Gallery Icon of Sophia – The Holy Wisdom

8. march 2020

The icon Sophia, (For) Wisdom, The Word of God is a depiction of Deésis. Sophia is presented in the middle of the icon in the form of a woman dressed in a sakkos (liturgical garment) with an episcopal stole and her wings spread. In his right hand he holds a bar of bodyless beings. He sits on a richly decorated throne, which is carried by seven columns. “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars” (Proverbs 9:1). These pillars represent the gifts of the Holy Spirit: the gift of wisdom, the gift of reason, the gift of counsel, the gift of power, the gift of knowledge, the gift of religion and the gift of fear. The Seven Columns represent the Seven General Councils as well as the Church as the House of Wisdom. Wisdom has an imperial crown on its head. The octagon is inscribed in the aureole consisting of two overlapping squares: the bottom blue and the top red.


Just above her, Jesus Christ blessing with both hands is present in the aureole. From His aureole come four rays symbolizing the four evangelists, the four cardinal points, or the four elements of life: earth, air, fire and water. The face, clothing and wings of Sophia have a bright red colour of the Angel of Fire of the Spirit of God. Towards Sophia lean the Mother of God and Emanuel in the medallion and Saint John the Baptist with a scroll: "Behold, they have seen and believed." (John 20:29).


At the top is a sky of dark blue dotted with stars (a symbol of mystical depth). In the midst of heaven is hetoimasia, the last judgment to which six archangels look - three on each side, and the sun and moon, symbols of day and night, visible and invisible. On frame of the icon are holy women: Sophia, Viera, Lyubica and Nadya. Reports of a mother with three daughters date back to the 7th century. They talk about the tomb of Sophia and her daughters Faith (Russian Viera), Hope and Lubica in the catacombs of Saint Pancras on Via Aureliana. Pope Sergius II. in 845, placed the relics of Saint Sophia in the main altar in the Church of Saint Martina ai Monti in Rome.



Wisdom has built her house,

She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has slaughtered her meat,
She has mixed her wine,
She has also 
[a]furnished her table.
She has sent out her maidens,
She cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
“Come, eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.

“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.



Икона Пресвятой Богородицы «Премудрость Божия София», in Православный информационный портал «Вера»,

Čížek, A., Synaxár životy svätých, Spolok b. P.P. Gojdiča, Prešov, 1998.