Saint Zoe of Rome

Saint Zoe of Rome, private collection, acrylic and gold leaf on birch panel, 8x10."

I recently finished this commissioned icon of St. Zoe of Rome. In Greek, Zoe means "life," as in eternal life, not to be confused with "bios," biological life. In the Greek Bible (Septuagint), Zoe is also the name of our first mother, Eve, in English. St. Zoe (+286) was a noblewoman, wife to a Roman official. Unable to speak for six years, she fell down at the feet of St. Sebastian, and by her gestures implored him to heal her. The saint made the Sign of the Cross over the woman, and she immediately began to speak and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. She was arrested while praying at the grave of the Apostle Peter, found guilty of her faith in Christ, and burned alive while being hung from a tree, receiving a martyr’s crown.

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