0422 St. Kyriaki
19th cent. 29.5x21x2.2 cms.
The 19th cent was a time of turbulence in Greece as first on the mainland and later in Crete, efforts were made to become independent of Ottoman rule. During this time icons took on a political role because of their importance within the Greek nation.
St Kyriaki [also known as “The Sunday Saint because of the day of her birth] born in the second century of Christianity was an icon which played its part in a 19th freedom struggle.
She was a beautiful woman who had rejected the advancces of the pagan Emperor Diocletion. Because she refused to abandon her Christian beliefs, Kyriaci was martyred and her family exiled. Seven centuries later her example was seen as a symbol and message of hope for Greeks to remember their Christian culture and eject their Muslim Ottoman rulers.