Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri, 8x10" Acrylic and Gold on Panel
Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri was a hermit who lived in the mountains above a monastery in Nea Makri, on the east coast of Attiki, Greece. Once, when returning to his monastery for the Divine Liturgy, he found the bodies of all of his monastic brothers, slain by Turkish pirates. He buried his brothers, and lived in the monastery and prayed the Divine services until the Turks returned. They tied him to a tree, and beat him mercilessly every day for nine months, trying to convert him to Islam. Finally, they impaled him with a burning stick, and he completed his martyric race on May 5, 1426. He was utterly forgotten for almost 500 years. On January 3, 1950, the nun Makaria uncovered his relics as she was living in the ruins of his monastery. Since that time, he has been a continuous fountain of miracles and the grace of God.
This saint is very dear to me. I visited his grace-filled and wonderworking relics twice. This icon is now in Trikala, Greece, St. Ephraim’s boyhood home.