Synaxis of the Righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers who shone forth in asceticism
On the Saturday of Cheesefare, we commemorate all the righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and unknown, who shone forth in asceticism. The holy ascetics are virtuous men and women who contended against the devil and their own passions. By examining their lives and their struggles against the Enemy, we take courage from the victory they have achieved, and are inspired to imitate their God-pleasing conduct. They also teach us that fasting is not merely abstinence from food, but involves refraining from inappropriate speech and unseemly actions.
Since these holy ascetics share the same human nature that we have, their example is an encouragement to us as we embark on our own spiritual struggles. Their lives are a model for us to follow as we seek to acquire and practice the various virtues and to turn away from everything evil. If we undertake these same struggles of prayer, fasting, and good works, we shall receive from God the same reward they did.
Most of the holy ascetics commemorated today have their own separate Feast Day during the year, while some are remembered only on this day.
I have had my eye on this icon for a while and was finally able to purchase it. I particularly like that it is a synaxis of both the male and female ascetics of our Church's history. I also like that King David is depicted in the upper center because so many of our holy ascetics have become sanctified through the practice of reading the entire Psalter every single night as Vigil. I am very happy with the overall quality of this icon and highly recommended it to anyone who feels drawn to the monastic saints as a group.