Black Ethiopian Saint Moses Handpainted Icon Orthodox Church African Christian For Sale
SaintMoses the Black
Coptic Ethiopian Saint
Orthodox Icon on wood
Handpainted, with gold leaf
aprox 14 cm on 11 cm
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feast day: July 1st
Saint Moses the Black (Black Moses) lived in 330 - 405 and was an ascetic monk and priest in Egyptin the 4th century of a very large, imposing figure.
In the beginning he was a slave suspected for murder who became the leader of a powerful gang of bandits which roamed the Nile Valley in terror and violence. On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Scetes, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life, became a Christian, was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.
Moses had a rather difficult time adjusting to regular monastic discipline. His flair for adventure remained with him. Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.
Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality."
At about age 75, about the year 405 AD, word came that a group of Berbers planned to attack the monastery. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits on 24 July 1.
A modern interpretation honors Saint Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence. His relics and major shrine are found today at the Church of the Virgin Mary in the Paromeos Monastery.
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Black Ethiopian Saint Moses Handpainted Icon Orthodox Church African Christian : $150