Orthodox icon of Saint Emilian (Aimilianos, Aimelianos, Aimilinus), the Martyr os Silistria.
Commemorated July 18th.
Protector Saint of : Children that can not talk
St. Ephigenia icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Ephigenia, Ifigenia. Contemporary icon.
Commemorated November 16th.
St. Ephraim and St. Isaac the Syrians icon
Contemporary orthodox icon of Saint Ephraim (Ephrem) and Saint Isaac the Syrians.
St. Ephraim of Katounakia icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Ephraim of the Skete of Katounakia in Mount Athos.
Commemorated February 27.
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.
St. Ephraim on Nea Makri icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri .
Commemorated May 5.
The orthodox icon of holy New Martyr and wonderworker Ephraim who was born in in Trikala, Thessalia on September 14, 1384. His father died when the saint was young, and his pious mother was left to care for seven children by herself. When Ephraim reached the age of fourteen, he became a monk, took the monastic name of Ephraim and moved to Attica to live in what was then the Monastery of the Annunciation of Our Lady on Mount Amomon.
For nearly twenty-seven years he imitated the life of the great Fathers and ascetics of the desert. He was also found worthy to receive the grace of the priesthood, and served at the altar with great reverence and compunction. On September 14, 1425, the Turks launched an invasion by sea, destroying the monastery and and looting the surrounding area. He was imprisoned and then tortured him trying to force him to deny Christ.
When the Turks realized that the saint remained faithful to Christ, they decided to put him to death. On Tuesday May 5, 1426, they turned him upside down and tied him to a mulberry tree, then they beat him and mocked him. Where is your God, they asked, and why does not he help you? The saint did not lose courage, but prayed, O God, do not listen to the words of these men, but may Thy will be done as Thou hast ordained. After many tortures one of them took a flaming stick and plunged it violently into the saint's navel. His screams were heart-rending, so great was his pain. The blood flowed from his stomach, but the Turks did not stop.
Soon, the saint grew too weak to speak, so he prayed silently asking God to forgive his sins. Blood and saliva ran from his mouth, and the ground was soaked with his blood. Then he lapsed into unconsciousness.Thinking that he had died, the Turks cut the ropes which bound him to the tree, and the saint's body fell to the ground. Their rage was still not diminished, so they 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. His story remained forgotten for nearly 500 years until January 3, 1950. A women's monastery had been built on the site of the old monastery. Abbess Makaria (+ April 23, 1999) was wandering through the ruins of the monastery, thinking of the martyrs whose bones had been scattered over that ground, and whose blood had watered the tree of Orthodoxy. She realized that this was a holy place, and she prayed that God would permit her to behold one of the Fathers who had lived there.
After some time, she seemed to sense an inner voice telling her to dig in a certain spot. She indicated the place to a workman whom she had hired to make repairs at the old monastery. The man was unwilling to dig there, for he wanted to dig somewhere else. Because the man was so insistent, Mother Makaria let him go where he wished. She prayed that the man would not be able to dig there, and so he struck rock. Although he tried to dig in three or four places, he met with the same results.
Finally, he agreed to dig where the abbess had first indicated. In the ruins of an old cell, he cleared away the rubble and began to dig in an angry manner. The abbess told him to slow down, for she did not want him to damage the body that she expected to find there. He mocked her because she expected to find the relics of a saint. When he reached the depth of six feet, however, he unearthed the head of the man of God.
At that moment an ineffable fragrance filled the air. The workman turned pale and was unable to speak. Mother Makaria told him to go and leave her there by herself. She knelt and reverently kissed the body. As she cleared away more earth, she saw the sleeves of the saint's rasson. The cloth was thick and appeared to have been woven on the loom of an earlier time. She uncovered the rest of the body and began to remove the bones, which appeared to be those of a martyr. Mother Makaria was still in that holy place when evening fell when she heard footsteps coming from the grave, moving across the courtyard toward the door of the church.
The footsteps were strong and steady, like those of a man of strong character. The nun was afraid to turn around and look, but then she heard a voice say, How long are you going to leave me here? She saw a tall monk with small, round eyes, whose beard reached his chest. In his left hand was a bright light, and he gave a blessing with his right hand. Mother Makaria was filled with joy and her fear disappeared. Forgive me, she said, I will take care of you tomorrow as soon as God makes the day dawn.
The saint disappeared. In the morning after Matins, Mother Makaria cleaned the bones and placed them in a niche in the altar area of the church, lighting a candle before them. That night St Ephraim appeared to her in a dream. He thanked her for caring for his relics, then he said, My name is St Ephraim. From his own lips, she heard the story of his life and martyrdom.
St. Ephraim the Syrian icon
Contemporary orthodox icon of Saint Ephraim (Ephrem) the Syrian.
Commemorated January 28th.
St. Ephraim the Syrian icon (2)
Contemporary orthodox icon of Saint Ephraim (Ephrem), Efraim the Syrian.
Commemorated January 28th.
Saint Ephraim the Syrian, a teacher of repentance, was born at the beginning of the fourth century in the city of Nisibis (Mesopotamia) into the family of impoverished toilers of the soil. His parents raised their son in piety, but from his childhood he was known for his quick temper and impetuous character. He often had fights, acted thoughtlessly, and even doubted God’s Providence. He finally recovered his senses by the grace of God, and embarked on the path of repentance and salvation.
Once, he was unjustly accused of stealing a sheep and was thrown into prison. He heard a voice in a dream calling him to repent and correct his life. After this, he was acquitted of the charges and set free.
The young man ran off to the mountains to join the hermits. This form of Christian asceticism had been introduced by a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great, the Egyptian desert dweller Eugenius.
Saint James of Nisibis (January 13) was a noted ascetic, a preacher of Christianity and denouncer of the Arians. Saint Ephraim became one of his disciples. Under the direction of the holy hierarch, Saint Ephraim attained Christian meekness, humility, submission to God’s will, and the strength to undergo various temptations without complaint.
Saint James transformed the wayward youth into a humble and conrite monk. Realizing the great worth of his disciple, he made use of his talents. He trusted him to preach sermons, to instruct children in school, and he took Ephraim with him to the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea (in the year 325). Saint Ephraim was in obedience to Saint James for fourteen years, until the bishop’s death in 338.
After the capture of Nisibis by the Persians in 363, Saint Ephraim went to a monastery near the city of Edessa. Here he saw many great ascetics, passing their lives in prayer and psalmody. Their caves were solitary shelters, and they fed themselves with a certain plant.
He became especially close to the ascetic Julian (October 18), who was of one mind with him. Saint Ephraim combined asceticism with a ceaseless study of the Word of God, taking from it both solace and wisdom for his soul. The Lord gave him a gift of teaching, and people began to come to him, wanting to hear his counsel, which produced compunction in the soul, since he began with self-accusation. Both verbally and in writing, Saint Ephraim instructed everyone in repentance, faith and piety, and he denounced the Arian heresy, which at that time was causing great turmoil. Pagans who heard the preaching of the saint were converted to Christianity.
He also wrote the first Syriac commentary on the Pentateuch (i.e. “Five Books”) of Moses. He wrote many prayers and hymns, thereby enriching the Church’s liturgical services. Famous prayers of Saint Ephraim are to the Most Holy Trinity, to the Son of God, and to the Most Holy Theotokos. He composed hymns for the Twelve Great Feasts of the Lord (the Nativity of Christ, the Baptism, the Resurrection), and funeral hymns. Saint Ephraim’s Prayer of Repentance, “O Lord and Master of my life...”, is recited during Great Lent, and it summons Christians to spiritual renewal.
From ancient times the Church has valued the works of Saint Ephraim. His works were read publicly in certain churches after the Holy Scripture, as Saint Jerome tells us. At present, the Church Typikon prescribes certain of his instructions to be read on the days of Lent. Among the prophets, Saint David is the preeminent psalmodist; among the Fathers of the Church, Saint Ephraim the Syrian is the preeminent man of prayer. His spiritual experience made him a guide for monastics and a help to the pastors of Edessa. Saint Ephraim wrote in Syriac, but his works were very early translated into Greek and Armenian. Translations into Latin and Slavonic were made from the Greek text.
In many of Saint Ephraim’s works we catch glimpses of the life of the Syrian ascetics, which was centered on prayer and working in various obediences for the common good of the brethren. The outlook of all the Syrian ascetics was the same. The monks believed that the goal of their efforts was communion with God and the acquisition of divine grace. For them, the present life was a time of tears, fasting and toil.
“If the Son of God is within you, then His Kingdom is also within you. Thus, the Kingdom of God is within you, a sinner. Enter into yourself, search diligently and without toil you shall find it. Outside of you is death, and the door to it is sin. Enter into yourself, dwell within your heart, for God is there.”
Constant spiritual sobriety, the developing of good within man’s soul gives him the possibility to take upon himself a task like blessedness, and a self-constraint like sanctity. The requital is presupposed in the earthly life of man, it is an undertaking of spiritual perfection by degrees. Whoever grows himself wings upon the earth, says Saint Ephraim, is one who soars up into the heights; whoever purifies his mind here below, there glimpses the Glory of God. In whatever measure each one loves God, he is, by God’s love, satiated to fullness according to that measure. Man, cleansing himself and attaining the grace of the Holy Spirit while still here on earth, has a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven. To attain to life eternal, in the teachings of Saint Ephraim, does not mean to pass over from one realm of being into another, but rather to discover “the heavenly,” spiritual condition of being. Eternal life is not bestown on man through God’s one-sided efforts, but rather, it constantly grows like a seed within him by his efforts, toils and struggles.
The pledge within us of “theosis” (or “deification”) is the Baptism of Christ, and the main force that drives the Christian life is repentance. Saint Ephraim was a great teacher of repentance. The forgiveness of sins in the Mystery of Repentance, according to his teaching, is not an external exoneration, not a forgetting of the sins, but rather their complete undoing, their annihilation. The tears of repentance wash away and burn away the sin. Moreover, they (i.e. the tears) enliven, they transfigure sinful nature, they give the strength “to walk in the way of the the Lord’s commandments,” encouraging hope in God. In the fiery font of repentance, the saint wrote, “you sail yourself across, O sinner, you resurrect yourself from the dead.”
Saint Ephraim, accounting himself as the least and worst of all, went to Egypt at the end of his life to see the efforts of the great ascetics. He was accepted there as a welcome guest and received great solace from conversing with them. On his return journey he visited at Caesarea in Cappadocia with Saint Basil the Great (January 1), who wanted to ordain him a priest, but he considered himself unworthy of the priesthood. At the insistence of Saint Basil, he consented only to be ordained as a deacon, in which rank he remained until his death. Later on, Saint Basil invited Saint Ephraim to accept a bishop’s throne, but the saint feigned madness in order to avoid this honor, humbly regarding himself as unworthy of it.
After his return to his own Edessa wilderness, Saint Ephraim hoped to spend the rest of his life in solitude, but divine Providence again summoned him to serve his neighbor. The inhabitants of Edessa were suffering from a devastating famine. By the influence of his word, the saint persuaded the wealthy to render aid to those in need. From the offerings of believers he built a poor-house for the poor and sick. Saint Ephraim then withdrew to a cave near Edessa, where he remained to the end of his days.
St. Epiphanius icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus
Commemorated May 12.
Orthodox icon of Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, who lived during the fourth century in Phoenicia. The Roman empress Honoria was his sister. He was of Jewish descent, and in his youth he received a fine education. He was converted to Christianity after seeing how a certain monk named Lucian gave away his clothing to a poor person. Struck by the monk’s compassion, Epiphanius asked to be instructed in Christianity. He was baptized and became a disciple of St. Hilarion the Great (October 21). Entering the monastery, he progressed in the monastic life under the guidance of the experienced Elder Hilarion, and he occupied himself with copying Greek books.
St. Epiphanius was granted the gift of wonderworking. In order to avoid human glory, he left the monastery and went into the Spanidrion desert. Robbers caught him there and held him captive for three months. By speaking of repentance, the saint brought one of the robbers to faith in the true God. When they released the holy ascetic, the robber also went with him. St. Epiphanius took him to his monastery and baptized him with the name John. From that time, he became a faithful disciple of St. Epiphanius, and he carefully documented the life and miracles of his instructor.
Returning to the wilderness of Palestine about 333, Epiphanius again sought the ascetic life with his disciple John. As the reputation of Epiphanius spread, more disciples came to him leading to his founding a monastery in Ad. There he was ordained a priest and became the superior. He led the monastery for some thirty years during which he further gained in knowledge and faith as well as gaining the ability to speak many languages including Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin.
In 367, Epiphanius was chosen by a council in Salamis on Cyprus as their bishop. In 368, he was elected to the cathedra of Cyprus, a position he held until his repose. During the following year, Bp. Epiphanius traveled throughout the area to participate in events that protected the Orthodox faith. He participated in the synod of 376 in Antioch where questions about the Trinity were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism. In 382, he was present at a Council of Rome that attempted to reconcile the Meletian schism.
Through the intrigues of the empress Eudoxia and the Patriarch Theophilos of Alexandria, towards the end of his life St. Epiphanius was summoned to Constantinople to participate in the Synod of the Oak, which was convened to judge the great saint, John Chrysostom. Once he realized that he was being manipulated by Chrysostom’s enemies, St. Epiphanius left Constantinople, unwilling to take part in an unlawful council.
As he was sailing home on a ship, the saint sensed the approach of death, and he gave his disciples final instructions: to keep the commandments of God, and to preserve the mind from impure thoughts. He died two days later. The people of Salamis met the body of their archpastor with carriages, and on May 12, 403 they buried him in a new church which he himself had built.
The Seventh Ecumenical Council named St. Epiphanius as a Father and Teacher of the Church. In the writings of St. Epiphanius, the PANARIUM and the ANCHORATUS are refutations of Arianism and other heresies. In his other works are found valuable church traditions, and directives for the Greek translation of the Bible.
We admire St. Epiphanius for his dedication in defending Orthodoxy against false teachings. We also honor St. Epiphanius for his deep spirituality, and for his almsgiving. No one surpassed him in his tenderness and charity to the poor, and he gave vast sums of money to those in need.
St. Erasmia the Martyr icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Erasmia the Martyr.
Commemorated September 1st.
St. Eugene of Trebizond
Orthodox icon of Saint Eugenios, Eugenius, Eugene of Trebizond (Pontos).
Commemorated January 21.
The Holy martyr Eugene lived at the time of the persecutions of Diocletian, around 240 AC. He was christian and because of his faith he was hiding in the forrest of Lazi (Caucasus). Some days after the arrest of Saints Valerian, Candidus and Aquilas, he was arrested too.
He confessed Christ in spite of torments and when he accompanied Lysias to idols' temple, ostensibly to sacrifice, the status of false gods fell to the ground at his prayer. After enduring further cruelties, he was thrown into a blazing furnace with three other holy martyrs. As they remained unharmed, they were finally beheaded.
On account of his many miracles Saint Eugene is venerated as the patron Saint of Trebizond.
Martyr Eugenia was the daughter of most distinguished and noble parents named Philip and Claudia. Philip, a Prefect of Rome, moved to Alexandria with his family. In Alexandria, Eugenia had the occasion to learn the Christian Faith, in particular when she encountered the Epistles of Saint Paul, the reading of which filled her with compunction and showed her clearly the vanity of the world. Secretly taking two of her servants, Protas and Hyacinth, she departed from Alexandria by night.
Disguised as a man, she called herself Eugene while pretending to be a eunuch, and departed with her servants and took up the monastic life in a monastery of men. Her parents mourned for her, but could not find her. After Saint Eugenia had labored for some time in the monastic life, a certain woman named Melanthia, thinking Eugenia to be a monk, conceived lust and constrained Eugenia to comply with her desire; when Eugenia refused, Melanthia slandered Eugenia to the Prefect as having done insult to her honor. Eugenia was brought before the Prefect, her own father Philip, and revealed to him both that she was innocent of the accusations, and that she was his own daughter.
Through this, Philip became a Christian; he was afterwards beheaded at Alexandria. Eugenia was taken back to Rome with Protas and Hyacinth. All three of them ended their life in martyrdom in the years of Commodus, who reigned from 180 to 192.
St. Euphemia the Great Martyr icon (1)
Orthodox icon of Saint Great-martyr Euphemia (1), the All Praised.
Commemorated Sept 16 and July 11.
St. Euphemia the Great Martyr icon (2)
Orthodox icon of Saint Euphemia the All-praised the Great Martyr (2).
Commemorated Sept 16 and July 11
Saint Euphemia was the daughter of pious parents. Her father was a senator named Philophronos and her mother was Theodosia. She was born in Chalcedon, located across the Bosporus from the city of Byzantium. From her youth she dedicated her life to Christ and practiced the virtues of prayer, fasting and chastity. She suffered martyrdom in the city of Chalcedon in the year 304, during the time of the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). The miracle of Saint Euphemia.
In the year 451 in the city of Chalcedon, in the very church where the glorified relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia rested, the sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (July 16) took place. The Council was convened for determining the precise dogmatic formulae of the Orthodox Church concerning the nature of the God-Man Jesus Christ. This was necessary because of the widespread heresy of the Monophysites [mono-physis meaning one nature], who opposed the Orthodox teaching of the two natures in Jesus Christ, the Divine and the Human natures (in one Divine Person).
The Monophysites falsely affirmed that in Christ was only one nature, the Divine [i.e. that Jesus is God but not man, by nature], causing discord and unrest within the Church. At the Council were present 630 representatives from all the local Christian Churches. On the Orthodox side Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople (July 3), Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem (July 2), and representatives of St Leo, Pope of Rome (February 18) participated in the conciliar deliberations. The Monophysites were present in large numbers, headed by Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and the Constantinople archimandrite Eutychius. After prolonged discussions the two sides could not come to a decisive agreement.
The holy Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople proposed that the Council submit the decision of the Church dispute to the Holy Spirit, through His undoubted bearer St Euphemia the All-Praised, whose wonderworking relics had been discovered during the Council's discussions. The Orthodox hierarchs and their opponents wrote down their confessions of faith on separate scrolls and sealed them with their seals. They opened the tomb of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia and placed both scrolls upon her bosom. Then, in the presence of the emperor Marcian (450-457), the participants of the Council sealed the tomb, putting on it the imperial seal and setting a guard to watch over it for three days.
During these days both sides imposed upon themselves strict fast and made intense prayer. After three days the patriarch and the emperor in the presence of the Council opened the tomb with its relics: the scroll with the Orthodox confession was held by St Euphemia in her right hand, and the scroll of the heretics lay at her feet. St Euphemia, as though alive, raised her hand and gave the scroll to the patriarch. After this miracle many of the hesitant accepted the Orthodox confession, while those remaining obstinate in the heresy were consigned to the Council's condemnation and excommunication.