July 17, 2017

The Oldest Icon in Cyprus, Saint Marina the Great Martyr

Saint Marina the Great Martyr is greatly revered in Cyprus. This is most apparent by the fact that five villages of the island are named after Saint Marina (Agia Marina Xyliatou, Agia Marina Skylloura - occupied, Agia Marina Chrysochous - occupied, Agia Marina Kelokedaron, Agia Marina Marinouda), and there are around 110 churches dedicated to her.

In the Byzantine Museum of Paphos is also preserved perhaps the oldest icon in all of Cyprus, which depicts Saint Marina in the orans position, flanked by scenes of her martyrdom. The origins of this icon may predate iconoclasm, or may have been painted during the period of iconoclasm, thus it is dated to sometime between the 7th-9th centuries.