The Monk Prokhor of Pechersk

Commemorated on February 10, September 28 and on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent

      The Monk Prokhor of Pechersk was a native of Smolensk and took vows in the Kievo-Pechersk monastery under the hegumen John (1089-1103). He was a great ascetic of strict temperance, in place of bread he used pigweed, from which he received the title "pigweed-eater". No one saw him regretful about this.
      During the saint's life a famine befell Russia. Prokhor began yet more zealously to gather the pigweed and to prepare from it his "bread". Certain people followed his example, but they were not able to eat this food because of its bitterness. Prokhor distributed his bread from pigweed to the needy, and its taste was like of fine wheat. From this they noted the peculiarity the bread was tasty only when they gathered it with the blessing of the monk. This became known to the hegumen and the brethren, and the talk about Prokhor spread far and wide.
      After a certain while there was no salt at Kiev, from which the people suffered greatly. Then the monk, having gathered ashes from all the cells, began to distribute it to the needy, and through his prayer the ashes became pure salt. At the promptings of the salt merchants, who reckoned on a profit, prince Svyatopolk confiscated from Prokhor his "stockpile". When they transported it to the princely court, everyone became convinced, that this was just regular ashes. But after three days, when Svyatopolk gave orders to discard it, and the monk blessed the people to take from the heap, the ashes were again changed to salt. This miracle reformed the fierce prince: he began to pray zealously, made peace with the hegumen of the Pechersk monastery and highly esteemed the monk Prokhor. When the last hour of the saint approached, the prince hastened to him leaving behind his retinue, although he had gone to war. He received his blessing and by his own hand took the body of the saint to the cave. Having returned, Svyatopolk easily gained victory over the Polvetsians, turning them to flight and capturing their supply carts. Such was the great power of the prayer of Saint Prokhor.
      The monk died in the year 1107, and was buries in the Nearer Caves. His commemoration is also 28 September and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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The Monk Prokhor
of Pechersk

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