Almost every Serbian house that celebrates its patron saint’s day has an icon of that patron saint. The icon is a sacred image with a primarily divine service function. It is a work of art, but above all its role is to connect the other side with our world. And really, the icons, in their mysterious way, make present those whose image they represent.
Revering icons in the Orthodox world has its grounds in the incarnation of the Son of God Our Lord Jesus Christ – His birth in human body and life among the people in a time in history, His death and Resurrection – which made possible to represent his image in sacred pictures, as well as the image of the Blessed Mother of God, thence the representations of the saints who came close Christ, thus becoming participants in the future Heavenly Kingdom.
The word icon comes from Greek, meaning – a picture, an image, a representation, a portrait.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
The icon is an object of special reverence and is of help to the believers in prayerful meeting Jesus, Mother of God and the saints, but it is also a “portal” for the persons represented into this world. That is why many icons in the Orthodox world are wonder-working, they heal those who address the holy personages in their deep and honest prayers, and they even have an impact on historic events
In order to be accepted in its divine service role, an icon has to be consecrated at church, but also the very activity of painting it is a liturgical act. So an icon painter is expected to be immersed in the Church life, to prepare him/herself for the painting activity through prayers and to live a Christian life in general.
Icons are also painted today in the monastery or urban workshops. As a rule, the icon painters do not put their signatures, so we do not know who painted all the beautiful mediaeval Serbian icons we have today. We know about a Serbian icon painter, a monk Lоngin from some later date (16th century).