Late 19th Century Original Retablo Oil Painting on Tin created in Mexico. Retablo dimensions are approx. 10 inches horizontal x 14 inches vertical. Condition: in excellent, clean, original condition with some minor paint loss acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer.
San Caralampio (St. Charalampos) was an early Christian saint and martyr from the third century AD. A bishop in the central Greek city of Magnesia, like St Denis he was accused by the Roman governor of converting too many pagans, undermining his authority and fomenting a rebellion against Rome—this during a period of religious persecution under the expansionist Emperor Septimius Severus.
Although of advanced age—over 100 by some accounts— Caralampio was stripped of his vestments and brutally tortured. Proving indifferent to his torments, the saint was finally beheaded by order of the exasperated emperor.
Miracles attributed to him before and after his death, included exorcism and healing the sick, especially during the plague, that led to the conversion of many to Christianity including, according to legend, his torturers and even the daughter of the emperor himself!
Devotion to the saint became widespread in the eastern Mediterranean, especially in the Eastern Orthodox church. His cult in the Americas seems to have arisen in central America, mostly in the 19th century, in Nicaragua, Guatemala and later Chiapas in southern Mexico.