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Iconography and Hand painted icons

Holy Martyr Perpetua entered into heaven and saw the most beautiful mansions of heaven and was very ecstatic.

Χριστός Άμπελος η αληθινή_Jesus Christ is the true Vine Icon__Christ-the-True-VineHoly Martyrs Perpetua and Felicity, and those with them at Carthage (203)
Holy Martyr Tryphon (250)
Our Holy Mother Brigid of Kildare (524)

Commemorated February 1

The Holy Martyrs Perpetua, Felicitas and Satyrus, and others with them,

As Christians, they were all cast into prison during the reign of Emperor Septimus Severus. Saint Perpetua, who was of noble birth, encouraged all the other prisoners not to be afraid to suffer for Christ. In a dream, Perpetua saw a ladder imbedded with sharp knives, swords, spears, fishhooks, nails and other death-bearing instruments extending from heaven to earth. At the bottom of the ladder there lay a loathsome serpent. She saw how Satyrus ran up to the top of the ladder first, unharmed, and from the top cried out to Perpetua: “Perpetua, I am waiting for you; come, but be careful of the serpent!” Encouraged by this, Perpetua stood on the head of the serpent as on the first rung of the ladder and, step by step, quickly raced to the top. When she reached the top, Perpetua entered into heaven and saw the most beautiful mansions of heaven and was very ecstatic. When she related her dream, all the prisoners interpreted that imminent death soon faced them, the first of them being Satyrus, which shortly came true. Satyrus was slain first, then Perpetua and all others one by one. As lambs slain for Christ the Lamb of God, they received from Christ, the eternal reward in the kingdom of Light. They all suffered for Christ between the years 202-203 A.D.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/February1.htm

All were arrested under Emperor Valerian’s persecution and sent to Carthage. Perpetua had a young child still at the breast, which she asked to take with her. Felicity, who was eight months pregnant, was concerned that her martyrdom might be postponed because of her pregnancy, but at the prayers of her friends, she went into labor three days before the games. As she groaned in labor, a jailer mocked her, telling her that the pain she felt was nothing to the pain that she would feel in the arena. The Saint replied, ‘Here I suffer for myself; then there will be Another with me, who will suffer with me; and my sufferings will be for Him!’ When she gave birth, she entrusted her newborn child to the care of a Christian couple and prepared for her end. Walking to the center of the arena, the two spiritual sisters exchanged the kiss of peace and gave up their souls to God.Περπετουα-Φιλικιτατη_Perpetua and Felicity Carthage _7897899unnamed

Hymn of praise
CHRIST – the Golden Tree

A golden-branched tree grew
With three golden branches,
On it, there are white birds,
White; as white as snow.
And the birds fell
Down deep,
The glowing golden tree remained,
The tall tree.
In the depths, death and darkness,
Dark and becoming darker,
Malice and hunger; sorrow and grief,
Insanity, delirium.
The birds in the blackness of pitch all were immersed;
Never again able
To soar to the heights.
The golden tree took pity on the unfortunate birds,
And a secret conversation began among the branches.
Then one branch bent over to the terrible abyss,
And raised the nest of the birds to the top of the mountain.
Thus, Christ the golden-branch bent toward the earth
And raised fallen man to the glory of the Trinity.
And now, the golden tree grows with three golden branches,
On it are white birds; white, white as snow.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/February1.htm

***

Although the Holy Fathers praised monasticism as the angelic state, and although many of the greatest saints lived their lives and attained perfection in the deaf and lifeless desert, nevertheless, the Orthodox Church does not recommend tonsuring to all the faithful. “Neither all those in the desert were saved nor all those in the world were lost,” said one saint. To a city dweller who, with no inclination for monasticism, desired to enter the monastery, St. Niphon said: “My child, a place neither saves nor destroys a man, but deeds save or destroy. For him who does not fulfill all the commandments of the Lord, there is no benefit from a sacred place or from a sacred rank. King Saul lived in the midst of royal luxury and he perished. King David lived in the same kind of luxury and he received a wreath. Lot lived among the lawless Sodomites and he was saved. Judas was numbered among the apostles and he went to Hades. Whoever says that it is impossible to be saved with a wife and children deceives himself. Abraham had a wife and children, three-hundred-eighteen servants and handmaidens, much gold and silver but, nevertheless, he was called the Friend of God. Oh, how many servants of the Church and lovers of the desert have been saved! How many aristocrats and soldiers! How many artesians and field-workers! Be pious and be a lover of men and you will be saved!”
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/January31.htm

Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs, O Lord, / through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. / For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through their intercessions, save our souls!

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