The Proto-icon of St Genesius
The Proto-icon of St Genesius was commissioned on the founding of the Fraternity. As the name suggests, it is the first icon of the saint, it attempts to present in symbolic form the life, martyrdom and mission of St Genesius. Written according to traditional iconography, it is in the Greek style. The icon forms part of a triptych of which the other two, smaller icons, depict the Conversion and the Martyrdom of the Saint.
Reading the Icon of St Genesius

St Genesius is depicted with a distinct resemblance to Christ whom he imitated in his death. The two halos represent both his martyrdom in the inner halo, which resembles a crown of thorns, and the outer which symbolizes his glorification and sainthood.

The colours are of deep significance: the red of his cloak symbolizes both baptism and martyrdom; the orange of his tunic represents victory; the blue symbolizes divinity as it recalls the presence of God who converted him.

In iconography a martyr is depicted not with a palm but clasping a cross with the right hand and holding out the left in a gesture which announces that this martyr is a witness.

Genesius’ belt, normally a sign of consecration, testifies to his commitment to Christ and calls to mind John 21:18 in which Jesus foretells St Peter’s martyrdom.

The masks of comedy and tragedy are an innovation particular to Genesius; the mask of tragedy, painted in gray, is cut from the cord while that of comedy, ‘painted in light’, remains. This symbolizes Genesius’ cutting away the old life and embracing the joy Christ now offers him. It is also reminiscent of what the philosopher Aristotle wrote concerning drama: that of the two forms, comedy and tragedy, comedy was the highest: in his death Genesius chose the better part.

His name in Greek letters not only identifies him but testifies to the fact that God knows and loves each of us and calls us by name.

In the top right hand corner we see the hand of Christ who blesses the Saint, signifying both the grace Genesius received at the moment of his conversion and his intercession with Christ for those who invoke him.
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Praying for those involved in cinema and theatre

© The Fraternity of St Genesius 2007
© The Fraternity of St Genesius 2007
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