Mary of Egypt, the Saint


Item Code

Icon within kyot, complex, tempera, kyot of linden tree; fogged subframe, gilded brass frame, glass. Silkscreen painting.

Size: 7 x 9 in

History of the Saint:

Saint Mary of Egypt is accounted in the Vita written by St. Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem (634–638). At the age of twelve she ran away from her parents to the city of Alexandria. After 17 years of an indulgent, dissolute life there, she traveled to Jerusalem for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, as a sort of "anti-pilgrimage", paying for her passage by offering indulgences to other pilgrims.

In Jerusalem she was struck with remorse, and upon seeing an icon of the Theotokos outside the church, she prayed for forgiveness. There, she heard a voice, "If you cross the Jordan, you will find glorious rest" and retired to the desert to live the rest of her life as a hermit in penitence. A year before her death, she recounted her life to Saint Zosimas of Palestine, who encountered her in the desert, and related her life story to the brethren in the monastery of Saint John the Baptist on the bank of the River Jordan. It was preserved among them, until it was written down by St. Sophronius.

Product CodeCVX1Z8C87

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