The Monk Eleazar of Anzersk

Commemorated on January 13

      The Monk Eleazar of Anzersk was born in the city of Kozel'sk into the merchant family Sevriukin. With the blessing of his parents he went off to the Solovetsk monastery, where he took monastic vows from the hegumen Saint Irinarch (+ 1628, Comm. 17 July). At the monastery he displayed an astonishing artistic gift: he learned carving imagery on wood and he took part of the embellishing of the Transfiguration cathedral. With the blessing of the hegumen, he went off in 1612 to the island of Anzersk, where he became an hermit and dwelt constantly in prayer and meditation on God. In order to obtain subsistence for himself on the island wilderness, the Monk Eleazar carved wooden goblets, which he left at the landing place. In the year 1616 the Monk Eleazar was elevated to schema-monk. Monastics, having gathered round the monk, organised a skete with a strict rule of monastic life along the ancient form. Monastic cells were built far away from one another. The hermits gathered together only for Saturday and Sunday Divine-services. Among the disciples of the Monk Eleazar was the priest-monk Nikita the future Patriarch Nikon. Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich (1613-1645), learning about the ascetic life of the saint, summoned him to Moscow. The Monk Eleazar there predicted for him the birth of a son, and in return the tsar generously gave him help to build on the island a stone church in the Name of the Holy Trinity and a monastery. The Monk Eleazar was interested in the writing of books. He composed and copied out three books "Flower-beds", in which he relates ancient accounts. There belongs to him also a commentary on the order of the rule on monastic cell life. The Monk Eleazar died in extreme old age.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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