Sainted Vasilii, Bishop of Ryazan and Murom

Commemorated on July 3

      Sainted Vasilii, Bishop of Ryazan and Murom: His memory is celebrated by the Church on 10 June and 3 July (the day of his death in 1295). On 10 June 1609 the holy relics of Bishop Vasilii at Ryazan were uncovered and transferred to the Uspenie-Dormition cathedral church.
      Sainted Vasilii I, Wonderworker of Ryazan, is mentioned in the Lavrentian Chronicles, and in the ancient list of Ryazan hierarchs, he is mentioned as the fourth. (The later Vasilii II, + 1360, was ordained to the dignity of bishop in 1356 by Sainted Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow, + 1378). An older tradition connects with Saint Vasilii the transfer to Ryazan of the wonderworking image of the Murom Icon of the Mother of God (account under 12 April). Saint Vasilii was at first bishop of Murom. But by the slander of the spirit of evil the citizens rose up against him, unjustly accusing him of transgressions unbecoming an archpastor. Then the saint, after prolonged prayer, left for the River Oka, and spreading out on the water his bishop's mantle he stood upon it, holding in his hands the image of the Most Holy Mother of God of Murom. A strong wind carried him against the current and after several hours he reached Ryazan, where he was received with reverence by the Ryazan prince and people.
      Still during his lifetime Saint Vasilii was regarded a righteous and pious man. Long before his relics were uncovered at the beginning of the XVII Century, the Ryazan people cherished his memory and called him "their constant intercessor, helper in sorrows and travail". To him most often they turned in setting out on journeys: on dry land against problems, on the water against drowning.
      In about the year 1540 the monk Erazm Ermolaev wrote "An Account about Vasilii, Bishop of Ryazan and Murom".

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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Sainted Vasilii,
Bishop of Ryazan and Murom

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