Open the eyes of your heart....
Only let yourself be dazzled...and filled with wonder....
Perhaps if you let yourself be transported by this banquet for your eyes, your eyes will open gradually to the light coming from the icon. Slowly, its mystery will reveal itself.
Contemplating this icon will create, deep within you, a new way of seeing which will be fresh every day; a gazing that never tires of marvelling, as if for the first time. Yes, expect from it “what an exile expects from a traveller just back from the land of his childhood.” We will go on a pilgrimage to the springs that flow in the depths of your being.
This icon among all icons was not born only from the artistic genius of a great Russian iconographer, Andrew Roublev. It opened out like the splendid flowering of his adoring contemplation. It fell like the ripe fruit of the prayers, tears and watching of all the generations of believers who came before him in the land of Russia, of all who before him had lived according to the Beatitudes and whose names are known to God alone.
It springs from their silence and their suffering, because he carried it all in him like a seed.
It is their living prayer, the prayer of all of them, which is there in front of us in colour and light....
Three visitors are shown wearing the Eastertide clothing of three travellers: a staff in the hand, sandals on their feet, a cloak over one shoulder.
They have come from a long way off and are ready to leave again. They are winged. They come from elsewhere and are going further on.
They are of a lowly state, dependent on others, received in someone’s house. They are hungry. They knock on the door. It is the situation of a traveller, someone who has decided to set off once again, always with courage on the road, leaving everything and going towards the unknown.
The icon is called Philoxenia - the welcome that makes a stranger into a friend.