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Russian Icon - 4 Saints: St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra, Sts. Martyrs Cyricus and Julitta & St. Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky

The icon depicts four Orthodox Saints: Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra, St. Martyr Julitta and her son Youth Martyr Cyricus & Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky.

Saint Nicholas of Myra (270 - 343), was a historic 4th-century Saint and Greek Bishop of Myra. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints.

Saint Cyricus (Kirik) and his mother, Saint Julitta are venerated as early Christian martyrs who were put to death in AD 304. Julitta and her three-year-old son Cyricus had fled to Tarsus and were identified as Christians. Julitta was tortured and Cyricus, being held by the governor of Tarsus, scratched the governor's face and was killed by being thrown down the stairs. Julitta did not weep but celebrated the fact that her son had earned the crown of martyrdom. In anger, the governor decreed that Julitta's sides should be ripped apart with hooks, and then she was beheaded. Her body, along with that of Cyricus, was flung outside the city on the heap of bodies belonging to criminals, but two maids rescued the corpses of the mother and child and buried them in a nearby field. The Old Believers revere Cyricus and Julitta as their patrons, considering themselves just like them, persecuted for their faith. In Russian folk traditions, the Feast Day of Cyricus and Julitta - July 14 (27) was considered to be the middle of summer. The following folk proverb is associated with the saints: “Don't reap on Cyricus’s Day - everything is wet, it’s pouring rain!”

Saint Alexander Nevsky (†1263), proclaimed Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Macariy in 1547, was the Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in Russian history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Russia, rose to legendary status on account of his military victories over the German and Swedish invaders while employing collaborationist policies toward the powerful Golden Horde.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 256-041-102-SP1
  • Size: 13 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (35 x 30 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1880s
  • Origin: Provincial Russia
  • Materials: Egg tempera on gessoed wood
  • Price: $1,000
  • Orthodox Cross
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