St Oran of Iona – Icon of Holy Old Age


Out of stock


Hand-painted icon on natural wood, traditionally double reinforced on the back for longer life.

Painted with egg tempera.

Dimensions: 21 cm x 29 cm.

‘…Years later, we met again in England. We had coffee together and we remembered her mum. As we were talking, out of the blue, she said: ‘My mum gave me the two greatest gifts one can receive in this life. She gave me life and she taught me how to die.’ The dying old lady had shown her despairing daughter how to peacefully let go of her past and how to lovingly embrace her present, for only the present – good or bad – is real, and only in what is real God can reveal Himself. She had taught her daughter patience in suffering. She had taught her that there is dignity in pain, and that one can accept the help of others in the most intimate moments without losing one’s human dignity – one can totally reveal oneself in one’s naked weakness and uncertainty as a gesture of love, of inviting the other to fully participate in your life, with its cruel moments and its indescribable moments of beauty.

We lose so much as a society by ignoring our elderly. We waste so much love by not paying attention. So much wisdom, so much experience, so much opportunity to learn how to deal with life’s greatest challenges simply pass us by because we do not have the heart to simply pay attention to them. We do no have the heart to enter when these people invite us into their most intimate, their most fragile moment – the moment when they enter into Life. Because we are so consumed with our own pain, so focused on our personal tragedy, we do not have the heart to love people as they die. We run. We hide. We look away. And so, they die alone, and we age in fear of our own death, because we have refused to see and learn and get prepared. And all this takes place under Christ’s all-seeing eyes.

St Oran was the oldest among St Columba’s companions. He was the first to die – by some accounts willingly, as a sacrificial gesture that made the Christian history of Iona possible. He was the first to be buried on the island, and his relics are the first to sanctify the earth here. He was also the first to stand before Christ and pray for his brethen face to face, in the Kingdom. He was their Elder.’

Read the entire text on our Icons blog:

Cost: 360 UK pounds, plus shipping costs.

Commission going to Canada.