Blessed Feodor of Novgorod

Commemorated on January 19

      Blessed Feodor of Novgorod was the son of pious parents, rich and noted citizens of Novgorod. Having been raised in strict christian piety, and having reached the age of maturity, he took on himself the ascetic deed of Fool-for-Christ's-sake: all his possessions he gave away to the poor, and he himself to the end of his life dwelt in extreme poverty, not even having shelter over his head, nor warm clothes freezing days. Having discovered a mutual enmity of the Novgorod citizens of the Torgov quarter with the inhabitants of the Sophia quarter, blessed Feodor pretended to be feuding with Blessed Nikolai Kochanov (+1392; Comm. 27 July) who was pursuing asceticism on the opposite Sophia side. When blessed Feodor happened to cross over the Volkhov Bridge to the Sophia side, then blessed Nikolai pushed him over to the Torgov side; thus also did Feodor, when Nikolai was chanced upon on the Torgov side. The blessed ones, spiritually in agreement with each other, by their factitious appearance reminded the Novgorod people of their own internecine strife, which often ended in bloody skirmishes.
      The blessed one possessed the gift of perspicacity and, having warned: "Take care of bread", he predicted an impending famine. At another time with the words: "This will be bare it will be fine for sowing turnips" he predicted a fire devastating the streets of the Torgov quarter. Blessed Feofor foresaw his own end and said to the Novgorod people: "Farewell, I go afar".
      The Novgorod citizenry saw in him while still alive a saint pleasing to God and regarded him highly. After his death in the year 1392 the blessed one was buried at his request in the Torgov quarter, at Lubyanitsa in the church of the holy GreatMartyr George, at the porch where the saint usually loved to pass the time in unceasing prayer. Over his relics was built a chapel.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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