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July 10, 2013

A Rare Iconographic Depiction of Jesus in Kosovo

If it is not unique, it is one of the rarer depictions of Jesus. A fresco in one of the most important monasteries in Kosovo depicts Jesus holding a sword. The fresco is in the katholikon of the Sacred Monastery of the Ascension of Christ (Visoki Dečani) in Kosovo and dates back to the 14th century. It is here that Christ is depicted holding a large sword.

A priest who lives in the area told that the sword Christ is holding in the fresco is not one of war, but it is spiritual. The inscription on the left side of the fresco, when looking at it, indicates that it is a spiritual sword that "cuts" sin from man. The Lord had said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matt. 10:34).

The Monastery was built by the Serbian King Stefan of Dečani between the time period of 1327 to 1335, and was dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord. The well-preserved frescos, the stone icon screen of the 14th century, the throne of the abbot, and the sarcophagus of King Stefan, are the cause of great interest to visitors from throughout the world. The Monastery was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is protected by the Serbian state.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos