05 February 2015

Saint Katherine

Over the past couple weeks, I painted Saint Katherine the Great Martyr. It was a blessing to paint her icon on and around her feast day. She is wearing the ring Christ gave her, and holds a quill to represent her wisdom, and a wheel to represent her martyrdom.

St. Katherine was the daughter of the governor of Egypt during the late third century. She was raised a pagan, received the greatest education of her time, and was extraordinarily wise and beautiful. She determined that she would not marry a man unless he exceeded her wisdom an beauty. Her mother (a secret Christian) led St. Katherine to her elder, who introduced her to a suitable bridegroom, infinitely wise and beautiful: Christ. She had a dream in which Christ betrothed her with a ring; upon awaking, she found the ring on her finger, where it still is to this day. Through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, she outwitted 50 pagan philosophers, was condemned to torture on a wheel. The wheel flew off its axle and killed many pagans, while many others confessed Christ. She was finally beheaded.

Her holy relics were moved to Mount Sinai, where they are still enshrined in one of the oldest monasteries, which also protects the Burning Bush of Exodus. Last summer in Thessaloniki, we were blessed to venerate a portion of her relics, and a neokoros (sexton) gave us a ring blessed on her hand in Sinai.

Saint Nicholas, Friend to Sailors

Saint Nicholas of Myra is often referred to as a friend to sailors, and is depicted standing in a boat or rescuing a drowning sailor. A traditional story tells of a ship on the Mediterranean caught by a storm that became grounded. Unable to maneuver it back into deeper water, the sailors called on Saint Nicholas for aid. The saint then appeared on the ship and gave the sailors a helping hand in order to set sail once again.
To see more of my iconography work, go to www.brianwhirledge.com.

Saint Carpus, One of the Seventy

The Apostle Carpus was one of the Seventy sent out by Christ (Luke 10). St. Paul mentioned him in his second letter to Timothy. He was the bishop of Veroea in northern Greece. I was inspired by the Macedonian School of iconography, especially the stunning frescoes of St. Clement of Ohrid (AD 1295) for this icon: http://www.orthodoxy-icons.com/frescoes/105-the-frescoes-of-the-church-perivlepty-ohrid-macedonia-1295-part-ii.html
To see more of my iconography work, go to www.brianwhirledge.com.