White Angel of Serbia | The herald sent into outer-space

The White Angel (Бели анђео) of Mileševa, Serbia

The White Angel (Бели анђео) of Mileševa, Serbia

On March 26, the day after the Feast of the Ascension, the Archangel Gabriel is commemorated. One of the most famous images of the Archangel Gabriel is the White Angel (Serbian: Бели анђео or beli anđeo), which is part of a 13th century fresco in the Mileševa monastery.

Considered a beautiful example of European medieval artwork by itself, the image is particularly well-known because it was sent as a message in the first satellite broadcast signal from Europe to America after the peaceful end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Later, the same signal, containing the White Angel, was transmitted into outer-space in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life forms.

The original fresco (shown below) depicts the Myrrh-bearing women discovering Christ’s empty tomb. An angel clothed in white, understood by the church to be Gabriel, points to the grave-clothes and proclaims to the frightened women the good news of: “…you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matt 28: 5-6).

The White Angel in the Mileševa monastery

The image of Gabriel sent into space may well have been transmitted to show any extraterrestrials of the civilization of mankind, and our ability to produce peaceful, serene, art. Christians will understand that the beauty of the image derives from its prototype: Gabriel the minister of God. Unwittingly, man has sent an image of the messenger of Christ’s nativity and resurrection – the two most important messages given to our civilization – into outer-space.


This entry was posted in History, Iconography, Special Icons and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to White Angel of Serbia | The herald sent into outer-space

  1. Pingback: Puzzled, Terrified, Nonsense, Amazed – Remember – The Pilgrim Shepherd

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s