4167 | Russian Icon of St. Efrosiniya, Princess from Polotsk


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Late 19th century, Mstera. Egg tempera, gold leaf, gesso on wood. Two splints top and bottom. Very rare icon.

Size: 10 1/2 x 8 3/4 in (27 x 22 cm)

Note: Saint Efrosinia (whose birth name was Predislava) was the daughter of Prince Vseslav of Polotsk. When her parents wished her to be married, she ran away to a monastery and became a nun. An angel of the Lord appeared to her three times to show her the place where she was to build a new monastery for virgins. She brought her own sister, Evdokia, into monasticism and many other young girls from the ranks of the aristocracy. One kinswoman of hers, Zvenislava, a princess of Borisov, brought all her wealth, clothing and precious jewels, and said: "I count all the beauty of this world as naught, and wish to give these fine things, prepared for my marriage, to the Church of the Savior. And I desire to espouse myself to Him in a spiritual marriage, and to bow my head beneath His easy, and light yoke." St. Efrosinia professed her too, and gave her the name Evpraxia. In old age, St. Efrosinia evinced a desire to die in Jerusalem, and prayed for this boon. God heard her prayer, and she did indeed die in the monastery of St. Theodosius in Jerusalem on May 23rd, 1173, during a visit there.