message to our brothers, as the Father has requested to have His Image exposed in all public places, in offices, in barracks, in schools, etc.

How to Read the Icon of the Father By Luigi Brazzale

Our almighty Father wants men to contemplate His face through a sensitive image, through an iconographic image.

Almighty God is patient and merciful in attracting the hearts of men, these hearts poisoned by the enemy in hell. Here is the Icon of God our Father!

Who is the Father? He is known by "Holy and Almighty God" and "Abba, Father" by Jesus of Nazareth and all His brothers. He is dad, my dad. Here is the title of the icon, "Abba, Almighty God our Father!"

Padre Andrea tells us that God our Father has wanted this Icon to communicate His goodness, force, and power. Also the theological content that Lia Gaidiolo expresses is faithful to the traditional doctrine of the Church and to recent private revelations which are considered valued and authentic. When considered in this light, the Icon, when used in this manner, can have a notable spiritual benefit - an artistic and elevated form of contemplative prayer.

Lia Galdiolo, who currently lives in Padova, has in the spirit of prayer and penitence, "written" this icon - that is the correct term to use when dealing with icons.

After having studied, with love and passion, the classical traditional form of creating icons, she has developed her own personal style. Her wealth of knowledge is apparent and admired above all in her icons of "The Madonna Dressed in the Sun," "Merciful Jesus," "The Holy Family," and "St John".

As was mentioned before, we now have, after a long period of silence, fasting, prayer, and suffering, this icon of our Father. Lia Galdiolo is united to us spiritually this night in prayer.

The plate (field or shape of the icon) is a rectangle.. The number of sides (four) refers to the four cardinal points. Ibis means that the message God our Almighty Father wants to communicate is pointed in all directions. it is, therefore, a message for the whole world.

The rectangular shape symbolizes a window on the Divine, which you can open from the earth. That window is represented by the inside gilded frame. The icon, therefore, is a window from which the divine can be contemplated. It is here that we can contemplate our Father!

You notice that there is a small red border that surrounds the outside of the plate. This points out Jesus Christ's blood on earth. We can enjoy the benefits and effects of that blood through the gift of the Holy Spirit; none of the three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity operates without the involvement of the other two. Therefore, the icon is of the Father, but we immediately notice that the Son and Holy Spirit are also present.

The three kingdoms of nature are represented in the materials used to illustrate the rectangular image. It is this detail that you shouldn't neglect in order to understand the wealth of meaning of the Icon: the vegetable kingdom is represented by the wood, while the animal kingdom is rendered by the shell dust and rabbit skin glue which are used to produce the plate varnish (finish), and from the egg with which they thicken the paint. The mineral kingdom is represented in the colors, which are oxides of metals, the ochre's.

The plate is like a crib, prepared to receive a mystery, like God prepared creation to receive its King, the man who should have been King of Creation.

Notice the background of the simple bench on which God Our Almighty Father is sitting. The color is almost black, ashen, not uniform. It is also present on the upper background where there is writing. This color tells about Eden, the garden of delights, where something like a fog settled down - resulting in a long winter caused by the attitude of men's hearts, men who must decide between what is good and what is evil. The space under the bench is darkened also by the fog of man's sin.

In His left hand the Father firmly holds and supports a blue sphere on His beast. Let us stop for a moment because this has a fundamental importance in this icon. It is not the world. It is not the globe,. The meaning is very complex, but marvellous.

After the sin of Adam, the Father retired, convinced that, when set free, man would become convinced of his mistake and return to Him.

This is attested to over the long, harsh centuries and millennia; in the time our Father foresees and prepares a plan of redemption, predisposing us with His Merciful Heart.

This plan of salvation culminated with the arrival of the Incarnate Word, the Son made man, that with His passion and death allowed the Holy Spirit to be "accessible" again to man; after the "it is finished" of Jesus on the cross, Jesus was finally able to leave, completing the plan so dear to the heart of the Father; the "divinization" of man - through man a new creation.

This He wants to express through the blue sphere. The plan of love of the Father is that we lean against his heart and that He holds us firmly in His Hand. The blue color points out that this plan and His realization and execution of this plan is all Divine: the alpha and the omega occupy the entire sphere and refer to the Word, the beginning and end of everything: in fact, "everything was made through Him and in view of Him.

You will also notice that the sphere is topped by a cross of gold: the cross is the throne of the Lamb immolated for the salvation of all men; the gold points out eternity. The Fathers of the Church tells us that the cross was written into the Heart of God the Father from all eternity.

The figure of our Father is the central focal point of the entire icon: it is in a Perfectly frontal position to reveal His availability to all men who will want to know Him.

The figure is set in an almond shaped golden design around His shoulders. Through it you enter the pure open heavens. The blue heavens are inhabited by the celestial spirits near the throne of the Most High.

In the 12 quivering flames we glimpse the forms of seraphim, the burning fire, which are to the right and to the left, representing all the angelic powers. The seraphim contemplate the extraordinary and unpredictable action of God the Father which doesn't stop operating due to his inexhaustible Love and endless Mercy.

The number: 6 seraphim are on one side and 6 seraphim on the other. This means responsible authority, like the 12 apostles, the Patriarchs, and the stars that adorn the Madonna dressed in the sun. The 12 seraphim not only contemplate, but are also faithful messengers and execute the wishes of our Father.

Observe the face now. Philip told Jesus, "Lord show us the Father and this is enough." Jesus answered: "Philip, whoever sees me, sees the Father." Philip had understood that Jesus operated like the Father and followed in all the wishes of the Father. But how could He represent the face of Him who is not representable?

The traditional Western iconograph has always represented our Father like a large, old man - good, solemn, with a flowing white beard: this was the Eternal Father. But the beard is an attribute of a man of flesh, a sign of his virility. The white beard expresses the aging of the body, the withering of the flesh. This could not be applied to the figure of our Father who is pure spirit.

The holy monk and iconographer Andrei Rublev had a good intuition when in 1420 he constructed the famous icon of the Holy Trinity. The lconographer Lia Galdiolo has therefore been inspired by this icon for the details of omitting a beard and for the colors of the tunic and mantle.

Here then according to the Eastern iconographic tradition is a stately face that inspires peace, strength, and serenity. The head is surrounded by a white halo that means glory on which appears the three initials of the name revealed by God to Moses on Mt Horeb: the omicron, the omega and the eta: "I am who am! I am the reason for existence!

The hair is black. It means the "divine darkness." And this is an inaccessible deep mystery for the human mind. It is parted in the front, like a veil that opens to show the light.

The hair covers golden strands, a sign also present in the veil of the Holy of Holies in the temple of Jerusalem, which was torn asunder when the Heart of Christ had been pierced through with a lance while He was on the cross. Because of this, the barrier between God and man was removed, and man could again contemplate the face of God.

The small lips are in the action of blowing the Spirit that gives Life. This is also manifested in the bulging neck.

The eyes look at all with love and tenderness. They await a response from all of us. That is why the icon must be contemplated for a long time in silence and in prayer: the icon must he petitioned.

At the shoulders there is a glimpse of the third heaven where there are seraphim, the 'blue' to which our Father wants to lead us all.

The blue tunic and the red mantle point out who the Almighty God is for us. The blue tunic points out the Divinity, and the red mantle expresses His Divine wisdom; these colors are clear, transparent, almost fluorescent, like they are diffused with the light of the Transfiguration.

The mantle is very ample and imposing, it means, "welcome." You notice that the edge on the left side touches the earth. He wants to point out to all people that if they want they can cling to His mantle to receive His Holy Spirit.

The bench, on which our Father sits is very simple: it is not a throne because He wants us, without hesitation or fear, to sit down close to Him. The motif for His Divine Presence is one of modest design, though covered with rays of gold.

The two pillows point out that God (blue pillow on the left) and man (red pillow on the right) can converse together, in the same place, as in the beginning of creation.

The right hand is lifted in benediction, in a broad gesture, because He is our good Father. He doesn't want to judge the world, but save it. At the same time, it is a gesture that is solemn but welcoming.

The scepter - symbol of judgement - is set on the earth at His feet. The Father wants only to use mercy. The regal crown, lying close to the scepter and to the right of His foot, is an invitation not to fear drawing near to meet Him, and to remove the uneasiness from each of us. He wants to attract us, to greet us on His fatherly knee. You see this mighty knee - that is where he wants to greet you as your Father.

Also, although the Father sits, His feet are in the position of someone who is about to depart. They are in movement. Our Father wants to come towards us and stay with us. The feet have a halo that surrounds them; they are pure from the halo of holiness.

The black that surrounds the feet does not represent sandals, or shoes, but is a sign of His divine Darkness, it is a sign of the immense wealth and  wisdom of God, whose knowledge and wisdom never become exhausted.

What a wealth of theological contents and how beneficial for our devotion and our spiritual life!

The icon is not for study, but for contemplation. I have expressed the meanings of it but only they who contemplate and pray before the icon can really understand.

This icon was born in prayer. It must be used in prayer and for prayer. It is a powerful help for people to realize their intimate union with God.

This icon makes our Father's role alive and present with us.

In the East, icons are presented with celebration because this makes the Divine almost present to the believers.

I am sure this is a window of the Divine.

This icon helps us to meet the Almighty God, Abba, Father!


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