St. Ephraim of Nea Makri Icon (SP)
Orthodox icon of Ephraim of Nea Makri (SP).
Commemorated January 3.
Silver-plated icon of Saint Ephraim on a special paper, with decoration.Silver-plated icons are made with the latest and very specific technique. The icon is a copy of a hand painted icon and the background is silver 958.
NOTICE: The colors of the icons seems little darker, because of the reflection in the scanner.
St. Ephraim was born on 14 September 1384 in Trikala, Thessalia. At 14 years of age he went to a monastery on the mountain of Amoman near Nea Makri in Attica. For nearly twenty-seven years he imitated the life of the great Fathers and ascetics of the desert purifying himself. On September 14, 1425, the Turks destroyed the monastery.
Many of the monks were tortured and beheaded, but St Ephraim remained calm and survived the onslaught. They locked him in a small cell without food or water, and beat him every day. After months of torture they decided to put him to death. They turned him upside down and tied him to a mulberry tree, then beat him and mocked him. One of them took a flaming stick and plunged it violently into the saint's navel. He lapsed into unconsciousness. But they did not stop and continued to kick and beat him. After a while, the saint opened his eyes and prayed, "Lord, I give up my spirit to Thee."
About nine o'clock in the morning, the martyr's soul was separated from his body. 500 years later a women's monastery sprung up on the site of the old monastery. The Abbess of this new monastery heard an inner voice telling her to dig in a certain spot. Here they unearthed the head of the saint and an ineffable fragrance filled the air.u00a0She cleaned the bones and placed them in the altar area of the church. That night St Ephraim appeared to the abbess in a dream and thanked her for caring for his relics, and then said, "My name is St Ephraim." He told her the story of his life and martyrdom.