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Russian Icon - Saint Venerable Martyr Basil & Saint Greatmartyr Alexandra

The MonkMartyr Basil of the Caves was an ascetic in the 11th century in the Near Caves Monastery of Kiev. A rumor reached Prince Mstislav Svyatopolkovich that the monk Theodore had found many treasures in the cave. He summoned the monk to him and ordered him to indicate the place where the valuables were hidden. Saint Theodore replied to the prince that in fact he saw a lot of gold and vessels in the cave, but from temptation, he buried them together with the monk Basil, and God took away from him the memory of where it was hidden. Not believing the saint, the prince gave orders to torture him to death. They beat Saint Theodore so that his entire hair shirt was moistened with blood, then they hung him upside down, setting up a fire under him. In a drunken state, the prince gave orders to torture Saint Basil, and then he himself killed him with an arrow. Dying, the MonkMartyr Basil threw an arrow at the feet of Prince Mstislav and predicted that soon he himself would be mortally wounded by it. The prophecy came true: on July 15, 1099, on the wall of the Vladimir fortress, Prince Mstislav was unexpectedly struck by an arrow in the chest and died the next night. Recognizing his arrow, the prince said: "I am dying for the Monk Martyrs Basil and Theodore."

 Saint Alexandra of Rome ​is a Christian martyr and saint, known from "Martyrdom of Saint George" as either Emperor Diocletian's wife or the wife of Dacian, a Roman Prefect.​ While Saint George was being tortured, Alexandra went to the arena, bowed before him, and professed her faith openly. When she questioned whether she was worthy of paradise and of martyrdom without being baptized, Saint George told her “Do not fear, for your blood will baptize you.” She was denounced as a Christian and imprisoned on her husband’s orders in Nicomedia, then sentenced to death.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 34-1009-003-284-SP1
  • Size: 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches (27 x 22 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1900
  • Origin: Provincial Russia
  • Materials: Egg tempera and gilding on tooled and gessoed wood
  • Price: $525
  • Orthodox Cross
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