St. Anthony the Roman was born in Rome in a.d. 1086. He left the riches of his parents, who were Christians, and entered a monastery at 17. Because of the Great Schism of the Church in a.d. 1054, those who remained faithful to the Eastern Church were persecuted by the Roman clergy, who closed the monastery where St. Anthony lived. He then went to live on a small solitary rock overlooking the sea. One day the rock broke away from the shore and miraculously floated eastward until it landed in Novgorod in a.d. 1106, where St. Anthony was received with honor and love.
He soon built a church and monastery there and is considered a patron of Novgorod. After a long life of asceticism and miracle-working, St. Anthony went to the Lord in a.d. 1148. In this icon, St. Anthony is seen landing on the shores of Novgorod, presenting to the Theotokos the monastery that would soon be built in her name. The Theotokos looks down from above surrounded by red, signifying the fiery nature of the Heavenly world. She points to her Divine Son, directing us to look at all times to the Saviour of the world to help us in every endeavor of our lives.