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February 28, 2022

The Oldest Surviving Depiction of the Holy Neomartyr Kyranna of Thessaloniki

The oldest surviving depiction of the Holy Neomartyr Kyranna is found in a fresco of the second half of the 18th century (1765-circa 1800), in the kyriakon church of the Skete of Kavsokalyva of Mount Athos.

The depiction is particularly important, since its painting is placed in the first decades after the martyrdom of the Saint, which took place in 1751. Saint Kyranna is depicted as a bust at the north window, together with Saint Michael Mavroudis from Granitsa, Agrafa.

The monk Patapios Kavsokalyvitis, in an article of his, mentions the following:

"Today's kyriakon of Kavsokalyva, the third central church of the Skete in a row, is located in the center of the amphitheatrically built Skete, is honored with the name of the Holy Trinity and is celebrated on the day of Pentecost. The main church, built in a cruciform manner with side niches (of the Athonite type), was erected in 1745 while the narthex in 1804... In the eastern part of the inner window of the north window, in the left area of the main church, are depicted SAINTS MICHAEL AND KYRANNA / the new of Thessaloniki."*

It is noteworthy that 76 years after the Martyrdom of the Saint and specifically from 1827 to 1902, in the Hut of Saint Haralambos of the Skete of Kavsokalyva, four monks "originating from Macedonia and from the village of Vysoka" practiced asceticism! Nikephoros Romalaios, Narkissos, Isidore and his son Gregory, the first three of whom were Elders of the Hut of Saint Haralambos. Vysoka today is known as Ossa since 1926. Ossa is also the birthplace of Saint Kyranna of Thessaloniki.**


* "Ο αγιορείτης ιερομόναχος Διονύσιος ο εκ Φουρνά και το εικονογραφικό του έργο. Οι νεότερες έρευνες. Οι τοιχογραφίες του Κυριακού της Σκήτης Καυσοκαλυβίων", Πρακτικά Συνεδρίου: Όσιος Ευγένιος ο Αιτωλός και αι Σχολαί των Αγράφων κατά την Τουρκοκρατίαν (Καρπενήσι, 7-9 Οκτωβρίου 2011), τ. Β’, σ. 1029-1094, Αθήνα 2014.

** See in this regard the Journal OSSA, issue 2, 1999 and issue 4, 2000 - periodical publication of the Association of Ossetians "Agia Kyranna".