The icon is a kind of window to the spiritual world. Turning with the help of the icon to the image of his patron saint, a person offers prayer, renouncing vain material thoughts and doing important work on the formation of his own faith.
Since ancient times, the Christian tradition has been led to give a newborn child the name of a saint. It was believed that in this way a person is provided with heavenly protection and protection of this saint, as well as his mentoring for a righteous life. The icon of the saint, after whom the Christian was named, is called nominal. Moreover, in Russia such a saint could be not only the namesake, i.e. bearing the same name as the one being baptized, but also any other saint, especially revered either in a particular locality or in a particular family. Most often, this kind of icons included images with the face of St. Nicholas, the Archangel Michael, St. John the Theologian, and St. Sergius of Radonezh.
Types of personalized icons
The iconographic traditions of depicting saints on nominal icons do not adhere to very strict canons, and therefore the face of the Savior, Guardian Angels or scenes telling about the life of a saint can be added to the image of a saint. Usually, images of saints on nominal icons are written either in half-length - i.e. a figure to the waist, or full-length - a full-length depiction of a saint.
A variation of the nominal icon is a measured icon, in which the heavenly patron of the baby is depicted on a board, the size of which is equal to the height of the newborn, the width corresponding to the width of his shoulders. The figure of the patron must be depicted in full growth and, as a rule, does not contain any additional elements of iconography. When depicting tall figures, icon painters pay special attention to hand gestures, which have a deep symbolic meaning.
Choosing a personalized icon
In order to choose your personalized icon correctly, you need to know exactly the name of the saint who is the heavenly patron of a given person. If a person's name is on Christmas time, then it is recommended to choose the name of the saint whose memory is celebrated on the next day to the birthday or baptism of this person. But at the same time, it is not forbidden to choose that saint, to whom the soul lies most of all and whom a person reveres more than others.
Personalized icons with a female name
The most popular nominal icons intended for female names are the following: the icon of the holy blessed Matrona of Moscow, the holy blessed Xenia of Petersburg, the holy great martyr Tatyana, the holy martyr Tamara, the holy princess Olga equal to the apostles, the holy great martyr Catherine.
Personalized icons with a male name
The most popular nominal icons with male names are: the icon of Saint Elijah the Prophet, Saint Great Martyr Demetrius, Apostle Andrew the First-Called, Saint Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Saint Saint Cyril of Radonezh.