St. Gregory of Tours (538-594) on Paintings and Statuary of Jesus Christ

St. Gregory of Tours (538-594) became the bishop of Tours (France) in the year 574. As I was working through his πΊπ‘™π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘ , I came across two interesting accounts of miracles that hit upon the subject of religious art, specifically a painting and statue both depicting the Lord Jesus, and possibly some rationale for their being. Now, by way of a preliminary remark, I am not suggesting these accounts are historical evidence of the full-blown doctrine of image veneration that is espoused at the Council of Nicaea (787). Anyone who thinks that needs to read the full Acts of that Council, as well as the apologia’s for icon veneration given by St. Theodore the Studite and St. John of Damascus. These men were fully aware of people who merely defended images for their usefulness to instruct, inspire, teach, or bring to memory actions or persons from the past. These were not fully orthodox in their eyes. Nevertheless, St. Gregory here shows that in 6th century Gaul, and likely prior to him since he had many Episcopal ancestors in that region, physical artwork of Christ and the Saints was not just acceptable to have on the wall of Churches but could even be associated with miraculous interventions.

One could infer, therefore, that whatever Nicaea (787) had dogmatized, the kind of images or statuary that we see being recorded by St. Gregory as existing in both East and West, from the standpoint of 6th century Gaul, had a usage that one will probably never find in the ecclesial communities that trace their origins to the 16th-century reforms. Lastly, the scholar through whom I became acquainted this particular work of St. Gregory has noted that much of the stories and historical claims lack precise details, citation, and dating. This might call into question the reliability of what is recorded, but we can safely say that what is written in the Glory of the Martyrs stands as acceptable Christian data during St. Gregory’s time and place.

Gregory first mentions the account provided by the early Church historian Eusebius (260-339) wherein he describes the statues of Christ and the woman who had been healed of her issue with a β€œflow of blood”. The way in which Gregory cites this story from Eusebius shows that Gregory himself looked favorably upon the statuary depiction of Christ, who is God from God. He writes:

“π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ 𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑦 π‘œπ‘“ π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘›π‘’π‘Žπ‘  𝑖𝑠 π‘™π‘œπ‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘, π‘Žπ‘  𝐼 π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘, π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π½π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘› π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘£π‘’π‘Ÿ. 𝐼𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑦 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Ž π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘π‘™π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘™π‘¦ π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘’π‘™π‘’π‘π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘š, π‘œπ‘› π‘€β„Žπ‘–π‘β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π’π’Šπ’Œπ’†π’π’†π’”π’” 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 π‘Ήπ’†π’…π’†π’†π’Žπ’†π’“ 𝑖𝑠 π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ 𝑏𝑒 π‘‘π‘–π‘ π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘¦π‘’π‘‘. 𝐴𝑠 𝐼 β„Žπ‘Žπ‘£π‘’ β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘šπ‘Žπ‘›π‘¦ π‘π‘’π‘œπ‘π‘™π‘’ π‘€β„Žπ‘œ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘£π‘’ 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑑, π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Ž π‘šπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘£π‘’π‘™π‘œπ‘’π‘  π’ƒπ’“π’Šπ’ˆπ’‰π’•π’π’†π’”π’” π’Šπ’ π’Šπ’•π’” 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒆. 𝐿𝑒𝑠𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘’π‘’π‘š π‘Žπ‘π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘Žπ‘›π‘¦π‘œπ‘›π‘’, 𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑠 π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘œ π‘žπ‘’π‘œπ‘‘π‘’ π‘€β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝐸𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑏𝑖𝑒𝑠 π‘œπ‘“ πΆπ‘Žπ‘’π‘ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Ž π‘€π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘‘π‘’ π‘Žπ‘π‘œπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’. 𝐻𝑒 π‘ π‘Žπ‘¦π‘ : β€˜πΌπ‘‘ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Ž π‘“π‘Žπ‘π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘œπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘› π‘€β„Žπ‘œ π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ πΊπ‘œπ‘ π‘π‘’π‘™π‘  π‘ π‘’π‘“π‘“π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘Ž π‘‘π‘–π‘ π‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘”π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘’π‘‘ 𝑏𝑦 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘†π‘Žπ‘£π‘–π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘Ž 𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑛 π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑦. 𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑛 π‘›π‘œπ‘€ β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘ π‘’ 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑦 𝑖𝑠 π‘œπ‘› π‘‘π‘–π‘ π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘¦. 𝐼𝑛 π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘›π‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘  π‘œπ‘“ β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘ π‘’ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Ž π‘π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘™, 𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑒𝑝 π‘œπ‘› π‘Ž π‘šπ‘œπ‘’π‘›π‘‘. π‘ƒπ‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘šπ‘–π‘›π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘™π‘¦ 𝑒π‘₯β„Žπ‘–π‘π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘œπ‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘™ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Ž π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘›π‘§π‘’ π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘œπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘› β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘’π‘™π‘“, π‘Žπ‘  𝑖𝑓 π‘˜π‘›π‘’π‘’π‘™π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘π‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘›π‘‘π‘  𝑖𝑛 π‘ π‘’π‘π‘π‘™π‘–π‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘›. 𝑁𝑒π‘₯𝑑 π‘‘π‘œ 𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑠 π‘Žπ‘›π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’, π‘™π‘–π‘˜π‘’π‘€π‘–π‘ π‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘ π‘‘ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘›π‘§π‘’, 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑔𝑒𝑖𝑠𝑒 π‘œπ‘“ π‘Ž π‘šπ‘Žπ‘› π‘’π‘™π‘’π‘”π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘π‘™π‘¦ π‘€π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘Ž π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘π‘’ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ 𝑒π‘₯𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘œπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘›. 𝐴𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘“π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’, π‘œπ‘› 𝑖𝑑𝑠 π‘π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘™, π‘Ž π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ π‘Ž π‘’π‘›π‘–π‘žπ‘’π‘’ π‘˜π‘–π‘›π‘‘ π‘”π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘€π‘ . π‘Šβ„Žπ‘’π‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘  π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘ π‘ π‘œπ‘šπ‘’π‘‘, 𝑖𝑑 π‘’π‘ π‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘™π‘¦ 𝑒π‘₯𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑠 π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘›π‘”π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘›π‘§π‘’ π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘  π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’. 𝑢𝒏𝒄𝒆 π’•π’‰π’Šπ’” π’ˆπ’“π’π’˜π’Šπ’π’ˆ 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒆 π’˜π’Šπ’•π’‰ π’Šπ’•π’” 𝒕𝒐𝒑 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒕, π’Šπ’• 𝒂𝒃𝒔𝒐𝒓𝒃𝒔 π’‘π’π’˜π’†π’“π’” π’‡π’“π’π’Ž 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒏 π’…π’“π’Šπ’—π’† π’‚π’˜π’‚π’š 𝒂𝒍𝒍 π’…π’Šπ’”π’†π’‚π’”π’†π’” 𝒂𝒏𝒅 π’Šπ’π’π’π’†π’”π’”π’†π’”. 𝑯𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆, π’˜π’‰π’‚π’•π’†π’—π’†π’“ π’ƒπ’π’…π’Šπ’π’š π’Šπ’π’‡π’Šπ’“π’Žπ’Šπ’•π’š 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 π’Žπ’Šπ’ˆπ’‰π’• 𝒃𝒆 π’—π’‚π’π’Šπ’”π’‰π’†π’” 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒂 π’”π’Šπ’‘ 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 π’…π’“π’Šπ’π’Œ π’Žπ’‚π’…π’† π’‡π’“π’π’Ž π’•π’‰π’Šπ’” π’‰π’†π’‚π’π’Šπ’π’ˆ 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒕. 𝐡𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑓 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ 𝑖𝑠 𝑐𝑒𝑑 π‘‘π‘œπ‘€π‘› π‘π‘’π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑖𝑑 π‘”π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘€π‘  π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘’π‘β„Žπ‘’π‘  π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘’π‘š π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘›π‘§π‘’ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘›π‘”π‘’, 𝑖𝑑 π‘Žπ‘π‘žπ‘’π‘–π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘  π‘›π‘œ π‘π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘  π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘†π‘œπ‘šπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘¦ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘π‘Žπ‘ π‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘™π‘–π‘˜π‘’π‘›π‘’π‘ π‘  π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘“π‘Žπ‘π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ 𝐽𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑠 π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘’ 𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑑𝑖𝑙𝑙 π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘›π‘œπ‘€, π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ 𝐼 β„Žπ‘Žπ‘£π‘’ 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑑 π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘šπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘€π‘› 𝑒𝑦𝑒𝑠. 𝐼𝑑 𝑖𝑠 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘ π‘–π‘›π‘” 𝑖𝑓 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘”π‘Žπ‘›π‘  π‘€β„Žπ‘œ 𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑑 π‘€π‘œπ‘’π‘™π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘œ π‘œπ‘“π‘“π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘Ž π‘šπ‘’π‘šπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘–π‘Žπ‘™ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘ π‘œπ‘› π‘π‘’β„Žπ‘Žπ‘™π‘“ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘’π‘–π‘£π‘’π‘‘ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘†π‘Žπ‘£π‘–π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ; π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 π‘›π‘œπ‘€ 𝑀𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑒 π‘–π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘  π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘π‘–π‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘  π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘π‘œπ‘ π‘‘π‘™π‘’π‘  π‘ƒπ‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘’π‘™ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘†π‘Žπ‘£π‘–π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘–π‘šπ‘ π‘’π‘™π‘“ 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑖𝑔𝑛𝑒𝑑 π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘‘.’ 𝐸𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑏𝑖𝑒𝑠 β„Žπ‘Žπ‘  π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘ π‘’ π‘“π‘Žπ‘π‘‘π‘ .” (πΊπ‘™π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘ , 20; Eng. Trans. Raymond Van Dam, πΊπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘”π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‡π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ : πΊπ‘™π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘  (Liverpool Univ. Press, 1988), 40-41; cited from Latin translation of Eusebius in Rufinus’s Ecclesiastical History 8.18).

Though Eusebius himself elsewhere espouses that images of Christ are not permitted since they are forbidden by divine law, here he simply notes that the origin of the practice among Christians probably came from the Gentiles. Nevertheless, St. Gregory does not seem to think negatively about such a thing, nor pictures of the Saints. That bit where he states, “Lest this seem absurd to anyone” suggests statuary, and perhaps images, might not have been prevalent in what St. Gregory understood to be the full scope of his readership.

Next is a story, albeit with not much historical details, St. Gregory gives about a Jew who stole an image of Christ:

β€œπΉπ‘œπ‘Ÿ 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 π‘›π‘œπ‘€ π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘‘π‘–π‘šπ‘’ π‘ͺπ’‰π’“π’Šπ’”π’• π’Šπ’” π’„π’‰π’†π’“π’Šπ’”π’‰π’†π’… π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘ π‘’π‘β„Ž 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 π’•π’‰π’“π’π’–π’ˆπ’‰ 𝒂 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕 π’‡π’‚π’Šπ’•π’‰ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘π‘’π‘™π‘–π‘’π‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘  π‘€β„Žπ‘œ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘šπ‘’π‘šπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘™π‘Žπ‘€ 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘π‘™π‘’π‘‘π‘  π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘–π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘ π‘Žπ‘™π‘ π‘œ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘›π‘” π‘Ž π‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘–π‘šπ‘Žπ‘”π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ β„Žπ‘–π‘š 𝑖𝑛 π‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘’π‘  π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘ π‘’π‘  π‘‘π‘œ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘Ÿ 𝑖𝑛 π’—π’Šπ’”π’Šπ’ƒπ’π’† 𝒕𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒔. 𝐡𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘‘π‘œπ‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘›π‘Žπ‘™ π‘’π‘›π‘’π‘šπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘’π‘šπ‘Žπ‘› π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘π‘’ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘£π‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘  β„Žπ‘–π‘šπ‘ π‘’π‘™π‘“ π‘‘π‘œ 𝑏𝑒 π‘’π‘›π‘£π‘–π‘œπ‘’π‘ . πΉπ‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘Žπ‘“π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘Ž 𝐽𝑒𝑀 β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘œπ‘“π‘‘π‘’π‘› π‘™π‘œπ‘œπ‘˜π‘’π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘Žπ‘› π‘–π‘šπ‘Žπ‘”π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 π‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘œπ‘› π‘Ž π‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘’π‘™ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘‘π‘‘π‘Žπ‘β„Žπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘œπ‘“ π‘Ž π‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘β„Ž, β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘: β€˜π΅π‘’β„Žπ‘œπ‘™π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘π‘’π‘Ÿ, π‘€β„Žπ‘œ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘  β„Žπ‘’π‘šπ‘π‘™π‘’π‘‘ π‘šπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘šπ‘¦ π‘π‘’π‘œπ‘π‘™π‘’!’ π‘†π‘œ, π‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘–π‘›π‘” 𝑖𝑛 π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘›π‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘, β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘–π‘šπ‘Žπ‘”π‘’ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘Ž π‘‘π‘Žπ‘”π‘”π‘’π‘Ÿ, π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑑 π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘™π‘™, π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑑 π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘ , π‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑑 β„Žπ‘œπ‘šπ‘’, π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘› 𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑛 π‘Ž π‘“π‘–π‘Ÿπ‘’. 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘Ž π‘šπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘£π‘’π‘™π‘œπ‘’π‘  𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑑 π‘‘π‘œπ‘œπ‘˜ π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘’π‘π‘‘ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘Ž π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘ π‘’π‘™π‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘œπ‘“ πΊπ‘œπ‘‘. πΉπ‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘ π‘“π‘™π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘‘ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘œπ‘’π‘›π‘‘ π‘€β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘–π‘šπ‘Žπ‘”π‘’ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘‘. π‘‡β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘€π‘–π‘π‘˜π‘’π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘› π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘ π‘œ π‘œπ‘π‘ π‘’π‘ π‘ π‘’π‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘”π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘’ 𝑑𝑖𝑑 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ π‘›π‘œπ‘‘π‘–π‘π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘. 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘Žπ‘“π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’ β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘€π‘Žπ‘¦ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘’π‘”β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘˜π‘›π‘’π‘ π‘  π‘œπ‘“ π‘Ž π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘’π‘‘π‘¦ π‘›π‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ β„Žπ‘–π‘  β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘ π‘’, β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘’π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ π‘Ž π‘™π‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘–π‘§π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘π‘™π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘™π‘¦ π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘. πΉπ‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘–π‘›π‘” 𝑙𝑒𝑠𝑑 β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘šπ‘’ π‘π‘’π‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘’ π‘œπ‘π‘£π‘–π‘œπ‘’π‘ , β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘–π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘’π‘™ β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘™π‘’π‘› 𝑖𝑛 π‘Žπ‘› π‘œπ‘π‘ π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘ π‘π‘œπ‘‘; π‘›π‘œπ‘Ÿ 𝑑𝑖𝑑 β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘›π‘¦ π‘šπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘π‘œπ‘’π‘β„Ž π‘€β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘π‘˜π‘’π‘‘π‘™π‘¦ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘ π‘’π‘šπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘Žπ‘€π‘Žπ‘¦. 𝐴𝑑 π‘‘π‘Žπ‘€π‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ πΆβ„Žπ‘Ÿπ‘–π‘ π‘‘π‘–π‘Žπ‘› π‘π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘ π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ πΊπ‘œπ‘‘. π‘Šβ„Žπ‘’π‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ 𝑑𝑖𝑑 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘–π‘π‘œπ‘›, π’•π’‰π’†π’š π’˜π’†π’“π’† 𝒖𝒑𝒔𝒆𝒕 π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘ π‘˜π‘’π‘‘ π‘€β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘›π‘’π‘‘. π‘‡β„Žπ‘’π‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ π‘›π‘œπ‘‘π‘–π‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘–π‘™ π‘œπ‘“ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘. π‘‡β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ π‘“π‘œπ‘™π‘™π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑑 π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘ π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝐽𝑒𝑀. π‘‡β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ π‘Žπ‘ π‘˜π‘’π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘π‘œπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘’π‘™ 𝑏𝑒𝑑 π‘™π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘›π‘’π‘‘ π‘›π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›. 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ π‘ π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘’π‘‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘“π‘’π‘™π‘™π‘¦ π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘’π‘™ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘“π‘œπ‘’π‘›π‘‘ 𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑛 π‘Ž π‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘›π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘œπ‘“ π‘Ž π‘ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘œπ‘š π‘π‘’π‘™π‘œπ‘›π‘”π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝐽𝑒𝑀. π‘»π’‰π’†π’š 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒆𝒍 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉; π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘ β„Žπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘’π‘“ π‘π‘’π‘›π‘’π‘Žπ‘‘β„Ž π‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘›π‘’π‘ .” (πΊπ‘™π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘ , 21; ibid)

Notice how St. Gregory describes the function of the image. He says β€œeven now at this time” (during his day) β€œChrist is cherished with such love” by the means of hanging a β€œpainted image of him in churches and houses to record his power in visible tablets.” How far is this from the theological concept of worshiping Christ through a pictorial? I suspect not very far, but one might reasonably hesitate to close it together with Nicaea (787). What purpose did the image have? It seems it was there for the purpose of engendering love and faith in Christ, through the image. Satan himself seems to have had a problem with it, let alone the forthcoming 16th-century Reformers. And notice how St. Gregory roots it in the β€œeternal enemy of the human race” which animated the Jew who then physically stabbed the image, which is intended as an attack on the person (hypostasis) of the Lord. The full act of stabbing the image and then preparing it for burning was not simply of the physical painting, but an attempt to insult the person of Christ. It stands to reason that the Christians who loved the image and had it hung up were not seeking to worship the physicality of the picture, but the eternal logos through the image.

One last story which is more puzzling than it is illuminating. St. Gregory recounts:

β€œπ΄π‘‘ π‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘π‘œπ‘›π‘›π‘’ 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘›π‘π‘–π‘π‘Žπ‘™ π‘π‘Žπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘™ π‘€β„Žπ‘–π‘β„Ž π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘—π‘œπ‘–π‘π‘’π‘  [π‘‘π‘œ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘£π‘’] π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘™π‘–π‘π‘  π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘¦π‘Ÿ 𝑆𝑑. 𝐺𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑖𝑒𝑠 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Ž π‘π‘–π‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘€β„Žπ‘–π‘β„Ž π‘ β„Žπ‘œπ‘€π‘  π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ πΏπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘ π‘œπ‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘ π‘ , π‘”π‘–π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘  𝑖𝑑 π‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘Ž 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑛 [π‘™π‘œπ‘–π‘›π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘‘β„Ž]. π‘‡β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘π‘–π‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘π‘™π‘¦ π‘œπ‘π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘£π‘’π‘‘ 𝑏𝑦 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘”π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘”π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘›. 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘Ž π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘–π‘“π‘¦π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘œπ‘› π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘ π‘‘ π΅π‘Žπ‘ π‘–π‘™π‘’π‘’π‘  𝑖𝑛 π‘Ž π‘£π‘–π‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘: β€˜π΄π‘™π‘™ π‘œπ‘“ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘£π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘–π‘œπ‘’π‘  π‘”π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘ , 𝑏𝑒𝑑 π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ 𝑠𝑒𝑒 π‘šπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘™π‘€π‘Žπ‘¦π‘  π‘›π‘Žπ‘˜π‘’π‘‘. πΆπ‘œπ‘šπ‘’ π‘›π‘œπ‘€, π‘Žπ‘  π‘žπ‘’π‘–π‘π‘˜π‘™π‘¦ π‘Žπ‘  π‘π‘œπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘π‘™π‘’ π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘šπ‘’ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘Ž π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›!’ 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘ π‘‘ 𝑑𝑖𝑑 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘£π‘–π‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘›, π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘€β„Žπ‘’π‘› π‘‘π‘Žπ‘¦ π‘π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ β„Žπ‘’ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘šπ‘’π‘šπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘›π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘Žπ‘™π‘™. π΄π‘”π‘Žπ‘–π‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘› π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ β„Žπ‘–π‘š; 𝑏𝑒𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘ π‘‘ 𝑑𝑖𝑑 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘˜ 𝑖𝑑 π‘–π‘šπ‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘. π‘‡β„Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘’ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘¦π‘  π‘Žπ‘“π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘‘ π‘£π‘–π‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘šπ‘Žπ‘› [π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘”π‘Žπ‘–π‘›] π‘ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘˜ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘ π‘‘ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘£π‘¦ π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘€π‘ , π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘: β€˜π·π‘–π‘‘ 𝐼 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ 𝑑𝑒𝑙𝑙 π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘šπ‘’ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘Ž π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›, π‘ π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝐼 π‘€π‘œπ‘’π‘™π‘‘ π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ 𝑏𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑛 π‘›π‘Žπ‘˜π‘’π‘‘? 𝐡𝑒𝑑 π‘›π‘œπ‘›π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  β„Žπ‘Žπ‘  𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 π‘‘π‘œπ‘›π‘’ 𝑏𝑦 π‘¦π‘œπ‘’. πΆπ‘œπ‘šπ‘’ π‘›π‘œπ‘€, β€˜β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘, β€˜ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž π‘Ž 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑛 π‘π‘™π‘œπ‘‘β„Ž π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘–π‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑖𝑛 π‘€β„Žπ‘–π‘β„Ž 𝐼 π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿ π‘œπ‘› π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘ π‘ ; π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘€π‘–π‘ π‘’ π‘Ž π‘žπ‘’π‘–π‘π‘˜ π‘‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘‘β„Ž π‘šπ‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ π‘π‘’π‘“π‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’.’ π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘ π‘‘ π‘€π‘Žπ‘  𝑒𝑝𝑠𝑒𝑑 π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘Žπ‘“π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘–π‘‘, π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘šπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘›π‘’π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘£π‘–π‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘‘π‘œ β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘π‘–π‘ β„Žπ‘œπ‘, π‘€β„Žπ‘œ π‘–π‘šπ‘šπ‘’π‘‘π‘–π‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘™π‘¦ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘Ž π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘› π‘‘π‘œ 𝑏𝑒 β„Žπ‘’π‘›π‘” π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿ [π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘–π‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’]. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘–π‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ 𝑖𝑠 π‘›π‘œπ‘€ π‘œπ‘› π‘‘π‘–π‘ π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘¦ 𝑏𝑒𝑑 π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘€π‘Žπ‘¦. 𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑓 𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑠 π‘π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘’π‘“π‘™π‘¦ 𝑒π‘₯π‘π‘œπ‘ π‘’π‘‘ π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ 𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑀𝑖𝑛𝑔, π‘ π‘œπ‘œπ‘› 𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑠 π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘’π‘‘ 𝑏𝑦 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘™π‘œπ‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›, 𝑙𝑒𝑠𝑑 𝑖𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑛 π‘’π‘›π‘π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘.”(πΊπ‘™π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘ , 22; ibid.).

We can see that this account, if true, testifies to images of Christ crucified hung for all the worshipers to see in the church of Narbonne, but divine intervention came about to prevent the amount of nakedness that was in the painting of Christ, who wore a simple loincloth. Instead of the miraculous intervention requiring the removal of the image, it was altered with a curtain to cover it, and viewings were still permitted.


1 thought on “St. Gregory of Tours (538-594) on Paintings and Statuary of Jesus Christ

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