More Holy Icons to Venerate in November
Everybody knows that icons occupy a prominent place in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Icons symbolize Orthodox Christianity in the consciousness of most people. The word “icon” itself can be translated from Greek as “image,” which means that icons are images of saints and scenes from their lives, designed for appealing to God. As a rule, celebration days and Feasts of any Orthodox icons are considered either the days of their inventions or the days of wonder-working that are connected with particular icons. However, in addition to the days of Feasts, there are many other days devoted to honorable saints or certain events in the Orthodox calendar. Orthodox believers should venerate the memory of the following icons, saints, and events in November:
1. The invention day of “The Leaping of the Babe” of Ugresh (November 20).
“The Leaping of the Babe” was found by believers on November 20, 1795. This event took place on the territory of the Nikolo-Ugreshsky Monastery, where the icon took its second name – of Ugresh. Nowadays, as well as in previous years, this image is one of the main symbols of the monastery. The very name of this icon – “Leaping” – comes from the image of baby Jesus playing in the hands of His Virgin Mother. This icon belongs to Eleusa type.
2. Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (November 21).
This is the day to glorify the Archangel Michael who is considered the leader of all angels. It is known that his image is honored not only in the Orthodox tradition but also in Jewish and Muslim scriptures. The main feast in honor of Holy Angels and Archangel Michael and other celestial forces is celebrated on November 21. It is the day when all Holy Angels led by Archangel Michael glorify the Holy Trinity together.
3. The Beginning of the Christmas Fast (November 28).
The Christmas fast is the second fast in order of importance after the Lent. It lasts from the end of November until the Nativity of Christ. The main purpose of this fast is to prepare believers for the celebration of coming the Nativity of Christ through repentance, moderation in eating, and, of course, a prayer.
4. The Remembrance Day of St. Matthew Apostle and Evangelist (November, 29).
Before the adoption of the apostolic order, Matthew worked as a publican, meaning a man who collected money from Jews in favor of Rome that dominated over the Jewish people in that period of time. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, the apostle St. Matthew began to deliver sermons in Judaea. The Gospel of Matthew is known to speak that Jesus Christ is the Chosen, Messiah, Messenger of God on the Earth, whose coming was predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament. St. Matthew apostle met his death for Christ as a martyr about 60 AD.
5. The Remembrance Day of Gregory the Wonderworker (November, 30).
Saint Gregory the Wonderworker who turned many pagans to Christianity with the help of his pathetic sermons came, strange to say, from the family of pagans. After the adoption of Christianity, this educated young man went from his native Neocaesarea to Alexandria. After finishing his study in Alexandria, the famous Christian center of the time, he returned to Neocaesarea and left his worldly life and retired to a desert as a hermit. The bishop of the neighboring town of Amaziah, Fedim, ordered him to be appointed the bishop of Neocaesarea. By the time of St. Gregory’s death, there were only 17 pagans in the town because all other residents had been converted to Christianity by him.
These celebrations and remembrance days are the most important events of the Orthodox church honored by all Christian believers throughout the world in November. Stay with us to learn more about Orthodox Christianity and different icons!