Saint Moses the Ethiopian Icon - S631

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Orthodox icon of the St Moses the Ethiopian, from the original at St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC.
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Saint Moses the Ethiopian, also known as Moses the Black, lived in Egypt during the fourth century. He was a slave, but after committing a murder, his master cast him out. Moses carried on with his sinful life, and was widely feared for his infamous crimes which included murders and robberies. After several years he came to repentance. He converted and entered the monastic life under the direction of Saint Isidore of Scete.

His heart was transformed through his life of obedience and prayer, and he was well-known for his virtue. His sayings are preserved among the collection known as the Desert Fathers. Saint Moses steadfastly refused to judge any person, as he described seeing only his own sins. When a barbarian tribe came to attack Scete, the saint refused to leave, remembering that he himself had committed murders in his former life. He was slain with six other monks about the year 400, at the age of 75.

Saint Moses' feast day is celebrated on August 28. He is considered a patron saint of non-violence and of Africans.

This particular historic icon is of Middle Eastern origin, and is likely at least 100 years old. The inscription reads, “Saint Musa al-Habashi” or “Saint Moses the Abyssinian,” his name in Arabic.

Icon courtesy of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC. A portion of the sale of this icon is given to the Cathedral to support their ministry.


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