In addition to our deep devotion to the Saints of the British Isles, our Diocese also bears the strongest veneration for the Saints of Russia, who are our direct forebears in the Faith.
In due course, the present section of the web site will be used to provide information on some of the principal saints of our Russian Orthodox heritage, as well as also information on some of the additional saints of universal Orthodox veneration.
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).
The next Archpastoral visitation of His Grace Bishop Irenei will be from 4th - 23rd July. Below is an outline confirmed visitations on that stay.
- 6th-8th: Commemorative Festivities of the Holy Royal Martyrs on the Isle of Wight.
- Thursday 12th: Feast of Sts Peter & Paul:Venue to be announced.
- Saturday 14th: DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE: To the miraculous well of St Margaret and St Frideswide in Binsey (near Oxford), with Divine Liturgy in the ancient church at 9.45 a.m. followed by moleben at the Holy Well. His Grace will chair a meeting of the Diocesan Council this day as well. At 5.00 p.m., Vigil at the Diocesan Cathedral.
- Sunday 15th: 9.45 a.m.: Greeting and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy (10.00) at Dicoesan Cathedral.
- Monday 16th: 6.00 p.m.: Vigil of the Feast (Diocesan Cathedral, lower Church).
- Tuesday 17th: Feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs (Altar Feast of Cathedral lower Church): 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast, followed by a luncheon in Cathedral Hall in honour of Feast and the 100th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Royal Family.
- Wednesday 18th: Royal Martyrs Sts Elisabeth & Barbara: Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Cathedral.
- Saturday 21st: Kazan Icon of the Theotokos, the Altar Feast of the Cardiff Parish: 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Cardiff. Reception to follow Liturgy.
- Sunday 22nd:Altar Feast of St Elisabeth, Wallasey: 9.45 greeting of the Bishop, 10:00 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Wallasey, with Cross Procession and veneration of relics of St Elisabeth and St Barbara. A Garden Party will follow the Liturgy.
Spiritual talks will be scheduled during the visit. As ever, those wishing to meet formally with the Bishop are invited to contact the Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Paul Elliott, to have a meeting added to the calendar, or to approach Bishop Irenei directly during his visit to speak personally.
Welcome to the web site of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland. We invite you to explore the host of information provided here, and above all to visit one of our parishes to join us in prayer to the Holy Trinity in a land where Holy Orthodoxy was introduced in Apostolic times.