Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Harrowing of Hell


The Apostles’ Creed affirms of this day, Holy Saturday, that ‘he [Jesus] descended into hell…’

There he liberated the captives, held long in darkness. The Church speaks of this, in hushed tones, as the Harrowing of Hell. While he outwardly sleeps, this Jesus plunders Death of every trophy.

Here I am sharing Kateryna Shadrina’s icon of the Harrowing of Hell. There is a beautiful tenderness to it that evokes her Good Friday icons, The Lament and Pieta. As Mary stretches out to cradle her son’s head in death, so, in death, he stretches out his hand to comfort the dead, and love them back to life.

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