What is the “Triumph” of Orthodoxy?

Today the Church commemorates the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

“Triumph” is a Latin word for a special parade or procession, the highest honor Roman society could award to a victorious, conquering general. He would be honored in a procession together with all his officers and soldiers, carrying the treasures they had taken from conquered people, and leading the conquered king to be executed.

By the eighth century, there had not been a Triumph for generations. But the empress decreed a Triumph – not for a human general, but for the icons, which had been vindicated by the Seventh Ecumenical Council and now returned to be carried through the city in a victorious procession.

And instead of sacrificing conquered kings to the demon gods of old Rome, that Triumph procession ended with anathemas against heresies and a clear statement of the Faith of the apostles – including the salvation of humankind through the incarnation of God the Word, through flesh and wood and nails, and the resurrection of the dead. Instead of teaching only a “spiritual” immaterial God, the Church worships God Made Flesh, and honors Christ and his saints using material images.

Here is a great video that conveys what a “Triumph” meant to Romans: