The Monk Arkadii of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk

Commemorated on December 13, July 11, August 14

      The Monk Arkadii of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk was from the city of Vyaz'ma of common folk pious parents, who from childhood taught him prayer and obedience. The gentle, perceptive, prudent and good youth chose for his ascetic deed being a fool-for-Christ. He ate by alms, and slept where he put himself, whether in the forest, or on the church portico. His blessed unconcern and closeness to nature imparted to the figure of young Arkadii a peculiar spiritual aspect and distance from worldly vanity. In church, absorbed in prayer, Saint Arkadii often wept tears of tenderness and spiritual joy. His advice was precise, his predictions happened, and his look intelligent. An experienced guide, the Monk Ephrem Wonderworker of Novotorzhsk (Comm. 28 January, helped the young ascetic to avoid the spiritual dangers in passing through the difficult and in this time uncommon exploit of foolishness. And after this the people of Vyaz'ma became witnesses of several miracles, done through the prayer of Blessed Arkadii, but he fled human fame and set out along the upper Tvertsa River. Here the Monk Arkadii divided the work with his spiritual guide the Monk Ephrem of Novotorzhsk, and shared together with him in the founding of a church and monastery in honour of the holy Nobleborn Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb (+ 1015; first transfer of their holy relics was in 1072; General Comm. 2 May).
      Entering into the new-built monastery, the Monk Arkadii accepted monasticism and took upon himself the exploit of full obedience to his spiritual father, the Monk Ephrem. The Monk Arkadii never missed Liturgy and for Matins he appeared first together with his spiritual guide. After the repose of the Monk Ephrem (28 January 1053), the Monk Arkadii continued to pursue asceticism in accord with the last-wishes of his starets-elder, dwelling in prayer, fasting and quietude. And with the subsequent passage of some years he likewise expired to the Lord (13 December 1077).
      In 1594 a chapel in the name of the Monk Arkadii was built at one of the churches of Vyaz'ma. A combined celebration to the Monks Arkadii and Ephrem was established under Metropolitan Dionysii in the years 1584-1587. The relics of the Monk Arkadii, glorified by miracles of healing, were uncovered on 11 July (in earlier times his memory was celebrated on this day) 1677, in a stone crypt of the Borisoglebsk cathedral of the city of Torzhk. In 1841 on the left side of the Borisogleb cathedral church was built a chapel in honour of the Monk Arkadii. Solemn celebration of the 300 years from the time of the uncovering of the holy relics of the Monk Arkadii took place in the city of Torzhk in the year 1977.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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The Monk Arkadii
of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk

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