The Manuscript Illumination, Calligraphy and Icons of Nicholas Hughes, an Orthodox monk from West Virginia

Nicholas Hughes is an Antiochan Orthodox monk living as a hermit in West Virginia. He has been a monk for over 40 years, he tells me. He contacted me because he had questions about a traditional story about the time spent by the Holy Family in Egypt, perhaps apocryphal, about the miraculous wheat. He wanted to know if there was an original source for the story, which appears in many books of hours from the Middle Ages. He wanted to produce a series of contemporary illuminations of the story and sent me images of his work so far. I had never heard of the miraculous story before and couldn’t help him (if any readers can supply some details, please get in touch with him at (, but I was so taken with his work that I asked if I could feature it here. 

Nicholas is taking commissions and can be contacted at the same email address: He is a calligrapher, illuminator and icon painter.