Most Venerated Russian Icons of Saints
If you are not familiar with Christian teachings and Orthodox saints in particular, to identify figures depicted in the Russian icons of saints is quite a big challenge. The fact is that there are hundreds of prophets, monastics, martyrs, and hierarchs, and to recognize all of them is possible only in case you are literate in Old Church Slavonic. Moreover, while some saints depicted in the Orthodox icons are known throughout the world (e.g. St. Nicholas, St. Mark, or St. George); others are venerated by only small communities. The following list of religious icons includes some of the most beloved saints in Russia, whom you might not know about.
Icon of the Holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon
Born in an ancient Greco-Roman metropolis Nicomedia, Panteleimon (see photo above) was an early century healing saint martyred by Emperor Maximian circa 305 A.D. The shrine with the honorable head of the Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon is currently kept in the monastery of Mount Athos, while many other his relics can be found across Russia. This saint is commemorated on July 27 (August 9).
Icon of St. Spyridon Bishop of Trimythous
Born in the village of Ashia in Cyprus circa 270 A.D., St. Spyridon of Trimythous was a 4th-century bishop who worked many miracles during his life. For today, Russian icons depicting this saint are considered wonder-working and have their own feast day. St. Spyridon of Trimythous is commemorated on December 12 (25).
Icon of St. Dimitry of Rostov
Born in a Cossack family in Ukraine in 1651, St. Dimitry of Rostov was a great 17th-century hierarch, ascetic, preacher, and author known for many written works. Russian icons of this saint are highly venerated and treasured by all Orthodox Christian believers largely due to his miracle-working relics uncovered in 1752. The life of St. Dimitry of Rostov is commemorated on October 28.
Icon of St. Basil the Great
One more worthy example of the most venerated Russian icons of saints is the icon of St. Basil the Great. Born circa 330 A.D. in Caesarea in Cappadocia, St. Basil the Great was a leading churchman in the 4th century and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs. He is commemorated on January 1 (14) and on January 30 (February 12).
The above Russian icons of saints are only a few of many venerated in the former Soviet Republics. Stay with us to learn more about other religious icons and their role in modern life.