Commemorated on June 5
The Transfer of
Relics of Blessed Igor, GreatPrince of Kiev: The Kievan GreatPrince Igor
Ol'govich, in holy Baptism George (also Comm. 19 September), in the year 1146
suffered defeat and was taken captive by prince Izyaslav, who imprisoned him in
one of the monasteries of Russian or Southern Pereyaslavl' (now Pereyaslavl'-Khmel'nitsk).
Far removed from the vanities of this world, and grievously ill, he began to
repent of his sins and asked permission to be tonsured a monk. On 5 January
1147 the Pereyaslavl' bishop Evphymii tonsured him into monasticism with the
name Gavriil (Gabriel). Soon he recovered his health and transferred to the
Kiev Theodorov monastery, where he became a schemamonk with the name Ignatii,
and devoted himself entirely to monastic efforts.
But the spirit of
fratricidal hatred stormed over Kiev. The Chernigov princes, cousins of Igor,
plotted to entice Izyaslav of Kiev into a joint campaign – with the aim of
seizing hold or even killing him. The plot was uncovered, when the prince was
already on the way to Chernigov. The Kievans were in an uproar in learning of
the ruse of the Chernigovichi, and they stormed into where the quite innocent
Saint Igor was. And on 19 September 1147 Saint Igor was brutally murdered.
The Lord glorified
the sufferer with miracles. With the blessing of the metropolitan Kliment
Smolyatich, the hegumen of the Theodorov monastery Ananii made the burial of
the "passion-bearer" in the church of the Kiev Simonov monastery. On
5 June 1150, when the Kiev throne had become occupied by Yuri Dolgoruky, his
confederate and a brother by birth of the murdered Igor, – the Chernigov prince
Svyatoslav Ol'govich, solemnly transferred the holy relics of Saint Igor to
Chernigov his native region, where they were placed into a reliquary "with
an attic-garret" in the Saviour cathedral church. And then also was
established the feastday in memory of the saint.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.