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December 29, 2019

A 14th Century Fresco from Mount Athos of Saint Joseph the Betrothed

Old icons of Saint Joseph the Betrothed alone outside a scene from his life used to be rare in Orthodox churches, especially as early as the fourteenth century. But in the katholikon of Pantokratoros Monastery on the Holy Mountain of Athos, which was decorated with frescoes of high artistic quality by the school of Manuel Panselinos during the decade 1360-1370, there is an exception. In the left choir of the katholikon is preserved a fresco from 1363 simply titled "O Mnestoras", meaning "The Betrothed"; this of course is a reference to Joseph the Betrothed.