Icon of Righteous Esther - 20th c - 1ES10

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Righteous Queen Esther

Commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers of Christ 


Righteous Esther, a young Jewish orphan girl, lived during the exile of the Jews in Persia. She was raised by her wise and honorable uncle Mordecai. The lovely girl caught the attention of King Ahasuerus, and she was brought to his palace. Mordecai instructed his niece not reveal her race. The king loved Esther and made her his queen. Out of jealousy for the growing power of Esther and her uncle, the vizier Haman slandered the Jews of Persia. The king then issued an order to confiscate their property and exterminate them. Esther asked Mordecai and all the people to fast for three days. He told Esther that she must be courageous and go to the king. No one was ever allowed to approach the king unless invited, even the queen; nevertheless, she did so and requested that the king and Haman attend two banquets she would prepare for them. The king granted her this and at the second feast, she revealed to him that she was a Jew and that Haman had plotted to kill her people. King Ahasuerus had Haman hanged and seized his property, and Mordecai was made the new vizier. The Fathers of the Church tell us that this Old Testament event is a picture of the Jews’ rejection of Christ and the reception of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God.

 

On her scroll are the words:

 

" O Lord God of Abraham, Hearken to the voice of the hopeless, and deliver us from the hand of them that devise evil."