Orthodox icon | Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Alexandra | 24893


  • Russian icon
  • around 1900
  • 24 x 19 cm | 9.4 x 7.5 in


Saint Catherine, presumably born in Cyprus and passing away around 307 AD in Alexandria, Egypt, was named after the Greek term for “pure”.

Legend portrays Catherine as the offspring of King Costus of Cyprus. When the emperor’s son proposed to this captivating, highly learned, and immensely affluent woman, she examined her reflection in a mirror and realized that her suitor was not her equal in nobility, beauty, wealth, or wisdom. She equally dismissed other potential suitors with pride. A hermit directed her attention to Jesus Christ as the ultimate bridegroom. Following her baptism, she had a vision of baby Jesus bestowing an engagement ring onto her finger.

Saint Catherine’s identifiable symbols are the shattered wheel, the book, the sword, and the crown. She is recognized as the patron saint of numerous groups and professions, including girls, virgins, nuns, those aspiring to wed, philosophers, theologians, scholars, teachers, students, lawyers, librarians, bakers, book printers, secretaries, notaries, shoemakers, hairdressers, seamstresses, and any profession linked with wheels. She is also the guardian of hospitals, colleges, libraries, and those suffering from migraines, headaches, tongue illnesses, and speech disorders. Additionally, she is invoked for locating drowned individuals. Her feast day is observed on November 24.

Saint Alexandra was a virgin who suffered martyrdom around 300 AD in Amisos in Pontus, now known as Samsun in Turkey. Her name translates to “the warrior woman” in Greek.

Alexandra, together with Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, Juliana, Euphemia, and Theodosia, collectively known as the seven virgins, laid down their lives as martyrs under Emperor Maximianus in steadfast commitment to their faith. Her feast day is commemorated on March 20.

The icon is set against a poliment gilded background that has been engraved, hallmarked, and partially polished, embellished with colorful ornaments.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved.

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Orthodox icon | Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Alexandra | 24893
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