Baptism Icon

This image depicts “the heavens breaking open and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus as a dove to form the Trinity: The Father (hidden), the Holy Spirit and the Son”. Irvine, Denise, Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary Hamilton, New Zealand, 2009, p. 24

This icon of the Baptism of the Lord was designed by religious artist Michael Pervan for the baptistry of the new Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hamilton, which opened in 2008.

St John the Baptist baptises Jesus, who has deep blue water surrounding him like a tomb. He dies then rises up, just as baptism is a symbol of dying in order to rise again. Four angels wait at his side with cloths over their hands, a sign of reverence, and there are many more symbols in this rich icon telling the story of salvation.

The artwork is mounted on a fine matai frame with a cabinet beneath to hold the holy oils in ornate containers. The oils are Sacred Chrism, Oil of the Sick and Oil of Catechumens.

Source: Irvine, Denise, Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary Hamilton, New Zealand, 2009