The Holy Prophet Elias ( Elijah) is the most venerated Old Testament Prophet in the Christian Church, and many churches are named after him. He lived in the ninth century before Christ, and at his birth his father saw angels of God around his child swaddling him with fire and feeding him with flames, as a foreshadowing of Elias’ fiery nature and God-given powers which would be manifest later. The great Prophet by his prayers withheld rain from Israel for three and a half years, and then brought rain later by prayer. He also miraculously multiplied grain and oil for a poor widow, and raised a dead boy, her son, to life.
St. Elias went to Mount Horeb and sat in a small cave, half-way up Mount Sinai, and heard God in a still small voice. In this icon, the Prophet holds up a scroll the very first words of his recorded in the Old Testament, “As the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, lives…” (I Kings 17:1). His other hand is raised in prayer to God as he looks up for the direction and sustenance in his life. At the end of his life on earth, he was taken up into Heaven in a fiery chariot. May we look up to God to see this great saint!