The Holy Prophet Ezekiel

The holy prophet Ezekiel is commemorated today.

Ezekiel was born into a priestly family and became a priest near the time of the Babylonian captivity. At first, he remained in Jerusalem, where he received his call. When Jerusalem fell in 586 BC, he was included with the Jewish exiles. Ezekiel’s gifts of imagery and poetic expression make his book one of the great works of ancient literature.

His teaching centers on the need for inner conversion. Thus, each person must make a “change of heart”, and God himself will infuse a new spirit. These themes form the basis for the theology of grace and repentance in the Church. Ezekiel also serves as the source of subsequent apocalyptic tradition. The several visions which characterize his prophecy made a very perceptible influence on the Book of Revelation. It is on Ezekiel’s apocalyptic vision that the iconographic portrayals of the Pantocrator have traditionally been based.

The icon of Christ enthroned in the apse of [the church] … is an expression of this tradition; it is an image of the fullness of Ezekiel’s vision of the “glory of the Lord”. (NS)

Saint Ezekiel, pray for us.