Icon of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sinai

Detail of an icon of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sinai, from the thirteenth century. In the top register, Christ is seated upon a throne, holding the Gospel in his left hand, and blessing with his upraised right hand. The orb behind him is adorned with stars. The Virgin Mary and Saint John the Forerunner stand to either side, supplicating him. The Apostle Peter stands to the left, and the Apostle Paul to the right. In the far right is an icon of Saint John Climacus, and in the left corner, an icon of the Righteous Paul.

Then our holy father Paul raised his hands to heaven and said, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, thou who never diest, forget not thy servants, but remember our afflictions and our poverty. Strengthen us in this hour of tribulation and receive the sacrifice which we offer as well-pleasing unto thee.’ Thereupon, when we had all said ‘Amen’, there came a voice from the altar, which we all heard, saying, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ At this voice we were all struck with awe.

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