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    St. Bessarion

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    Icon for the blind, hand-carved by a local nun.
    Approximately 10″ x 10″
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    St. Anna

    From Agia Skepi Monastery. Small: 3 1/2" x 5" Medium: 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" Sizes are approximate 
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    This icon of St. Innocent is from the iconostasis of the Optina Elders Chapel in Holy Trinity Monastery.   St. Innocent (a.d. 1797-1879) was a gifted student at his church boarding school.  He married at the age of 20 and had six children.  After serving as a deacon in Siberian Irkutsk, he was sent as a missionary to Alaska in 1824, where he worked among the native tribes, especially the Aleut Indians.  Learning the Aleut tongue, he translated many Orthodox liturgical and spiritual books into their language.  When his wife died, St. Innocent took up the monastic life, and returned to America after being consecrated its first bishop.

    St. Innocent tirelessly labored among his flock, preaching the Gospel everywhere.  He encouraged services in the common language and Native Americans to enter the priesthood.  When he was called back to Russia to become the Metropolitan of Moscow, he still worked for the American mission, asking all clergy to be fluent in English, and encouraged everyone to make the Orthodox Faith their own.  He is called the Enlightener of the Aleut and Apostle to the Americas.  O Holy St. Innocent, pray to God for us!

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    St. Helen Icon


    St. Helen was the mother of the future Emperor Constantine I, the first Christian Roman Emperor.  She was born in about 250 a.d. in the city of Drepanum on the Gulf of Nicomedia.  She married the Roman Caesar Constantius Chloris I and gave birth to their son Constantine about 272.  Constantius divorced St. Helen around 289 to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of the Emperor Maximiam.

    When her son Constantine was declared Augustus, or Emperor of the Roman Empire in 306, St. Helen returned to a foremost position of honor.  She was given the means also in 325 to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and find the precious and holy things associated with Christ’s life that had been obscured by previous non-Christian emperors and their administrators.  St. Helen found the tomb of Christ, the place of His Crucifixion, the True Cross, the Nails that pierced His side, and a part of His tunic.  Churches were built on these holy places and also the site at the foot of Mt. Sinai where the Burning Bush still grew.  Pious and devout, St. Helen went to live with Christ Whom she loved in 330.

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    St. Gregory of Nyssa was the brother of St. Basil the Great and at first a married priest.  After his wife died, he was then consecrated by St. Basil as Bishop of Nyssa in a.d. 372.  Nyssa is in Cappadocia, now in present day Turkey, and near St. Basil’s episcopal see in Caesarea.   St. Gregory is called one of the Cappa-docian Fathers, along with St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nazianzus, whose influence on Christian theology has been profound.  He is shown in this icon in episcopal vesture.

    St. Gregory had a strong effect on Trinitarian doctrine, teaching that in all things these Three Persons of the Trinity act together and in harmony of will and action, although still maintaining Their uniqueness of Person and function.  St. Gregory also emphasized that God is infinite, which had not been taught as such very much before him.  To know God, therefore, involves entering into a transcendent knowledge without preconceived notions.  His major work, The Life of Moses, marks him as a leader in Apophatic theology.  St. Gregory was present at the Second Ecumenical Council in a.d. 381, and died in 394 at 59 years old.

    Approximately 5.25" x 7.75"

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    St. Mary Magdalene was so named because she came from the town of Magdala on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Christ healed her of seven tormenting demons, a concept in the New Testament usually referred to as healing from illness, not for forgiveness of sins.  In the West, she is often confused with the sinful woman who wiped Christ’s feet with her hair, and also with the Mary from Bethany, who was the sister of Lazarus and Martha.  In the Eastern Church, it is not so confusing.

    St. Mary Magdalene was called the “Apostle to the Apostles” because she brought them news of Christ’s Resurrection.  She was one of the Myrrh-Bearing Women who came to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with fragrant oils and spices, but found him gone and the grave clothes still lying there.  She met Jesus early that same day, but didn’t recognize Him, thinking He was just the gardener until He called her by name, Mary.  She presented an egg to the Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar which turned red as a sign of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead.  She later lived near St. John the Theologian in Ephesus, helping him until she died.

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    Sizes are approximate
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    St. Herman


    In September of 1794, a group of eight monks from the Russian Monastery of Valaam in Lake Ladoga above St. Peters-burg arrived in Kodiak, Alaska, to help the Russian Mission there.   They planted the seeds of Orthodox Christian Faith which in time spread over the North American continent, as their mission reached out past the Russians to the Aleuts, a tribe of Native Americans.

    St. Herman was born about a.d. 1756 and at 16 entered  the Trinity-St. Sergius Hermitage near St. Petersburg.  As a novice, he fell ill with a throat abscess, but was healed by the Virgin Mary, who appeared to him in a dream.  He was later transferred to Valaam where he was tonsured a monk under the guidance of the abbot, St. Nazarius.  After the mission in Alaska was persecuted by the Russian Company, and some of the monks were martyred by  natives, those who were left returned to Russia except St. Herman.  He moved to Spruce Island in a.d. 1808, where he built a monastery called New Valaam.  Helping the natives in many ways, he was beloved of them.  St. Herman died in a.d 1837, was glorified in 1970, and is the patron saint of American Orthodoxy.

    Sizes are approximate

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    St. John the Theologian

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    3" x 2 1/2"
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    3" x 2 1/2"
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    This icon is a part of a contemporary Greek set of the Holy Evangelists Matthew (S146), Mark (S166), Luke (SS143), and John (S141).   St. Matthew was the son of Alphaeus and brother of St. James the Apostle, but worked as a publican, a despised tax-collector for the hated Roman civil administration.  He was also called Levi.  When Christ passed by him sitting at the receipt of custom, He called Levi to follow Him, and St. Matthew immediately left everything and followed Him.

    St. Matthew wrote his Gospel in Aramaic some time after Pentecost and preached this Gospel of Christ Who has come among us to the Parthians and Medes, and then later in Ethiopia.  Baptizing the wife and son of an Ethiopian prince, this prince was enraged and sought to kill St. Matthew, but first his soldiers, then he himself, were blinded by the Heavenly light that shone from St. Matthew.  Still the prince’s heart was hardened and he tried to kill St. Matthew, who prayed, then died and went to Christ.  This prince later repented, was baptized with the name of Matthew, and became a bishop in the Church and successor of St. Matthew.

    Sizes are approximate.

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    The Deisis represents the Lord with His Holy Saints and Angels supplicating towards Him.  Their hands are outstretched and their heads are bowed towards Christ sitting on the Throne of His Kingdom which will never end.  This icon is a part of such a 20th century set from Monk Michael on Mount Athos.

    From his very birth (Luke 1), St. John became famous throughout Israel by virtue of the divine signs which attended him.  He proclaimed Jesus as Christ, saying that he was “Not fit to untie the thong of His sandals” (Luke 3:16. Mark 1:7, and John 6:36).

    St. John was killed because he reprimanded Herod and Herodias for their unlawful union, and because Herod was pleased at the dancing of Herodias’ daughter Salome.  He was a fiery and blazing torch of faith and repentance, calling many in Israel to the baptism of repentance before Christ would give the baptism of spirit later.  He is an icon of faith, of faithfulness, of repentance, and of love, and by Christ’s own words, “The greatest among those born of woman.”  He stands now at Christ’s left hand in His Kingdom that can know no end.  O Holy St. John, pray to God for us!

    Sizes are approximate.
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    St. John is called both the Evangelist, as he wrote the fourth Gospel account of Christ’s life and death, and also the Theologian, as he soared like an eagle above this imperfect world in his love and understanding of the surpassing Divine Nature of the God-Man Jesus Christ, Whom he so eloquently proclaimed.  St. John was the son of Zebedee, the fisherman, and brother of St. James the Greater, and both were two of the Twelve Holy Apostles who lived and ate with Christ, and then were sent out later to preach His Gospel to the whole world.

    Called also the Apostle of Love, St. John leaned on the breast of Jesus at the time of the Mystical Supper, where the Disciples would first receive Holy Communion of Christ’s Body and Blood even before He died for them and for us.  Besides writing his Gospel of Christ, St. John also wrote three general Epistles, or letters to the whole Church, and the prophetic Revelation of things to come, all a part of the New Testament.  St. John died when he was over one hundred years old, and simply laid down in a grave and was covered over.  The grave was empty within three days.

    Small: 4.5x6"

    Medium Large: 5.75x8"

    Sizes are approximate

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    St. John of San Francisco


    The Church has in its bosom many Saints and all of the Righteous who have lived on earth as a great repository of treasure.  Once in a generation there is one of these Saints who becomes almost universally beloved by the Faithful and are great wonder-workers, healing a mulitude of people and answering inummerable prayers through Christ the Lord of Life.  Such was our blessed Father St. John of San Francisco.  He was born in 1896 in the Ukraine, studied law, and fled with his family to Yugoslavia after the Russian Revolution.  There he studied theology, became a monk, was made a priest, then at 39 was consecrated a bishop and sent to Shangai, building churches, an orphanage, and a hospital.

    When Communism came to China, he fled with most of the Russian emigrees to the Phillipines, going then to Paris and  Brussels.  In 1962, St. John became the Archbishop of Western America and San Francisco, often praying all night.  He comforted and healed many Orthodox and non-Orthodox people, working many miracles in his life.  He died in 1966, and his incorrupt relics  are at his Cathedral.  O Holy Father John, pray unto God for us!

    Sizes are approximate

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    St. Euphrosynos lived as an ordinary monk in the 9th century and was very simple and faithful, humbly serving as the cook of the monastery in which he lived. One night the spiritual father of that monastery dreamt that he was in Paradise where he was surprised to see St. Euphrosynos, who gave him three beautiful apples from a tree there. When he awoke, he saw the three apples lying on his pillow much to his amazement. They were very fragrant. Rushing to St. Euphrosynos, he asked him where he had been last night, and the saint said, “Where you were, Father.” Before this no one had paid attention or given respect to the cook in that monastery, but often the opposite. When the spiritual father told the other monks about the holiness of St. Euphrosynos, which he had just discovered, St. Euphrosynos fled the monastery into the desert for the rest of his life, fearing the praise of men. May this humble servant of God teach us by his example and by his prayers to seek the Heavenly Kingdom first, and live humbly serving our brothers or sisters gladly, until Heavenly fruit grows in us. St. Euphrosynos is the saint that cooks often ask for help. Medium Large 5.5" x 8" Large 7.5" x 10.5" Sizes are approximate
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