Icon of SS Anthony and Theodosios of the Kiev Caves – S257


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Egg Tempera


20th c. (Late)


Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, New York, USA


St. Anthony was born in in Liubech, near Chernigov, Russia in a.d. 983.  He desired the monastic life from his youth, and went early to Mount Athos, where he entered the ranks of monks.   Inspired by God, his abbot later sent him back to begin a serious monastic life in Russia.  He settled near Kiev and found a cave to live in there.  Many came to him and they dug a bigger cave  for a church and monks’ cells.  When the community grew, St. Anthony sought solitude again and dug another cave to be alone.

St. Theodosios was born in a.d. 1009 and lived in Vasilkov and Kursk, Russia.  When just 13 his father died and he left the world to go to Kiev.  He met St. Anthony, who was living in the  monastery at that time.  St. Theodosios was tonsured a monk when he was just 23 years old.  Barlaam was appointed the superior of the first Far Caves Monastery when St. Anthony dug his new cave.  When he was called to Dmetriev Monastery, St. Theodosios was elected as the new abbot.  Together St. Anthony and St. Theodosios are considered the founders of monasticism in Russia.  St. Anthony died at age 90 in a.d. 1073 and St. Theodosios died a year later.