The Monk Gennadii of Kostroma and Liubimograd

Commemorated on January 23

      The Monk Gennadii of Kostroma and Liubimograd, in the world Grigorii, was born in the city of Mogilev into a rich family. He early displayed love for the church, and his frequent visits to monasteries evoked the dismay of his parents. Grigorii himself was himself however firmly resolved to devote himself to God, and having changed over into tattered clothing, he secretly left his parental home and journeyed to Moscow. Having visited the Moscow holy places, he did not however here find it suitable in spirit and so set out to the Novgorod region. The destiny of the future ascetic was decided by an encounter with the Monk Alexander Svirsky (Comm. 30 August). With his blessing, Grigorii set off to the Vologda forest to the Monk Kornilii of Komel'sk (Comm. 19 May), and was monasticised by him with the name Gennadii. Together with Saint Kornilii, Gennadii moved on to the Kostroma forest. Here, on the shores of Lake Sura, in about the year 1529, there emerged the monastery of the Transfiguration of the Lord, afterwards called "the Gennadiev monastery". Having become hegumen, the Monk Gennadii did not slacken his monastic efforts, and together with the brethren he went out to the monastery tasks: he chopped wood, carried firewood, made candles and baked prosphora. A beloved concern of the monk was the writing of icons, with he adorned his new monastery. He wore heavy chains constantly.
      For his holy life the Monk Gennadii received from the Lord the gift of perspicacity and wonderworking. Journeying on monastic affairs to Moscow, at the house of the boyar-noble Roman Yur'evich Zakhar'in, the saint predicted to his daughter Anastasia, that she would become tsaritsa. And actually, tsar Ivan the Terrible chose her for himself as spouse.
      The Life of the Monk Gennadii was written by his disciple, the heguman Aleksei, between the years 1584-1587. In it was inserted the spiritual last-testament, dictated by the Monk Gennadii himself. In it he commands to observe the monastery ustav (rule) and to toil constantly, to be at peace with everyone, and to preserve the books collected at the monastery, while striving to understand their meaning. The monk appealed: "Strive towards the light, and shun the darkness".
      The Monk Gennadii died on 23 January 1565; on 19 August 1646 occurred his churchly glorification.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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The Monk Gennadii
of Kostroma and Liubimograd

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