St. Theodosia (Sinai, 13th c.) - S196
Product #: S196
13th c. (Early)
St. Catherine's Monastery, Mt. Sinai
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This famous early 13th century Byzantine icon is from the extensive icon collection of St. Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai. It shows St. Theodosia in monastic attire with her right hand raised and her left hand carrying a cross, which is the sign of her martyrdom. This occurred in a.d. 729 in the time of the first Iconoclast Emperor Leo III, the Isaurian (emperor from a.d. 717 to 741). This emperor mistakenly thought that the early success of this rise of Islam, threatening the East Roman Empire, was because Christian veneration of icons was idolatry.
In the beginning of the fierce persecution which followed the destruction of icons, soldiers were sent to take down a bronze icon of the Saviour that was more than 400 years old, from the bronze Chalke Gate of the Imperial palace. Several women, including the nun St. Theodosia, came out to stop this desecration. The ladder that the soldier was using to take down the image was disturbed, and the soldier fell, dying from his injuries. The women were arrested, and St. Theodosia was martyred when pierced by a ram’s horn in her neck. Many churches were later named after her.