Patron saints of hunters and fishermen
Hunting is one of the oldest human activities that played an important role in its evolution. We should not consider it only in the light of sports and recreational activities or the rational use of renewable natural resources. It has a long history and preserves national traditions. This is a whole layer of our culture. Hunting scenes are depicted in rock paintings, on the horns of ungulates and mammoth tusks, in medal and visual arts, literature, legends and myths. The latter includes the life of saints - the patrons of hunters.
If sailors, fishermen and travelers have St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, then hunters have the great martyr Trifon and Saint Hubert.
In Orthodoxy, the heavenly patron saint of hunters is considered to be the holy Great Martyr Trifon, who is depicted sitting on a white horse with a falcon in his right hand. Hunting with birds of prey, which arose in ancient times, first in the East, later spread to Russia and the countries of Western Europe.Before the widespread distribution of complete hunting hunts, she still played a significant role in society. However, later the baiting of greyhounds with dogs began to actively force out hunting with birds of prey, which remained only the privilege of the high court aristocracy.
According to legend, the holy Great Martyr Trifon was born in the year 232 in a peasant family and in his youth he assisted his parents diligently in the household. While still a lad, Trifon showed the gift of miracles: he healed and relieved the ailments of people, with his speeches he turned them to the Christian faith, for which he was seized and brought to justice. He was subjected to scourging and many cruel tortures, but he refused to deny Christ and recognize the Roman gods. For this he was condemned to beheading. Before execution, Trifon fervently prayed and asked the Lord to accept him into his kingdom. Having heeded the prayer, the Lord took his soul, and even before the sentence could be carried out. The commemoration of St. Tryphon in the Orthodox Church is celebrated on February 14.
Despite the widespread use of canine and rifle hunting in the 19th century, hunting with birds of prey still continued to exist in Russia, especially in the south of the country, where birds were caught with game birds, hares and foxes. Among lovers of such entertainment highly valued large falcons, or gyrfalcons.To find a hunting bird that has flown away for prey, a pair of light and sonorous bells are attached to its steering feathers, and before the hunt, a hood hat with a sultan is attached to the head. The purpose of the hood is to close the pet's eyes, so that he calms down faster, does not shy, and does not rush for prey ahead of time. At the right moment, the falconer, pulling at the sultan, drops the hood and lets the trapping bird catch up with the game.
If in Orthodoxy the great martyr Trifon is considered the patron saint of hunters, in many countries of Western Europe hunters and foresters celebrate the feast of St. Hubert. These days on the lapels of their outerwear and hats you can see the emblem in the form of a deer's head with a cross and a glow between the horns. This image is called the St. Hubert's deer bringing good luck on the hunt. People of the Catholic faith, who love hunting, consider St. Hubert to be their patron. It is especially popular in Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.
Proof of this can be many emblems of hunting societies, made in the form of signs, medals and commemorative tokens depicting the head of a deer, between the horns of which there is a holy cross.The amazing beauty and elegance of the objects of old times considered is a peculiar miracle of medal art made with great artistic taste, often on silver and using various enamels and technologies.
According to one of the legends, Francis Hubert (lat. Hubertus) was born in 656. In adolescence he lived at the court of the Frankish king, and later found himself in one of the kingdoms in the north of France. Hubert was a fanatical hunter and spent all his free time in the woods with hounds of dogs working perfectly on a large beast. One morning, when he was chasing a large deer, he suddenly turned around and the startled hunter saw the holy cross between his horns, and then heard the voice of God calling him to leave worldly life and serving the Lord to atone for his sins before nature.
This meeting drastically changed the fate of the hunter, and after much deliberation, he decided to take a haircut as a monk and subsequently became a bishop who preached in the Ardennes, and then in Liege. Despite his dignity, Hubert of Liège continued to be interested in hunting and breeding beast hunting dogs. He carried love for them throughout his life, and in all his images he always stands next to hounds of dogs.After the death of Bishop Hubert in 727, the church canonized him, and he became the heavenly patron of the hunt, the intercessor of all hunters and animals. In many European hunting clubs on November 3, the Feast of St. Hubert is held in his honor, which, according to legend, protects dogs, hunting horses and birds of prey from diseases.
In 825, the relics of Saint Hubert were transferred by the French king Louis to a monastery in the Ardennes forest. The monks living here were always keen on hunting and were actively involved in breeding hunting dogs with good instincts and amazing viscosity of work. They were very popular with hunters in Europe and were named the dogs of St. Hubert. Currently, most dog breeders believe that the purebred hound of St. Hubert has not been preserved, and in England they breed close related dogs, the Bloodhounds, who work well on the blood trail.
In conclusion, it should be said that the myths and legends of the patron saints of hunters as part of the cultural heritage of the peoples of Europe are still alive. Legends of the Great Martyr Tryphon, Saint Hubert, as well as their help to hunters and hunting animals, exist even now.It is believed that the image of the heroes of these myths on the emblems of hunting societies, lapel badges and tokens brings good luck, not only to hunters, but also to their assistants (dogs, riding horses and trapping birds).
By the way. Saint-Eustache, who was also Placid, was a general of the army of the pagan emperor Trajan, during a hunt he saw a deer with a cross between its horns, or he saw an image of the Savior between the horns of a deer, who said: “Placid, why are you following me, wanting your salvation?” ? ”And turned (Eustachius - his name at baptism). Accused of belonging to Christianity, he was deprived of everything, including his wife and both sons (also Christians), but after some time he was again called up for active service, since Traian needed to repel the invasion of the barbarians. Reflected; My wife and children were returned with the expectation that the whole family would offer sacrifice to idols, and they take it and refuse. Trayan ordered them to be thrown to the lions, but they did not eat them, and as a result, the whole family was tortured by burning alive in a bronze bull. St. Eustachius is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Memory S. Eustachii et Sociorum Mm. - September 20, in the East - November 2.
There is a legend that under Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584), the favorite royal gyrfest flew away during the hunt. The king ordered the falconer Trifon Patrikeev to find a bird that had flown away and threatened to die for non-execution of the order. Falconer Trifon toured the surrounding forests, but to no avail. On the third day, tired of the long search, he lay down to rest, diligently asking for help from his patron, the holy martyr Tryphon. In the dream, he saw a young man on a white horse, holding on his arm the royal gyrfalcon. This young man said: "Take the missing bird, go with God to the king and do not be sad about anything." When he woke up, the falconer saw nearby on a pine goose he was looking for. He immediately took him to the king and spoke about the miraculous assistance he received from the holy martyr Tryphon. Soon on the spot where the appearance of the saint was, the falconer Tryphon Patrikeyev built a chapel, and then a church in the name of the holy martyr Tryphon.
Currently, the head of the holy martyr is kept in the city of Kotor (Montenegro), in the Cathedral of St. Tryphon. Part of the relics in 1803 was brought from there to Russia. In 1819, this shrine was enclosed in three archers in the icon of the holy martyr Tryphon, which was located in the church built in his honor.Now, this icon is located in the church in honor of the Sign of the Most Holy Theotokos, at the Riga station in Moscow, not far from the place where the appearance of St. Trifon the falconer.
In Kiev, in Troyeshchina there is a church of the holy martyr Tryphon.
St. Nicholas; Nikolay the Pleasant; Nicholas the Wonderworker - Christian saint, Archbishop of Lycian World (Byzantium). Revered as a miracle worker, is considered the patron saint of sailors, merchants and children. In European folklore is depicted in the form of an image of Santa Claus.
In the ancient biographies of Nikolai Mirlikiysky, they were usually confused with Nikolai Pinarsky (Sinai) because of similar details of the saints' biographies: both lived in the III-IV century, originally from Lykia, archbishops, revered saints and miracle workers. These coincidences led to the error that had existed for many centuries that there was only one Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker in the history of the church.
Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of navigators, to which often sailors who are threatened by drowning or shipwreck turn. In accordance with the biography, being a young man, Nikolai went to study in Alexandria, and in one of his voyages from Mira to Alexandria he resurrected a sailor who had broken from an element of ship rigging into a storm and had crashed to death.From another case of life, Nikolai saved the sailor on his way from Alexandria back to the World, and on arrival took him to the church with him.
During his lifetime, St. Nicholas became famous as a pacifier of the warring, a defender of innocently condemned and a deliverer from a vain death.
There is a whole Cathedral of Holy Patrons. This is the name of even a separate icon. This icon is notable primarily because it was already written in the 21st century, in 2005 with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. In the upper part of the holy image are placed five iconographic images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These are Tikhvin, Kazan, Ozeryanskaya, “The Sign” and Fedorov icons, especially revered by hunters and fishermen.
Each of the images is associated with authentic evidence of the grace-giving help of the Queen of Heaven. A little below, in prayerful intercession to the Savior and the Mother of God, are depicted twenty saints of God, from ancient times considered patrons of hunters and fishermen: St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra, Apostles John the Theologian, Peter and James Zebedee, Nikolai Kogezezersky, Andrew the First-Called, Thomas,righteous man of the Ustu Prince Dmitry Donskoy.
But the representative of the pagans
Zevana (Zevonia) in Slavic mythology - the goddess of animals, birds and hunting.
She was depicted in a rich Kunya coat, trimmed with a squirrel. Instead of epanchi (outerwear) a bear skin was draped over it, the head of the beast served as a hat.
In her hands, Zevana held a stretched bow and traps, and a rag and a knife lay at her feet.
The best hunting dogs were kept in the Zevana temples.
The catchers and hunters prayed to the goddess, asking her for happiness in hunting, and after a successful hunt they brought in part of their prey to her. In conclusion, it should be said that the myths and legends of the patron saints of hunters as part of the cultural heritage of the peoples of Europe are still alive.
Legends of the Great Martyr Tryphon, Saint Hubert, as well as their help to hunters and hunting animals, exist even now. It is believed that the image of the heroes of these myths on the emblems of hunting societies, lapel badges and tokens brings good luck, not only to hunters, but also to their assistants (dogs, riding horses and trapping birds).