Icon of Saint Cosmas the Hymnographer – S283

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This icon of Saint Cosmas is from the Katholikon of All Saints in the Monastery of Barlaam in Meteora.  Saint Cosmas was the foster brother of Saint John of Damascus, and lived in the 8th century.  With his brother Saint John, Saint Cosmas was taught by the former slave Cosmas, a learned Sicilian and a writer of church hymns.  Both of them, truly brothers in spirit, entered the monastery of Saint Sabba the Sanctified in a wadi near Jerusalem.

Saint Cosmas, at the urging of his brother, also wrote in defense of the icons during the Iconoclastic persecutions of those who correctly defended the proper and necessary use of icons in Orthodox life and worship.  Saint Cosmas also wrote church hymns for the church services, many which have been preserved until today.   Called by God to His service as a bishop, Saint Cosmas left Saint Sabba’s Monastery in a.d. 743 and was made the bishop of Maiuma, the port of Gaza on the southern coast of Phoenicia, where he served for many years.  After a long life of service, prayer, self-restraint, and pouring out his heart in beautiful church hymnology, Saint Cosmas went to the Lord in a.d. 787.   

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Barlaam Monastery, Meteora, Greece


Katellanos, Frangos


16th c. (Mid)