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Saints of the Month

Often when we look into the Church Calendar, we find saints that we know very little about. Many Saints days are observed by all Orthodox jurisdictions such as the Holy Apostles, the earlyly martyrs, and well known saints such as St Nicholas or St Spiridon. The St Innocent Calendar, issued with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion or the Calendar of the German Diocese, issued with Vladika Mark's blessing, both contain references to the New Martyrs of Russia and many other Pre - Revolutionary Russian Orthodox Saints. This area of the website will be used to give little summaries of the lives of some of these saints, normally the less familar ones. The source material for these is normally freely available on the internet. St Herman's Calendar, available from St George's Orthodox Information Service, often has Western Saints. Over time, these saints lives will be added to this area of the website as a resource for Orthodox Christians. However, Fr Andrew's website has a great deal of material about Western Saints including some services. Where possible, links will be inserted for more detailed information. Please look regularly at this part of the site to see new material which will be added monthly.

New Martyr Tatiana Grimblit of Butovo

St Tatiana Grimblit
St Tatiana Grimblit
St Tatiana Grimblit
The New Martyr Tatiana of Butovo 10/23 September

Tatiana was born in 1903 in Tomsk, Southern Siberia. She was brought up as a traditional Orthodox Christian. Her grandfather was an Archpriest. Siberia was ravaged by the Russian Civil War and many were imprisoned by the victorious Red Army and local Soviet Committees. By the age of 17, young Tatiana was employed in a local school and used her earnings to bring provisions to prisoners. On one of her mercy missions to Irkutsk, she was arrested for "Anti -Soviet activity" and imprisoned. She was released but carried on her work and was arrested again for assisting imprisoned clergy in 1925. After 3 years of Penal Exile she moved to Moscow. She was arrested again for assisting enemies of the Soviet State and sent to a camp near Perm. Released again, she returned to live near  Moscow, worked as a medical assistant and continued to support well known confessing clergy including the Hieromartyrs Bishop John Pashin of Rilsk (+1938) and Archbishop Averky of Volhynia and Zhitomir (+1937). She was arrested after having been betrayed by fellow workers in the hospital and her neighbours in the village. The Soviet Authorities believed that her custom of praying with patients was Anti Soviet activity. She was found guilty of subversive activity and sentenced to death. She was shot at Butovo on September 10/23  in 1937.

Tatiana was 33 years old. Her only crime was her obedience to her Saviour who tells us to feed the hungry and visit those in prison.

St Thekla of Iconium

St Thekla
St Thekla
St Thekla
St Thekla, Equal unto the Apostles 24 Sept/ 7 October

St Thekla was born in 16 AD and lived in the city of Iconium (Konya). She was betrothed by her family when she was 18. When St Paul was preaching there she was forbidden to listen to him by her mother but managed to overhear his preaching through her open bedroom window. She was expecially moved by his preaching about virginity. Her family realised that she had heard St Paul so went to the Governor of the city to have St Paul silenced. Thekla managed to get to the prison where St Paul was held to listen to more of his teaching. When she was discovered, the Governor had St Paul stoned and expelled from the city and, after pressure from her family, threatened Thekla with being burned at the stake if she did not renounce Christ. Thekla refused and was tied to the stake. The flames were immediately extinguished by a great thunder storm so the governor, embarassed, released her but sent her away from the city. She met St Paul in the outskirts of the city and went with him to Antioch. Here she fought off the advances of a young nobleman called Alexander. He was so angry that he demanded that she should die for disgracing him. The Governor agreed and she was fed to wild beasts in the arena. A lioness saved her by sacrificing its own life for her. Two bulls failed to tear her apart and somehow Thekla managed to  baptise herself in a tank of water meant to refresh the wild beasts. Seeing that she coud not be harmed, the Governor released her and she left Antioch after a few days. After another brief meeting with St Paul, she went to Syria to lead a life of prayer. Many years later a young pagan man came to take her by force but the mountain opened further and she escaped. As a great healer, she threatened all the apothecaries in the area, so they arranged for her death but once more she was saved. She reposed in the Lord when she was 90 and a community of virgins was founded on the site of her cave. Her relics were kept in Mal'oula in Syria which was recently (2013) invaded by radical Jihaddists. She is depicted as a Martry because of her many sufferings for Christ and is called Equal unto the Apostles. In the Slavonic rite, she is commemorated in the Proscomede amongst female ascetics.

St Romanus the Melodist

St Romanus the Melodist
St Romanus the Melodist
St Romanus the Melodist
St Romanus the Melodist 1/14 October

St Romanus was born in Syria of Jewish parents. He travelled to Constantinople as a young man where he became a monk. He often prayed alone in the church at Blachernae. He was a poor reader and singer, so much so, that on one occasion, on the eve of the Nativity of the Saviour, another reader had to come and take over. St Romanus was so distressed that he went and wept before the icon of the Mother of God, Kyriotissa. She appeared to him on the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord and told him to eat the scroll that she gave him. He obeyed the Mother of God and then went to church. There he sang the first ever Kontakion ...“Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One...” in an amazing voice. He went on to compose many hymns and was ordained a Deacon for the Church of Agia Sophia in Constantinople. The church still sings at least 80 of his hymns. He reposed in the Lord in the year 556.

The New Hieroconfessor Agathengel of Yaroslav

St Agathangel of Yaroslav
St Agathangel of Yaroslav
St Agathangel of Yaroslav
The Hieromartyr and New Confessor Agathangel of Yaroslav 3/16 October

Alexander Lavrentyevich Preobrazhensky, the son of a Protopriest, was born in 1854 in Tula Province. He was married but his wife and son died in 1885. He was tonsured as a monk and given the name Agathangel. He was ordained Deacon and Priest in the same year. He was made Archimandrite and Rector of the Irkutsk Theological Seminary in 1888. The next year he was consecrated as Bishop of Kirensk, transferring to Tobolsk in 1897. He was made Archbishop of Yaroslav in 1913 being raised to Metropolitan,  In 1918 he was present at the election of Patriarch Tikhon and was a prominent member of the Holy Synod. When the Patriarch was arrested (or was   supposedly incarcerated for his own health) in the summer of 1922, Metropolitan Agathangel took over administration of the Church in Russia. He issued a strongly worded epistle that same year condemning the "Renovationists" and enjoining his fellow bishops, their clergy and faithful, to remain true to the sacred traditions and teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church. For the next 5 years he was either under house arrest or in exilem in Siberia. Finally in 1927 he signed a declaration against the arrangement Metropolitan Sergius made with the Soviet Government sent to the Holy Synod by Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd. He somehow managed to return briefly to his diocese in 1928 where he and his vicar bishops essentially broke communion with Metropolitan Sergius. After a long stand against the Communist Regime and its cruel attempts to destroy the Church, he reposed in the Lord on the 3/16th October 1928. He is commemorated in the ROCOR version of the prayer... O Lord save Thy People...during the All Night Vigil.

St John of Suzdal

St John of Suzdal
St John of Suzdal
St John of Suzdal
St John of Suzdal 15/28 October

Almost nothing is known about St John's early life.  It is only known that he was a very pious youth who desired to enter a monastery from a very early age. He lived a quiet, humble and holy life until 1350 when he was consecrated as Bishop of Suzdal, then an important city. St John was known for his great sympathy for those who were poor and destitute. He built houses for the poor and sick in the city and tried to influence the Prince of Suzdal to reduce taxes for the people of the city. Prince Boris witnessed an angel ministering to St John as he was serving the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedal. St John begged the prince to be kind to the poor. The See of Suzdal became less important during St John's lifetime and was taken over by the Diocese of Moscow. St John took the opportunity to return to seclusion and retired to the Bogoliub Monastery where he lived a quiet, monastic life until he reposed in the Lord. There is a very beautiful Funeral Pall which was embroidered for St John's tomb. Though dated to the middle of the 16th Century, it is believed to be based upon the original of the 14th Century. Many miracles were recorded at the site of his grave.

 

St Barlaam of Khutyn

St Barlaam of Khutyn
St Barlaam of Khutyn
St Barlaam of Khutyn
St Barlaam of Khutyn Nov 6/19

St Barlaam of Khutyn (Варлаам Хутынский) lived in the twelfth century, the son of a wealthy family of Novgorod.  He withdrew from the world when his parents died. He was tonsured at the Lisich Monastery and then settled alone on a  hill below Volkhov called Khutyn, near Novgorod. He lived a very holy life..

St Barlaam taught the local people, “My children, beware of all unrighteousness, and do not give in to envy or slander. Refrain from anger, and do not practice usury. Beware of unjust judgment. Do not swear an oath falsely, but rather fulfill it. Do not indulge the bodily appetites. Always be meek and bear all things with love. This virtue is the beginning and root of all good.”  He died on 6th November 1192, His grave  became a site of pilgrimage and the Monastery of the Tranfiguration was built on the site.

St Barlaam of Khutyn performed a great miracle in Moscow in 1521 during a raid on the city by the Tartars of Crimea and Kazan who were looting villages and monasteries nearby, Prince Vasily III left to get reinforcements. As he left, a blind nun in the Ascension Convent in the Kremlin had a vision that  all the Saints and Wonderworkers of Muscovy, led by the Lord Himself and the Mother of God, were preparing to leave the city as a punishment for the sins of Moscow. The Saints took with them the precious Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. Only after the intercession of St Sergius of Radonezh and St Barlaam of Khutyn did they return to the city. The relics of  St Barlaam  are kept in the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Khutyn  near Novgorod.

In Slavonic practice, St Barlaam is commemorated during the Proskomedia along with the venerable and God-bearing Fathers who shone forth in asceticism (sixth particle). 
 

St Joseph of Petrograd and St Kyrill of Kazan : 7/20 November

St Joseph of Petrograd
St Joseph of Petrograd
St Joseph of Petrograd
St Kyrill of Kazan
St Kyrill of Kazan
St Kyrill of Kazan
St Joseph of Petrograd and St Kyrill of Kazan

St Joseph of Petrograd is one of the most remarkable of all the New Martyrs of Russia. Born in 1872 , he was tonsured and ordained in 1901. He wrote prophetically in 1909, " perhaps the faith of Christ will hide once more in the forests, caves and deserts and the confession of the Faith will only be in secret..." He was consecrated bishop in 1909, attended the Council which elected Patriarch Tikhon the New Confessor in 1918 and moved from Uriev to Rostov in the same year. He was arrested in 1919 for organising a protest agaist the forcible opening of the relics of the saints of Rostov but released after a huge petition of the faithful. He suffered regular  harrassment from the Soviet Authorities even after his election to the See of Leningrad. He refused to accept the new title of the City insisting that he was Metropolitan of Petrograd but took up his new post in 1926. However, he was quickly sent away by the Soviet Authorities for non-cooperation and put under house arrest. After the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927, Metropolitan Joseph found it impossible to remain in communion, believing that the part of the church which cooperated with the Soviet Government had fallen into error. He was arrested in 1929 and in a letter smuggled out of prison wrote..." Being deprived of the Churches of God and the former magnificent services with their abundance of worshippers and glittering hosts of clergy... is, of course sad and regrettable. But we have not been deprived of the inner service of God in quietness and compunction and concentration of the Spirit within itself."  In 1931 he was exiled to Kazkhstan where he lived in terrible conditions, serving in secret churches and ordaining secret clergy. Finally, he was arrested in June 1937 being kept in prison with Metropolitan Kyrill of Kazan. They were condemned to death by firing squad for Anti Soviet activities on the 6/19 November 1937 and died together in Chimkent at midnight of the 7/20th November.

St Kyrill of Kazan was born Constantine Smirnov in Kronstadt in 1862. He married and was ordained in 1887. His daughter and wife died in 1902 and he was tonsured as a monk, being given the name Kyrill. He became bishop of Gdov in 1904 as vicar of the St Petersburg Eparchy. As a close friend of Fr John of Kronstadt, he laid his body in the coffin and conducted the funeral of the Saint in 1908. The following year he was transferred to Tambov becoming Archbishop in 1913. He was a significant member of the Local Church Council of 1918 which elected St Tikhon as Patriarch. His many arrests and exiles began in 1919. In a brief period of freedom he travelled to Kazan to take up his appointment as Metropoiltan. However, he was arrested for travelling outside Moscow without permission and exiled. From exile  he broke communion with Metropolitan Sergius in 1927 though never believed that the Sergianists were entirely without grace. After his release in 1933 he briefly returned, writing to Metropolitan Sergius to beg him to desist from servile cooperation with the Soviet regime. He was re-arrested in 1934 and sent into exile, this time to southern Kazakhstan. In the summer of 1937 he was imprisoned with Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd in Chimkent. Eye witness record how he and Metropolitan Joseph walked together in the prison compound every afternoon. St Kyrill was quite short and St Joseph very tall, so to hear each others whispers, they would walk with an arm round each other, Metropolitan Joseph stooping to hear his friend. They were condemned together on November 6/19 to be executed by firing squad for Anti Soviet activities. They were shot at midnight on the 7/20 November and were buried together in Lisiy Ovrag.

Holy New Martyrs of Russia pray to God for us!

St Paisii Velichkovsy

St Paisii Velichkovsky
St Paisii Velichkovsky
St Paisii Velichkovsky
St Paisii Velichovsky 15/28 November

In 1722, Pyotr Velichkovsky was born of a priestly family in the city of Poltava in the Ukraine. He studied theology in Kiev and entered the monastic life in 1741. The young monk Platon faced great difficulties when his monastery was suppressed so he was forced to move to the Kiev Perchersky (Caves) Monastery. Whilst there his fervour for the monastic life increased greatly and he felt compelled to leave the Tsarist Empire to learn more about the Hesychastic Tradition. He had met some Moldavian and Romanian monks who were visiting Kiev so decided to learn more, so he travelled to Moldavia and Wallacia (Romania), transferring to Mount Athos in 1746 where he took the Little Schema and was given the name Paisii. He became spiritual father of the St Elias Skete on Mount Athos after his ordination to the Priesthood in 1758. He spent much of his time on the Holy Mountain translating  ancient texts about the spiritual life from Greek into Slavonic. He, and 64 or his disciples were invited to Dragomirna Monastery in 1764 where he stayed gathering many disciples and translating more sacred texts. With the annexation of the area by the Austro Hungarians in 1779, he and all his many disciples fled to Neamts Monastery in Orthodox Romania. Forewarned of his own death, he recieved the holy mysteries in his cell and reposed in the Lord on the 15/28 November 1794. His sacred relics were found to be incorrupt when they were exposed in the mid 19th Century.

St Paisii is remembered mostly for his monastic labours and his many translations of sacred texts into Slavonic. These texts were finally published in Russia in 1793 a year before his death known now as the Philokalia. These texts were instrumental in the great monastic revival of the 19th Century being treasured by the great saints of Russia, St Seraphim of Sarov and the 14 venerable elders of Optina amongst many. The teaching of St Paisii re-established Hesychastic Theology in Russia and encouraged many clergy and lay people to practice the Prayer of the Heart. 

St Alexander Nevsky

St Alexander Nevsky
St Alexander Nevsky
St Alexander Nevsky
St Alexander Nevsky Nov 23/ 06 Dec

Alexander was born in 1221 of a princely family whose ancestors were the Great Prince Vladimir and Yaroslav the Wise. It was believed that he was sent to preserve Russia and its faith from its many enemies. He was called to Novgorod in 1236 to defend the city from Swedish and Livonian (German) invasions. They  were seeking to destroy Orthodoxy and conquer the North Western lands of Russia from their bases in Estonia. There was a great battle in 1240 known as the Battle of the Neva after which Alexander was called Nevsky when Alexander defeated the Swedes. Though greatly out numbered, Alexander led his Orthodox army to a resounding victory pushing the enemies of Russia back towards Estonia. Another decisive battle took place on the frozen Lake Chud after the liberation of Pskov in 1242. This famous battle is known as the Battle of the Ice. Alexander repelled the invaders and preserved the Russian lands in the West. He was also active as a diplomatic Great Prince negotiating the preservation of the Russian lands in the East against the Golden Horde. He very cleverly negotiated a delicate peace which enabled the Orthodox Russians to worship God without disturbance. He died after his fourth diplomatic visit to Sarai in 1263. On his death bed, he was tonsured as the monk Alexei and reposed in the Lord in 1263 being buried in the city of Vladimir near Suzdal.

He was canonised in 1547  and has always been called upon by Russians in time of National distress or difficulty. During the Great Northern War which Peter the Great waged against Sweden, St Alexander Nevsky's relics were translated to the new Imperial capital of St Petersburg and placed in the newly built Monastery of St Alexander Nevsky. Since then, many cities outside Russia have had Cathedrals of St Alexander Nevsky built in them such as Tallin (Reval), Helsinki, Copenhagen and Sophia. St Alexander Nevsky was chosen for these churches as a defender of Russian Orthodox Christians against their enemies. Even Stalin created an order of Alexander Nevsky during WW2 to recognise valour in those who fought to protect Russia from her enemies.

In our own diocese, there is a Parish of St Alexander Nevsky in Norwich. see http://www.norwichorthodoxchurch.org.uk/ It's next Liturgy is on Saturday 10th December.

St Juliana of Nicomedia

St Juliana of Nicomedia
St Juliana of Nicomedia
St Juliana of Nicomedia
St Juliana of Nicomedia 3/16th December

St Juliana was born into a well connected pagan family in Nicomedia in 286 AD. Her father, Africanus, wanted her to marry into another well known pagan family.  She was bethrothed while she was still a young girl to a man called Eleusius. She became a Christian and was baptised in her early teens. She was known for her considerable intellect and her sweetness of character. She is reputed to have been very beautiful. When the time came for her to be married, she refused. Eleusius was, by now, Eparch of Nicomedia and close to the Emperor. Even though he loved her, Eleusius threatened her with death, ordering her to be severely beaten. After each beating, her wounds were miraculously healed. The crowd of spectators were so moved by Juliana's steadfast faith that they confessed Christ as their Lord. They were all immedately martyred. Eleusius begged his former fiancee to look at her beauty in the mirror and even promised to pardon her if only she would marry him. Juliana said in reply, " At the Resurrection of the Righteous, burnings and wounds will not exist but only the soul. So Eleusius, I prefer to have wounds now of the body which are only temporary, rather than wounds to the soul which torture eternally." At this, Juliana was beheaded in the year 304 AD. She was 18 years old.

St Juliana of Lazarevo

St Juliana Of Lazarevo
St Juliana Of Lazarevo
St Juliana Of Lazarevo
St Juliana of Lazarevo Jan 2nd/15

Saint Juliana was born in 1530 in Moscow. Her parents, Justin and Stefanida Nedyurev were of a noble family, brought her up as a faithful Orthodox girl. They died when Juliana was quite young and she was adopted by relatives who teased her for her devout faith and for her keeping of the fasts of the Church. She married Yuri Osoryn who owned the village of Lazarevo, which is near Murom. His parents really loved Juliana and respected her spiritual efforts. She had six sons and one daughter and lived a righteous life, consecrating herself to helping the poor and feeding the hungry. She sometimes gave her food to beggars going without herself. After the death of two of her children, Juliana longed to retire to a convent. However, Yuri prevailed upon her to stay, which she did until he died. He was buried in the Church of St Lazarus. Juliana sold her portion of the inheritance and lived a pious life of extreem poverty. However, she always remained joyful and very thankful to God for everything. She had a vision of St Nicholas and the Mother of God. After a life of struggle and prayer she died in 1604 and was buried beside her husband and daughter. Her incorrupt relics were exposed in 1614.

St Juliana is a wonderful example of someone who had all the cares and worrries of family life but still managed to live a life consecrated to God. She is a help and hope to all of us who live in the world.

St Ambrose of Milan

St Ambrose
St Ambrose
St Ambrose
St Ambrose of Milan 7/20 December

Ambrose was born in 340 AD into a Christian family and was raised in Gaul. His father died when Ambrose was quite young. Ambrose followed his father  into the Imperial Civil Service. He studied law and rhetoric in Rome and was appointed Prefect of Liguria and Emilia, an area with its provincial city in Milan in  372.  He was esteemed by the local population of Milan and, during a dispute about the election of the Bishop of Milan in 374, the crowd called for Ambrose. He was not even baptised at this stage. He ran away to hide but within a week he was baptised. ordained and consecrated Bishop of Milan, He beganto lead a sacrificial lifestyle and gave his wealth to the poor. He was one of the most powerful ecclesiastical figures in the Western Empire. St Ambrose excommunicated the Emperor Theodosius after the Decimation of Thessalonika  in 390. Theodosius was barred from communion when he approached the chalice and was only readmitted to communion when he had done penance for about six months. In 394, Theodosius gained control of the whole Roman Empire but died in Milan the following year, St Ambrose died in 397 and was laid to rest in what is now called the Church of S. Ambrogio, in Milan where his relics can still be seen. St Ambrose was a great writer, composer of hymns and originator of antiphonal singing. The Ambrosian Rite, a Western Rite distinctive from the Roman Rite, was served in Milan for many centuries.

 

 

New Hieromartyr Hilarion Troitskii

St Hilarion Troitskii
St Hilarion Troitskii
St Hilarion Troitskii
St Hilarion as a prisoner of the Soviet Regime
St Hilarion as a prisoner of the Soviet Regime
St Hilarion as a prisoner of the Soviet Regime
A photo of the New Hieromartyr Hilarion
A photo of the New Hieromartyr Hilarion
A photo of the New Hieromartyr Hilarion
St Hilarion Troitskii 15th/28th December

Vladimir Troitskii was born in 1886 in the Tula Province into a family who had produced a long line of priests for many generations. His mother died when he was still quite young and he was raised by his aunt. He was an avid student of Theology and graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy in 1913, the same year that he became a monk, being given the name Hilarion. He was soon ordained and became Archimandrite and Professor by the end of that year. He was a passionate supporter of the restoration of the Patriarchate and spoke at the Local Church Council in 1918 soon after the Bolshevik Revolution. He was first imprisoned in 1919 but was released. He was elected to the Episcopate in 1920 and consecrated as bishop of Vereya. After a fierce campaign against him by the so called "Renovationists",  Bishop Hilarion was arrested again and sent to Solovki. He immediately won the respect of the many clergy incarcerated there in terrible conditions. In 1925, he was sent to an even more severe prison in Yaroslav briefly but returned to Solvoki in the following year. After 3 more years of intense suffering, in 1929, Bishop Hilarion was exiled to Alma Arta in the far east of the Soviet Union. On his way, he arrived in Leningrad dressed in rags and gravely ill. The saintly bishop perished in prison on the 15th/28th December 1929. He was just 44. Unusually, his body was released for burial in the Novodevichy Monastery in the city. He was canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1981. His relics were transferred to Moscow on the eve of his canonisation by the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1999. There is a substantial relic of St Hilarion at Solovki.

St Philip of Moscow
St Philip of Moscow
St Philip of Moscow
St Philip of Moscow 09/22 January

 

St Philip of Moscow is commemorated at every Liturgy of the Russian Church in the Proscomede. He was born into one of the most influential families of Russia as Theodore Kolychev in about 1508. He was part of the Tsar's court until he renounced the world in 1538 and entered Solovki Monastery in the White Sea in Northern Russia. He deliberately embraced the most humble tasks in order to disguise his aristocratic origins. "He chopped wood, dug soil in the gardens and carried rocks and manure on his shoulders." In 1540 he was tonsured as the Monk Philip but continued to perform the most menial of tasks for the monastery. After some time, he went into the forests in seclusion until 1548 when he was ordained priest and given the rank of Hegumen. He was Abbot of Solovki for 18 remarkable years which saw the facilities in Solovki greatly improved. Then, in 1566, he was called by Tsar Ivan the Terrible to take his white Klobuk  as Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. He always considered this to be a martyr's crown. He attempted to restrain the excesses of Ivan the Terrible. However, in 1569, the Tsar became suspicious of Philip and enraged that he had criticised and refused to bless the Tsar for his murderous punishment of Novrogod. Tsar Ivan had him imprisoned in the Otrok Monastery in Tver. His last visitors were murdered the next day and he himself was deposed and then strangled by order of the Tsar. Initially, he was buried in the monastery where he died but his relics were moved to Solovki in the late 16th Century and later in 1660 to Moscow. Though the date of his death is December 23rd, his feast is kept on January 9th being the day that he was proclaimed a saint by Patriarch Nikon and his relics were first venerated in Moscow. There is a subtstantial relic of St Philip in Solovki which returned to the monastery after it was returned to the Church in 1991.

St Cyril, Evangeliser of the Slavs. February 14th/27th

St Cyril
St Cyril
St Cyril
The Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs

St Cyril and his brother Methodios were both descended from a Southern Slavic family who lived in Thressaloniika. He was given the finest education and became highly expert in Greek Litedrature and Theology. He was tonsured and ordained priest as a very young man. He worked as the Librarian in the Great Church in Constantinople engaging in debates against the Iconaclasts and Moslem intellectuals. In 857 he embarked on a missionary journey to convert the Kozars which was successful. St Cyril secured the release of over 200 Greek captives and returned them to Constantinople. In 862 he and his older brother, Methodios, were invited to evangilise the Moravians by Prince Rostislav. By a revelation, St Cyril and St Methodios received the Slavonic Alphabet as a revelation from heaven. They laboured to translate the Holy Scriptures and the Divine Services into what was to become Church Slavonic. Their mission in the Slavic Language was very successful. The two brothers were called to Rome by Pope Adrian. They took with them the relics of St Clement of Rome that they has discovered in Cherson whilst evangelising the Kozars. St Cyril diedon February 14th in Rome in 869 and was buried in the church of St Clement in the City, He was 42 when he died. He and his brother are considered to be Equal unto the Apostles as the Evangelisers of the Slavs and are venerated throughout the Slavic world. The Cyrillic Alphabet is named after St Cyrill.

Troparion (Tone 4)

O Cyril and Methodius, inspired by God,
Thou didst became equal to the Apostles by thy life.
Since thou were teachers of the Slavs,
Intercede with the Master of all
That He may strengthen all Orthodox peoples in the True Faith,
And that He may grant peace to the world
And great mercy to our souls.

This website is published with the blessing of his Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion. First Hierarch of The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)

The website is administered by Fr Paul Elliott. Contact: frpaulelliott@aol.com

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