Orthodox icon of Saint. Veronica, or saint Berenice.
Commemorated July 12.
This Orthodox icon is of Saint Veronica who was a pious woman of Jerusalem in the first century AD. According to Tradition, Saint Veronica was the woman with the issue of blood, who received healing by touching the hem of Christ's robe (Mt. 9:20). She is also known as the woman who wiped Jesus's face with her veil. Then the image of Jesus's face appeared on it.
St. Victor of Damascus icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Victor of Damascus (Saint for the name Victoria too). Copy of a contemporary icon, made by the iconographer Themis Petrou.
Commemorated November 11.
Saints Victor served as a soldier in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Antoninus (138-161). He was converted to Christianity and was eventually tortured.
Many idolaters accepted Christianity through his witness.The pagans arrested Saint Victor as a Christian and cut off his fingers, put out his eyes, and beheaded him in Damascus.
St. Vincent the Deacon
Orthodox icon of Saint Vincent the Deacon.
Commemorated November 11.
The sizes of the icon are approximate.
St. Vissarion of Agathonos icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Vissarion of the Agathonos Monastery, Αγ. Βησαρίων Μονής Αγάθωνος. Copy of a contemporary icon.
Commemorated January 22.
Saint Vissarion the Agathonite was a clergyman of the Holy Metropolis of Fthiotida and a brother of the Holy Dormition Monastery of Agathon at the foot of Mount Oiti. He was born Andrew Korkoliakos in 1908 in Petalidi, Messinia, Greece. At the age of 18 he went to Kalamata where he met various spiritual figures and resolved to become a clergyman, and was soon tonsured a monk, receiving the name Vissarion. Shortly thereafter, he was was ordained to the diaconate and later a priest, and honored with the offikion of Archimandrite.
Saint Vissarion became a man of constant study. Because of his commitment to learning, he was deeply versed in the Holy Scriptures, and had a comprehensive understanding of church history and theology, as well as Orthodox hymnography and liturgical texts.
He went to Karditsa, Greece in 1935 at the invitation of the Metropolitan of Karditsa, Ezekiel (also a Messinian) where he dedicated himself to the work of pastoral ministry, marked especially by deep devotion to charitable projects oriented toward social welfare and alleviation of suffering. This intense devotion remained with him for his entire life—even unto to the point of death. As he laid dying, he never ceased to ask with tireless concern about the children, the poor, the church, and the community from his hospital bed.
Saint Vissarion undertook many difficult and dangerous missions. Among them were during the World War II German occupation of Greece during which he is said to have aided many, and through his personal intervention, saved children captured by the Axis invaders.
Following the Second World War, Greece was ravaged by a bloody Civil War. It was during this time that Saint Vissarion, already an Archimandrite with a long ascetic life rife with spiritual labor and social work, left Karditsa and arrived at the Agathonos Monastery in 1955, which was influenced by the Peloponnesian ascetic, Father Germanos Dimakos.
At Agathonos, he served in the division of the Monastery that worked with charitable projects in the local community. This effected a fruitful mission outside the walls of the monastery, in addition to his work within it. For instance, every Monday and Tuesday he visited to the Hospitals of Lamia, saw the patients, comforted them, and nourished them with the Holy Sacraments of the church. It was with his charismatic personality, overflowing with love for people, and his sweet and simple way that he managed to relieve their pain.
When he was in the Monastery, especially in front of the Church, he cheerfully greeted the people with his brilliant smile, and often listened with care as they shared their problems. While these people entered the monastery burdened with pain, suffering and anxiety, they left with peace and relief after speaking with him.
He also helped many people financially. Pilgrims entrusted him with offerings of money and other resources, and he saw that they were distributed to the poor and those in need. He would constantly say, “outside people are poor, outside they are hungry, we must help them.”
Every Lent he left the Monastery with the blessing of Elder Germanos and traveled from one end of the Prefecture of Fthiotidos to the other, visiting and assisting anyone he encountered. But his main duty was facilitating the sacrament of confession, for which he was eagerly awaited in the local villages. He also had the special role of the confessor of the Seminarians at the Ecclesiastical Lyceum of Lamia and became their spiritual mentor.
When Saint Vissarion died, his body was taken to the monastery for burial. At that time, access to the Monastery was difficult due to heavy snowfall. For two days his body lied in the Church, and many people came weeping to bid farewell to their Elder. Those who witnessed this moment testify that his face was shining and his body was fragrant. Due to the poor weather conditions, his body could not be buried in the cemetery and was therefore interred in the Baptistry, where there were rooms reserved for confession.
After his internment, many pilgrims travelled to the monastery to venerate his tomb and many brought him offerings, as if to a Saint, even prior to signs and miracles that to demonstrated his holiness. There are reports of the amazing experiences some of these pilgrims had in the Elder's tomb.
At one point the question of exhuming his body presented itself, and it was ultimately decided not to exhume, but rather, to upgrade the Baptistry. However, during the renovations, structural damage occurred that necessitated significant demolition and reconstruction. Therefore the exhumation had to be done.
On the appointed day, after the Trisagion, the removal of the bricks began. The coffin appeared to be in excellent condition. It was taken to the cemetery’s ossuary where his bones would be placed. When the monks opened the coffin to remove the bones, they were surprised to find that his body under the shroud was incorrupt. This was a miraculous event of divine economy.
Despite the fact that all the Monks testified to Fr. Vissarion’s holiness, the Church had to examine the case. When Metropolitan Nicholas of Fthiotidos learned what had happened, he was astonished and visited the Monastery, and venerated the relics of the Saint with deep emotion. Later, the incorrupt body of the Elder was transferred to the chapel of the Holy Trinity to be safeguarded. Since then it has been there to be venerated by thousands.
Through the grace of God, this quiet, humble elder shook the world, particularly impacting the Balkan lands. After fifteen years, his body was found to be fully intact. One particularly extraordinary aspect of his witness is that his hands still grasp the Holy Gospel in such a way that it cannot not being easily taken away from him, as if to exhort the faithful, and especially the Priests, to never stray from it.
St. Vladimir Equal to Apostles icon (2)
Orthodox icon of Saint Vladimir, the Great Prince, Equal to Apostles (2).
Commemorated July 15th
St. Xanthippe icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Xanthippe, the Disciple of the Apostles.
Commemorated September 23.
The Monastic Women Xanthippe and Polyxene were sisters by birth and they lived in Spain in the time of the holy Apostles. They were among the first to hear the divine teaching of Christ the Savior from the holy Apostle Paul, when he preached in their land. St Xanthippe and her husband Probus accepted Christianity, but St Polyxene was still a pagan when a certain man became entranced with her extraordinary beauty and forcibly carried her off to Greece on a ship.
The Lord preserved her unharmed. On the voyage, the saint heard the preaching of the holy Apostle Peter and believed in Christ. When she arrived in Greece, St Polyxene turned to the Christians for protection and defense and they hid her in the city of Patra in Achaia, where she formally accepted Christianity and was baptized by the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called himself. She became a witness to his miracles, and how he patiently and humbly endured his sufferings and death. She stood at the cross upon which they crucified the holy Apostle Andrew.
After his martyric death, St Polyxene returned to Spain, where she and her older sister Xanthippe converted many pagans to Christ. St Polyxene toiled for about forty years preaching the Gospel in Spain. St Xanthippe shared in her sister's work and preached in the populous city of Toledo. St Polyxene reposed in about the year 109, having preserved her virginity to the end of her earthly life. Referench
St. Xenia of Petersburg icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Xenia of Petersburg, Fool for Christ.
Commemorated January 24.
Saint Xenia lived during the eighteenth century, but little is known of her life or of her family. She passed most of her life in Petersburg during the reigns of the empresses Elizabeth and Catherine II. Xenia Grigorievna Petrova was the wife of an army officer, Major Andrew Petrov. After the wedding, the couple lived in St Petersburg. St Xenia became a widow at the age of twenty-six when her husband suddenly died at a party. She grieved for the loss of her husband, and especially because he died without Confession or Holy Communion.
Once her earthly happiness ended, she did not look for it again. From that time forward, Xenia lost interest in the things of this world, and followed the difficult path of foolishness for the sake of Christ. The basis for this strange way of life is to be found in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:18-24, 1 Cor. 2:14, 1 Cor. 3:18-19). The Lord strengthened her and helped her to bear sorrow and misfortune patiently for the next forty-five years. She started wearing her husband's clothing, and insisted that she be addressed as Andrew Feodorovich. She told people that it was she, and not her husband, who had died. In a certain sense, this was perfectly true. She abandoned her former way of life and experienced a spiritual rebirth.
When she gave away her house and possessions to the poor, her relatives complained to the authorities. After speaking to Xenia, the officials were conviced that she was in her right mind and was entitled to dispose of her property as she saw fit. Soon she had nothing left for herself, so she wandered through the poor section of Petersburg with no place to lay her head. She refused all assistance from her relatives, happy to be free of worldly attachments. When her late husband's red and green uniform wore out, she clothed herself in rags of those colors. After a while, Xenia left Petersburg for eight years. It is believed that she visited holy Elders and ascetics throughout Russia seeking instruction in the spiritual life.
She may have visited St Theodore of Sanaxar (February 19), who had been a military man himself. His life changed dramatically when a young officer died at a drinking party. Perhaps this officer was St Xenia's husband. In any case, she knew St Theodore and profited from his instructions. St Xenia eventually returned to the poor section of Petersburg, where she was mocked and insulted because of her strange behavior. When she did accept money from people it was only small amounts, which she used to help the poor.
She spent her nights praying without sleep in a field outside the city. Prayer strengthened her, and in her heart's conversation with the Lord she found the support she needed on her difficult path. When a new church was being built in the Smolensk cemetery, St Xenia brought bricks to the site. She did this in secret, during the night, so that no one would know. Soon her great virtue and spiritual gifts began to be noticed. She prophesied future events affecting the citizens of Petersburg, and even the royal family. Against her will, she became known as someone pleasing to God, and nearly everyone loved her.They said, Xenia does not belong to this world, she belongs to God. People regarded her visits to their homes or shops as a great blessing.
St Xenia loved children, and mothers rejoiced when the childless widow would stand and pray over a baby's crib, or kiss a child. They believed that the blessed oneu2019s kiss would bring that child good fortune. St Xenia lived about forty-five years after the death of her husband, and departed to the Lord at the age of seventy-one. The exact date and circumstances of her death are not known, but it probably took place at the end of the eighteenth century.
She was buried in the Smolensk cemetery. By the 1820s, people flocked to her grave to pray for her soul, and to ask her to intercede with God for them. So many visitors took earth from her grave that it had to be replaced every year. Later, a chapel was built over her grave. Those who turn to St Xenia in prayer receive healing from illness, and deliverance from their afflictions. She is also known for helping people who seek jobs.
St. Xenia of Rome icon
Orthodox Icon of Saint Xenia of Rome.
Commemorated January 24.
This Orthodox Icon shows Saint Xenia of Rome who was the only daughter of a Roman senator. From her youth she loved God, and wished to avoid marriage which had been arranged for her. She secretly left her parental home with two servants devoted to her. Through God's Providence when she set sail she met the head of the monastery of the holy Apostle Andrew in Milassa, a town of Caria (Asia Minor) who took her to Milassa. She changed her name, calling herself Xenia [which means stranger or foreigner in Greek].
At Milassa she bought land, built a church dedicated to St Stephen, and founded a woman's monastery. Soon after this, Bishop Paul of Milassa made Xenia a deaconess, because of her virtuous life. The saint helped everyone: for the destitute, she was a benefactress; for the grief-stricken, a comforter; for sinners, a guide to repentance. She possessed a deep humility, accounting herself the worst and most sinful of all. In her ascetic deeds she was guided by the counsels of the Palestinian ascetic, St Euthymius.
The sublime life of St Xenia drew many souls to Christ. The holy virgin died in 450 while she was praying. During her funeral, a luminous wreath of stars surrounding a radiant cross appeared over the monastery in the heavens. This sign accompanied the body of the saint when it was carried into the city, and remained until the saint's burial. Many of the sick received healing after touching the relics of the saint.
St. Xenia the Great Martyr of Kalamata icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Xenia, the Great Martyr of Kalamata, Greece
Commemorated May 3.
St. Ypomoni (Patience) the Righteous icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Ypomoni (Patience) the Righteous.
Commemorated March 13th.
This Orthodox icon depicts Saint Ypomoni who was the mother of the last Emperor of Constantinople, Constantine XI Palaiologos. Her name was Helen Dragash and after she became wife of Manuel II Palaiologos she was "Helen in Christ Gog Augusta and Empress of the Romans, Palaiologos". She was the daughter of Constantine Dragash, one of the leaders of the Serbian kingdom of Stefan Dusan.
She came from royal and blessed generation, because many of her ancestors were Saints. As she grew up, she had the influence of the Byzantine culture. She became Empress at the age 19 and God blessed the couple with eight children. During her days, she helped many Monasteries to be build in Constantinople and she was the "Hope for the Hopeless". After the death of her husband, she became a nun (1425), in the Monastery of Lady Martha with the name Ypomoni (Patience).
Three from their children became monks too. God granted her to not live the last tragic moments of the Empire. He called her close to Him on March 13th of 1450, having lived 35 years as Empress and 25 years as a humble nun in her Monastery.
St. Zacchaeus the Apostle icon.
Orthodox icon of Saint Zacchaeus the Apostle.
Commemoarated April 20.
Apostle Zacchaeus was a rich publican at Jericho. Since he was short of stature, he climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus Christ our Savior passing by. After the Ascention of our Lord, he accompanied St. Peter on his travels. According to the tradition of our Church, he followed St. Peter in Caesarea, where St. peter appointed him Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. He died in piece.