SELECTING SAINTS

Here is a Russian icon dating, apparently, to the 19th century.

(Private collection, Switzerland)

At top center, though without an identifying title, is the Akhtuirskaya Marian icon type:

In Church tradition, prayer is made to icons of the Akhtuirskaya type for the protection and needs of orphans, for the upbringing of children, as well as for the cure of fever.

At top left we see the female martyr Paraskovi (Paraskeva Pyatnitsa), and below her is Venerable Evdokia/Eudocia.  Paraskovi/Parskeva is a “special needs” saint, and believers pray to her for — among other things — the healing of children.


Evdokia/Eudocia too is a “special needs” saint to whom prayer is made for the healing of paralysis, and also vision problems.

To the right of them is the Angel Khranitel’ — the “Guardian Angel.”  He is the generic representation of the Guardian Angel said to be assigned to every “Orthodox” Christian.

At right we see the mother and son martyr saints Oulita/Julitta (bottom) and Kirik/Kyrikos (top):

Kirik and Oulita also are prayed to for the healing of children, as well as for the general happiness of families.

A customer — in ordering an icon — could request whatever combination of saints and images he or she wished to have.  Often these were based on the particular concerns of that person or family, which is why one often finds “special needs” saints included when subjects for a new icon were chosen.

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