The Monk Varlaam, Hegumen of Pechersk

Commemorated on November 19, September 28 and on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent

      The Monk Varlaam, Hegumen of Pechersk, lived during the XI Century at Kiev, and was the son of an illustrious boyar-noble. From the time of his youthful years he yearned for the monk's life and he went off to the Monk Antonii of Pechersk (+ 1073, Comm. 10 July), who accepted the pious youth so firmly determined to become a monk, and he bid the Monk Nikon (+ 1088, Comm. 23 March) to make monastic tonsure over him.
      The father of the Monk Varlaam tried forcefully to return him home, but finally becoming convinced that his son would never return to the world, he gave up. When the number of monks at the Caves began to increase, the Monk Antonii made the Monk Varlaam hegumen, while he himself resettled to another cave and again began to live in solitude.
      The Monk Varlaam became the first hegumen of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. In the year 1058, having besought the blessing of the Monk Antonii, the Monk Varlaam built over the cave a wooden church in honour of the Uspenie-Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God. Afterwards, the Monk Varlaam became hegumen of the newly-formed monastery in honour of the GreatMartyr Demetrios. The Monk Varlaam twice made pilgrimage to the holy places in Jerusalem and Constantinople. Having returned from his second journey, he died in the Vladimir Holy-Mountain monastery at Volynia in 1065 and was buried, in accord with his final wishes, at the Pechersk monastery in the Nearer Caves. His memory is likewise 28 September and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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The Monk Varlaam,
Hegumen of Pechersk

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