Saints Cyricus and Julitta

17th century (est.)
Russian Icon

In the central image Julitta asks Christ in Heaven to grant her son Cyricus the crown of martyrdom, and he answers that the boy will go to eternal glory and she too will have the martyr's crown.

There are short versions of Julitta's prayer in the Golden Legend and other accounts, but only the so-called Acta Apocrypha provides a full-length version and adds Christ's reply (Acta Sanctorum, June vol. 3, 28-37).

The same text is also the source of most, but not all, of the narrative episodes that surround the central image. It is the only text where Cyricus confronts the provost Alexander repeatedly, as he does in these panels. But in the fourth and fifth panels on the left Alexander's men hack the body to pieces and then an angel puts it back together, a detail from the Golden Legend and its sources. And the third panel along the bottom pictures a vat of burning pitch that appears in neither the Legend nor the Acta Apocrypha, only in a letter written by Theodore of Iconium to another bishop (Ibid., 24).

Read more about Saints Cyricus and Julitta.

Source: Wikimedia Commons