Peter and Fevronia of Murom – Orthodox Patron Saints of the Family

Peter and Fevronia of Murom, Orthodox Patron Saints of the Family

Today, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of Peter and Fevronia, while all Russia and Ukraine celebrate Family Day. There is a wonderful legend associated with these Russian Orthodox saints, which we are going to tell you about in this blog post. Read on to learn about why Peter and Fevronia of Murom are called Orthodox patron saints of the family and how they are depicted in religious icons. 

Peter and Fevronia of Murom, Orthodox patron saints of the family

St. Peter and St. Fevronia are considered the patrons of the family and marriage. Details of their lives are mostly known from “The Tale of Peter and Fevronia,” which was written in the 6th century. It is a beautiful story of a prince marrying an ordinary girl against the will of the boyars. The story goes back to Peter’s terrible illness that no one was able to cure. In a dream, he had a vision that only Fevronia, the daughter of the forest bee-keeper, could rescue him. Fevronia, who was a capable healer and a highly intelligent woman, cured Peter of leprosy, but in return, she asked the prince to marry her. Although Peter vowed to marry Fevronia, he did not keep the promise because he believed he could not marry an ordinary peasant girl. However, when the disease came back and Fevronia cured Peter the second time, the young people got married.

The nobility opposed the marriage of the prince with a commoner, and Peter and Fevronia left Murom. A few years later when the unrest began in Murom, and the chaos was raging in the city, the boyars asked the prince to return the throne.

Due to this legend, Peter and Fevronia, the Orthodox patron saints of the family, are associated with love and lasting marriage. It is also interesting that, according to a legend, the prince and the princess died the same day, and their bodies were miraculously found in the same coffin. 

Religious icons of Saints Peter and Fevronia

In Russian icons, the Orthodox patron saints of the family Peter and Fevronia are always depicted together. They usually stand side by side, sometimes dressed in monastic robes, often with their hands stretched out in prayer. There are also hagiographic icons of the saints, depicting the scenes from their lives.

Since Peter and Fevronia are patrons of the family, their icons are kept by many Orthodox newlyweds who pray with them for a lasting and happy marriage.