Icon #036



Number: 036 Period: 19th century
Name: Onuphrius Dimensions: 17 x 15 cm cm
Place: Russia Price EUR sold,-

This finely painted icon depicts the ascetic Onuphrius. Following is an excerpt from “The Prologue from Ochrid,” an anthology of Orthodox Saints\\\' lives written by Nikolai, Bishop of Ochrid, in 1928: This holy ascetic had been living sixty years in the desert when the monk Paphnutius visited him. His beard reached down to the ground, and long hair, as white as snow, had grown all over his body during his years of nakedness. His appearance was cadaverous, unearthly and awe-inspiring. Seeing Paphnutius, Onuphrius called him by name and then recounted to him his life in the desert. His guardian angel had appeared to him and taken him to that place. He had for a long time only eaten earth, which was hard to find in the desert, and after that when he had survived an intensive struggle with diabolical temptations. When his heart had become utterly established in love for God, an angel had brought him bread to eat. Also, through God’s gracious providence, a palm tree that gave good dates had grown up, and a spring of water had begun to flow there. “But especially,” said Onuphrius, “my food and drink are the sweet words of God.” To Paphnutius\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' questions about receiving Communion, the hermit answered that the angel of God brought him Communion every Saturday. The next day, the old man told Paphnutius that it was the day of his departure from this world. Then he knelt down, prayed to God and gave his spirit into God’s hands. Paphnutius saw a heavenly light that illuminated the body of the departed saint and heard a choir of the angelic hosts. He buried Onuphrius\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' body with honour and returned to his own monastery, living as a witness to narrate to the brethren for their edification the wonderful life of the man of God and the greatness of God’s providence towards those who give themselves wholly to His services. Onuphrius died in the year 400.
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