Hagia Sophia’s angel uncovered! (With video)

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Watch the video here (about 3-and-a-half minutes)

SERKAN AKKOÇ
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Friday, July 24, 2009

Experts have uncovered one of the six angel mosaics within the world-famous Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul after it had been hidden for 160 years behind plaster and a metal mask.

The mosaic, which measures 1.5 meters by 1 meter, was last seen by Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati, who headed restoration efforts at the museum between 1847 and 1849, and Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid. Experts were surprised to see that the mosaic, believed to date from the 14th century, was so well preserved. 

Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian between A.D. 532 and 537, was originally a basilica before it was converted into a mosque when Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453. During the conversion process, the Ottomans covered the mosaics with plaster instead of removing them.  Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Holy Angels

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The following is from the Minea of St Dimitry of Rostov and appeared in the November/December 1968 issue of Orthodox Life. This is taken from a reprint included in the booklet _Orthodox Teachings on the Holy Angels_ compiled by Fr Demetrius Serfes (It may still be available through St John of Kronstadt Press)

The nine orders of the angels are divided into three heirarchies, each of which is divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower.

The first hierarch, the highest and closest to the Most Holy Trinity, consists of the SERAPHIM, CHERUBIM, and THRONES.

The God-loving six-winged SERAPHIM stand closer than all before their Creator and Maker, as the prophet Isaiah saw, saying: «And the seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings» (Isaiah 6:2). They ar fire-like since they stand before That One of Whom it is written: «For our God is a consuming fire.» (Heb 12:29); «His throne was a flame of fire» (Dan 7:9); «the appearance of the Lord was like a blazing fire» (Ex 24:17). Standing before such glory, the seraphim are fire-like, as it said: «Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire» (Ps 103:4). They are aflame with love for God and kindle others to such love, as i shown by their very name, for «seraphim» in the Hebrew language means: «flaming». Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »