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  Man-woman image of St Onophrius
by Tijavi

Named also after the hermit saint Onophrius, who is venerated by both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The church's most interesting feature is the depiction of the naked St Onophrius as both man and woman, after the Eastern Orthodox belief that the saint used to be a virtuous girl. Not wanting to lose her virginity to a persistent suitor, the girl became a man with divine intervention, who then devoted his life to living in hermetic solitude in the Egyptian desert.

The man-woman dual depiction of St Onophrius is evident from the long beard and the pronounced naked breasts in the image. The palm leaf covering the most intimate part was perhaps placed there to leave something for the imagination?

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  • Updated Nov 15, 2007
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