Christ image not made by human hands is one of the major shrines of the Christendom. That is a facecloth with imprinted face of the Saviour that appeared on the cloth by the will of Christ Himself as an appearing miracle, according to the old legend.
In ancient times the image not made by human hands had been depicted very often, especially on the objects of personal piety, and primarily on pectoral crosses and small icons. Metal casted images of the Saviour not made by hands had been worn on chest over dress. Christ’s face protected a believer against the reverses of fortune and drove away “malice ghosts”.
Image of the Saviour not made by hands is as before revered as the most powerful Christian symbol. The Saviour face on the small icon is traditionally austere, divine, omnipotent. It is not a face of a real person. That is the Face of God. Gold line of wicker ornamentation in a petal-like way surrounding the Holy Image symbolizes the emanant radiance. According to the teaching of the Church Divine Light is the lifegiving energy of God. The light that the Sun gives to the Earth is not more than a shadow, a sign of that Uncreated Divine radiance.
Since extreme antiquity miraculously imprinted Christ’s face had been compared to Sun, the facecloth itself being compared to the sky. LIGHT and LIFE is written in Greek on the reverse of the small icon. These two words form Jerusalem (equilateral) cross with four letters in its corners – NICA, which means “vanquish, overcome”. Such symbolical combination of words means that God pours out Light and life to the world and gives them to human beings as a donation. Lucid Divine power overcomes death and grants futurity. A human being needs only giving off darkness of sin, demoniac shadow and following the light to the Sun of the righteousness, to Christ. Words written on both sides of the small icon are a prayer, a supplication to the Lord, to the Truth Light for every human being to be enlightened and sanctified: “let the light of Thine face signify on us, let us behold the unassailable light in it”.