Orthodox icon | Three Saints | 24725


  • Typ: Russian icon
  • Age: 19th century
  • Size: 41.5 x 34.5 cm | 16.3 x 13.6 in


Orthodox icon | Three Saints | 24725.

The icon:

The icon is beautifully presented within a carved wooden frame adorned with intricate gold-gilding. Additionally, four smaller round icons are incorporated into the design, further enhancing its ornate appeal.

The meticulously carved border and the integration of these four smaller icons reflect the artistry and attention to detail inherent in the piece. Adorned with intricate gold-gilded designs, the frame exudes a sense of opulence and craftsmanship, further accentuating the spiritual significance of the depicted saints and archangels.

The Saints:

At the center of the icon, we encounter Saint Martyr Menas of Egypt, commemorated on November 11th. Originally a soldier, he later retreated to the desert to live as a hermit, dedicating himself to a life of asceticism. Ultimately, in the year 304, he faced martyrdom.

During his time as a soldier stationed in Phrygia, he was ordered to apprehend Christians who defied imperial decrees. However, he chose to forsake his military duties, abandoning his post. Following years of spiritual devotion, he publicly confessed his Christian faith, ultimately meeting his martyrdom.

Adjacent to Saint Menas, we find Saint Martyr Victor, honored on November 11th. Hailing from Italy, he served as a Roman soldier during the reign of Emperor Antoninus (138-161). While stationed in Damascus, he faced persecution for his unwavering Christian beliefs. After enduring extensive torture, he valiantly embraced martyrdom.

Completing the quartet of icons within the carved border, we encounter Saint Hieromartyr/Protomartyr Vincent of Saragossa, celebrated on November 11th. Born in Huesca, Spain, he became a devoted disciple of Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, who ordained him as a deacon. During the onset of the Diocletian persecution in 303/304, he was arrested and put on trial in Valencia.

Fearlessly proclaiming his unwavering faith in Christ, he endured brutal torture, remaining steadfast until his last breath. His unwavering devotion and sacrifice earned him the crown of martyrdom, making him the most revered martyr in Spain.

Small icons on the frame:

Embellishing the upper left corner of the icon, we find the depiction of Saint Emperor Constantine the Great, commemorated on May 21st. Ruling as Roman Emperor from 306 to 337, Constantine initiated a transformative period known as the “Constantinian shift.” This pivotal era marked the ascent of Christianity as the primary religion within the Roman Empire.

Notably, in 313, the Milan Agreement was enacted, guaranteeing religious freedom throughout the empire and effectively ending the persecution of Christians. Constantine went on to grant privileges to Christianity, culminating in his summoning of the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

Accompanying Saint Constantine, we encounter Saint Helena, honored on May 21st. She was the mother of Saint Emperor Constantine and played a significant role in the veneration of Christian relics. According to hagiographic accounts, Helena initiated excavations in search of holy relics.

During these excavations, notable discoveries included fragments of Christ’s cross and the location of the Holy Sepulcher. Dividing the remains of the cross into three parts, one portion remained in Jerusalem, another was taken to Rome, and the final fragment was sent to her son in Constantinople.

Completing the ensemble, the bottom left corner features the revered presence of Saint Michael the Archangel, commemorated on November 8th. On the opposite side, the bottom right corner showcases Saint Gabriel the Archangel, celebrated on March 26th and November 8th. These iconic figures symbolize divine protection, heavenly messengers, and significant roles in biblical narratives.

Source: Orthodox icon | Three Saints | 24725 © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox icon | Three Saints | 24725
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