March 9, 2023

Bryana the Nun and the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

At the Monastery of Savvathianon in Crete, there is a nun named Bryana who is an iconographer. Once, when she thought she had completed an icon of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, who are the patron saints of their katholikon, unknowingly she only depicted 39 martyrs instead of 40. As she looked at the icon that afternoon and wondered if it was good or not, suddenly a knock was heard at the door of her cell. Opening the door, she saw a young man who introduced himself as Severian. She greeted him and asked him to wait a moment before she came out to see him. When she returned to speak with the young man who was unknown to her, he was nowhere to be found. After inquiring about him, she realized that the young man who introduced himself as Severian was one of the Forty Martyrs she had forgotten to depict.

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