Author Topic: Obscure Orthodox Saints  (Read 667 times)

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Offline RobS

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Obscure Orthodox Saints
« on: August 20, 2017, 09:40:08 PM »
I would be interested in what saints would be considered obscure in the OC. St. Boethius would seem to be one, who else?
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 09:52:17 PM »
 I'd imagine that there are many who are only known to God.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 10:01:23 PM »
I would be interested in what saints would be considered obscure in the OC.

How are you defining obscure? 
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 10:10:44 PM »
Maybe there are those with a cult but not on a jurisdiction's calendar?
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline RobS

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 10:21:28 PM »
I would be interested in what saints would be considered obscure in the OC.

How are you defining obscure?

I'll try to define it as: you want to commision an icon of said saint but there's very little, if any, icons of them. The challenge for an iconographer would be they have no references in how to begin painting one and it might involve some careful research.

Maybe you find that definition dubious, I dunno.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 10:22:07 PM by RobS »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 10:26:48 PM »
My daughter's Saint, St. Sarah, seems unpopular.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 10:46:53 PM »
I would be interested in what saints would be considered obscure in the OC.

How are you defining obscure?

I'll try to define it as: you want to commision an icon of said saint but there's very little, if any, icons of them. The challenge for an iconographer would be they have no references in how to begin painting one and it might involve some careful research.

Maybe you find that definition dubious, I dunno.

Not dubious, just not how I would've defined it.  But by my definition, about half the apostles would be "obscure", so maybe yours is better.  :P
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 10:47:05 PM »
My daughter's Saint, St. Sarah, seems unpopular.

Which Sarah?
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Offline RobS

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2017, 11:01:30 PM »
Not dubious, just not how I would've defined it.  But by my definition, about half the apostles would be "obscure", so maybe yours is better.  :P
Thaddeus? Who's he?
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2017, 11:06:40 PM »
My daughter's Saint, St. Sarah, seems unpopular.

Which Sarah?

The wife of St. Abraham. May just be a Greek thing, but nobody seemed to know her day or even whether she's a commemorated saint. I reckoned from Hebrews 11 she has to be.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2017, 11:11:14 PM »
Thaddeus? Who's he?

There are two apostles with that name. Thaddeus of the Seventy, associated with the Mandylion, and Jude Thaddeus, one of the Twelve, who wrote the epistle bearing his name. 
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2017, 11:11:44 PM »
Saint Ronald of the Thebaid is a good one, though some deny he even existed.

I bet at least a few people in works like On Lives of Illustrious Men by Jerome or even the Sayings of the Desert Fathers are obscure according to your definition (which isn't to say it's a bad one).
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 11:13:03 PM by Asteriktos »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 11:12:59 PM »
My daughter's Saint, St. Sarah, seems unpopular.

Which Sarah?

The wife of St. Abraham. May just be a Greek thing, but nobody seemed to know her day or even whether she's a commemorated saint. I reckoned from Hebrews 11 she has to be.

She is indeed commemorated by name, on the Sunday of the Forefathers prior to the Nativity of the Lord.
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2017, 12:25:16 AM »
I'll try to define it as: you want to commision an icon of said saint but there's very little, if any, icons of them. The challenge for an iconographer would be they have no references in how to begin painting one and it might involve some careful research.
Two times have I wished for an icon I couldn't find the slightest example of as far as I can remember: Ss. Boethius (which I now doubt to be on any Orthodox menaion) and Joseph of Panephysis ("if you will, you can become all flame").
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 12:26:08 AM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2017, 12:29:03 AM »
I've yet to find an icon of Mar Ahatullah, the Syriac Orthodox bishop sent to India on the request of the local church, who was martyred and thrown into the sea by Jesuits.  Fr. Shara of St. Ephrems assured me he is considered a saint, so perhaps Mor Ephrem might know of such an icon, given its relevance to that church.
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2017, 01:45:39 AM »
My Patron is fairly obscure at least around here. Usually when I mention St. Januarius the following is usually something like "Who?" Visiting Naples was nice also in that sense that he's pictures were all over the place.
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2017, 04:21:33 AM »
I've yet to find an icon of Mar Ahatullah, the Syriac Orthodox bishop sent to India on the request of the local church, who was martyred and thrown into the sea by Jesuits. 

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2017, 07:33:44 AM »
If we keep in mind that the cultus of the majority of saints, beyond the big superstars, is fairly local, who can be considered obscure depends largely on who you ask. Most Russian saints, say, are of the kind that the average Greek parishioner has never heard of. Practically all saints of the British Isles are automatically filed under 'Catholic' in the layperson's mind, which makes iconography rather challenging (see the anachronism of St Osyth's icon). Generally, the more recent the saint, the more obscure; New Martyrs are often little more than a name.

In Greece, every municipality has its own patron saint, whose feast day is a local public holiday. That saint is often very local: in my home town, St George the New Martyr of Ioannina is honoured with much solemnity, and a few miles beyond county borders, only church historians have even heard of him. ;D
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2017, 07:45:58 AM »
In Greece, every municipality has its own patron saint, whose feast day is a local public holiday. That saint is often very local: in my home town, St George the New Martyr of Ioannina is honoured with much solemnity, and a few miles beyond county borders, only church historians have even heard of him. ;D

Hmmm, really? Frankfurt (Germany) has a chapel dedicated to him, actually. Since I lived there for some years (and maybe also since I am a scholar of Islam by profession), I always thought of him as a major Greek saint.

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2017, 07:50:24 AM »
In Greece, every municipality has its own patron saint, whose feast day is a local public holiday. That saint is often very local: in my home town, St George the New Martyr of Ioannina is honoured with much solemnity, and a few miles beyond county borders, only church historians have even heard of him. ;D

Hmmm, really? Frankfurt (Germany) has a chapel dedicated to him, actually. Since I lived there for some years (and maybe also since I am a scholar of Islam by profession), I always thought of him as a major Greek saint.

One of our local churches in Athens (we have five within short walking distance) includes him in its murals, but just the one. He may be bigger in places with Ioannite communities.
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2017, 09:32:04 AM »
Saint Golinduc of Persia? There's a slew of martyrs of whom nothing is known but their names and the years they died.
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2017, 10:42:20 AM »
This thread is wonderful.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2017, 11:31:29 AM »
Saint Golinduc of Persia? There's a slew of martyrs of whom nothing is known but their names and the years they died.

Every once in a while you hear in the Synaxarion some reference to "On this day, we commemorate a mother and her child who were martyred by the sword in the days of Decius", and I wonder that they even got remembered at all.
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2017, 02:05:44 PM »
My Patron is fairly obscure at least around here. Usually when I mention St. Januarius the following is usually something like "Who?" Visiting Naples was nice also in that sense that he's pictures were all over the place.

That is interesting that you St. Januarius is your Patron Saint.  He is lesser known in Orthodoxy in general than he is with Roman Catholics.  I would think it is somewhat a privilege to have a Patron very few share.  It is unique.

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2017, 02:57:07 PM »
Two times have I wished for an icon I couldn't find the slightest example of as far as I can remember: Ss. Boethius (which I now doubt to be on any Orthodox menaion) and Joseph of Panephysis ("if you will, you can become all flame").
I haven't ever found decent icons of Ss. Proterius of Alexandria and Theodosius the Great. Like Boethius, they're not obscure historical figures, but let's say their veneration is?

My Patron is fairly obscure at least around here. Usually when I mention St. Januarius the following is usually something like "Who?" Visiting Naples was nice also in that sense that he's pictures were all over the place.
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« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 03:08:37 PM by RaphaCam »
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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2017, 05:39:20 PM »
My Patron is fairly obscure at least around here. Usually when I mention St. Januarius the following is usually something like "Who?" Visiting Naples was nice also in that sense that he's pictures were all over the place.

That is interesting that you St. Januarius is your Patron Saint.

The Finnish church have a sort of list of equivalent Saint names for civilian names. No idea how it was compiled but AFAIK converts generally pick their Patron Saints through that list. My civilian name fell for St. Januarius. Sounded a bit bureuecratic at first but I've gotten rather fond of him over the years. May his prayers be with us all.
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Leviticus 19:34

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2017, 07:58:02 PM »
Every once in a while you hear in the Synaxarion some reference to "On this day, we commemorate a mother and her child who were martyred by the sword in the days of Decius", and I wonder that they even got remembered at all.

I love those days when that happens.  My own saint did nothing except live a quiet life as a single mother and in faithfulness raise two sons (who grew up to be the Wonder-Working Saints and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian).  I have yet to find an icon of St. Theodota.

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2017, 09:10:18 PM »
The icon to importance ratio of St. Justin the Martyr/Philosopher seems rather low.  ::)
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2017, 01:51:03 AM »
The icon to importance ratio of St. Justin the Martyr/Philosopher seems rather low.  ::)

Judging by that criteria only important saints were the Mother of God and St. Nicholas. :P
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Obscure Orthodox Saints
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2017, 04:54:05 AM »
The icon to importance ratio of St. Justin the Martyr/Philosopher seems rather low.  ::)

Judging by that criteria only important saints were the Mother of God and St. Nicholas. :P

The icons of the last tsar and his family, who have been glorified by both the ROCOR and the MP, have become quite widespread in churches of these two jurisdictions. Does that make them important saints?