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Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures

Posted By: Vigilante

Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures - 10/06/19 08:31 PM

Do you find it alright for people to have icons of saints, even of Christ or of the Virgin Mary, as their profile pictures? Have seen this pratice also on other Catholic and Orthodox Christian forums, and personally find it unnerving. What do we put as profile pictures? Images of someone whom or of something that we identify with, or whom/that is or we consider as representative of ourselves. So if a man has an icon of Christ as his profile picture, what message is conveying or is he trying to convey by that? That he identifies himself as Christ?

(Before his crucifixion, the Apostle Peter has pleaded to not be crucified in the same manner that Christ was crucified, because he considered himself unworthy of that, unworthy to die in the same manner that Christ has died; his executioners have respected that wish of his, so he was crucified with his head downward. That's something to think about.)
Posted By: theophan

Re: Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures - 10/06/19 10:03 PM

Vigilante:

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum. I pray that your time here will be spiritually beneficial.

Bob
Moderator
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures - 10/07/19 01:45 PM

Hi Vigilante,

I have always considered the use of an icon of a saint as an avatar as a statement that someone might have a devotion to that saint, much like how Latin Catholics take a "Confirmation Name". When they do so they publicly identify with a saint that they wish to emulate.

For someone who uses an avatar that is an icon of Christ, why not be generous and consider that they may only wish to proclaim Christ crucified, buried, and risen from the dead?

Best wishes, and welcome to The Forum!

John
Posted By: Vigilante

Re: Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures - 10/07/19 03:14 PM

To: Theophan (Bob)

Um, an unexpected off-topic reply. I hope the same: that my time here will be spiritually beneficial, or at least not damaging, for me and for you.

To: everyone

Greetings, folks of The Byzantine Forum! You can call me... 'Vergil' (pseudonym); Vergil the Vigilante. Keep vigil!

Idea: Maybe one of the moderators would like to start a 'For Newcomers' thread, where people can say 'Hi' and perhaps, if they will, say a bit more about their religious background (e.g., whether they're converts, or are members of a 'third order' for laypersons).
Posted By: Vigilante

Re: Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures - 10/10/19 05:49 PM

I also don't like to have my mind associate one or another icon with one or another forum person. "That's the icon that Jack had as his profile picture."
Posted By: Ecaterina

Re: Regarding Icons as Profile Pictures - 11/11/19 02:33 PM

Vigilante, you are right, in principle. I stand guilty here, too.
Maybe I can explain my case?
The icon is because I respect and thank St. Catherine Great Martyr in particular for the help she gave me in getting back to the church. So the icon also represents a constant prayer from me to her, to watch over me and over what I say here (so it may not be scandalous or illogical, false or insincere, and so I may not smitten someone away from faith because of what I say, so that she tempers me because I am very emotional by nature).
Also the usage of icons on the internet, even as avatars, is for me a quiet way of expressing disenchantment to the secularization that is usually done on the internet, religious symbols being seen as uncool, or bigotry. So it's also a way of expressing my faith.
I personally would not use Christ's icon except as a Crucifix but those who use icons of Christ are most likely doing it as a sign of quiet prayer to Him as well.
Those of Theotokos I did use, and they expressed the same thing - expressing my religious identity and a special devotion to the said saint.
In certain exceptional situations I would use that of Archangels as well.
The internet is sometimes a strange place some times and asking for help and guidance from the saints is something that keeps me more comfortable.
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