St. Matthew The Evangelist


Depicted in the middle of the icon is the evangelist Matthew, one of Christ’s twelve apostles. Next to him is an angel, inspiring him to record the story of Christ. At the top center of the icon is a circle containing an image of the Divine Fatherhood—God the Father with the Christ child and the Holy Spirit. On the margins are the scenes of Matthew’s life. We see Matthew as a tax collector who leaves his job to follow Christ. After Christ’s ascension to heaven, Matthew went to Ethiopia to preach to non-Christians and, after an eventful life, he meets a martyr’s death. The story depicted on this icon is unique and was painted for St. Nicetas Church situated in the district of Yaroslavl where foreign merchants, who were not of the Orthodox faith, lived. The theme of the conversion of non-Christians to Orthodoxy was a daily concern of the priests and parishioners of St. Nicetas church.