St John the Baptist
As the cousin of Jesus Christ and his elder by several months, St John the Baptist is certainly the most worshipped saint in the Eastern church after Mary, the Mother of God. His story as contained in the gospels has been supplemented by numerous legendary tales.
This icon may have formed part of the Deisis of an iconostasis (the screen separating the choir from the nave in Orthodox churches). The holes on the edges of the icon were left by nails which attached one or more successive metal covers to the icon.