Jacob, Native Alaskan Saint, Makes a Home in Central Vermont

Source: The Bridge

March 6, 2024


Other than a small bell tower out front and an icon of an Indigenous holy man etched in black granite, St. Jacob’s of Alaska in Northfield Falls looks like just any other plain New England church.

But not inside. You walk into another world, that of “superluminous darkness,” darkness that is not the absence of light but light mostly beyond the ability of the human eye to see. Yet not beyond the ability to feel.

The light comes at you in waves, from the flickering lamps and beeswax candles.

Faces surround you. Large murals tower in front, clusters of smaller icons blanket the side walls. Even the white spaces are pregnant with faces, waiting for the resources and time each needs to be born. The faces and flames dance, leaving you not sure which enlivens the other.

The faces — or icons — are not merely representations. In Orthodox tradition, icons are windows, portals even, through which the Holy People encounter those who enter the church.

... Read the rest at The Bridge.


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