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The Twelve Faithful Servants

Venerating those whom Christ praises

The Gospels tell the story of Jesus, the Son of God, with the intention that we would believe in him, and that, believing, we would have life in his name. What does belief look like? In the Gospels, there are twelve people whom Christ directly, explicitly praises for their faith. Just as Jesus calls the Twelve Apostles, so also there are another Twelve who call on Jesus and are answered, providing a clear picture of devotion for all to follow.

I am commissioning icons of these Twelve Faithful Servants from twelve different iconographers. Below you can see the ones completed so far. May we also someday hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

The Twelve Faithful Servants

The Defiant

Women with nothing left to lose, they defy onlookers to boldly approach Jesus.
St. Justa The Canaanite Woman St. Veronica The Woman with a Flow of Blood The Sinful Woman Forgiven by Christ

The Outcast

Men without worldly advantages, they beg Jesus for mercy and are answered.
St. Dysmas The Penitent Thief (a.k.a. St. Rakh) The Samaritan Leper St. Bartimaeus The Blind Beggar

The Powerful

Wealthy and of high standing, they show that all things are possible with God.
The Centurion St. Zacchaeus The Son of Abraham The Wise Scribe

The Familiar

Close friends of Jesus, they are Apostles and Equal to the Apostles.
St. Nathanael The True Israelite (a.k.a. St. Bartholomew) St. Peter The Blessed St. Mary of Bethany The Twice-Praised

How the Icons Are Used

Fr. Thomas Soroka has set aside an analogion for the Twelve Faithful Servants at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks. Their icons rotate through for veneration during the year. Here is a clip of Fr. Tom introducing the icons and inviting me to say a few words:

Here is a clip of the Sinful Woman Forgiven by Christ being vested for Great Lent:

Here are a few photos showing the analogion with St. Zacchaeus: