Orthodox icon | Saints Zosimas and Sabbatios of Solovki | 24803

Russian icon

38.5 x 30.5 cm | 15.2 x 12.0 in

19th century

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


Born in Novgorod Province, Saint Zosimas (April 17) became a hermit at a young age. When his parents died, he distributed his inheritance and moved to the Far North, where he met Saint Herman, who told him about Solovki Island and the heroic asceticism of Saint Sabbatios. Together they settled on this island in the White Sea, built cells and bravely took on the fight against the harsh arctic climate. Over time, other lovers of a life full of privation but pleasing to God gathered around them, so that a community monastery was established, of which St. Zosima became abbot. He fell asleep in peace in 1478.

Saint Sabbatios (September 27) became a monk at the beginning of the 15th century in the monastery of Saint Cyril of the White Lake, where he stayed for many years and earned the respect and admiration of his brothers through his holy virtues. To avoid this, he retired to the Valaam monastery on Lake Ladoga. But even there, the good opinion of the people became an obstacle in his search for God, which is why he secretly left Valaam to find a more lonely place. He had heard of the beauty and silence of the uninhabited island of Solovki in the White Sea. Then he sought out Saint Herman, who lived as a hermit on the Vyg River, and in 1429 they went to Solowki in a fishing boat. At the end of his long life, Saint Sabbatios left his lonely island because he did not want to leave this existence without having received Divine Communion, which had not happened since his departure from Valaam. On the bank of the Vyg he found the abbot Nathanael, who received his confession and handed him the sacred and life-giving mysteries. The saint then retired to a small church in the area, where he fell asleep in peace on September 27, 1435. A year later, St. Herman returned to Solowki with St. Zosima and founded a community monastery (Koinobion) from which many saints were to emerge.

The saints carry the Solovki Monastery on the icon. Both are dressed as monks. Above, Christ Emmanuel blessing.

Halos and gilded inner rim.

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