“Do you know Greek, Luke? A pity! There is a wonderful Greek word, Archiropito. It is the perfect word for that image of Christ. Painted by no human hand. Painted by the angels. The day I became headmaster I bought three dozen copies of that angelic image. I put one in every classroom. I gave one to every brother to hang over his bed”.
Regan lay back on his pillow, emptying the bottle gulp for gulp, rejoicing strabismally at the face on the mantelpiece that, like a wavering fire, slowly faded into the veils of the gathering dusk. “Archiropito!” he wheezed joyfully as he drained the bottle on its head, let it fall with a crash on the ground and sank into a stupor.
Seán O’Faoláin, Of Sanctity and of Whiskey, in Stories of Sean O’Faolain, 1970, Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, USA.
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