Commemorated on July 3
Bishop of Ryazan and Murom: His memory is celebrated by the Church on 10
June and 3 July (the day of his death in 1295). On 10 June 1609 the holy relics
of Bishop Vasilii at Ryazan were uncovered and transferred to the
Uspenie-Dormition cathedral church.
Sainted Vasilii I,
Wonderworker of Ryazan, is mentioned in the Lavrentian Chronicles, and in the
ancient list of Ryazan hierarchs, he is mentioned as the fourth. (The later
Vasilii II, + 1360, was ordained to the dignity of bishop in 1356 by Sainted
Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow, + 1378). An older tradition connects with Saint
Vasilii the transfer to Ryazan of the wonderworking image of the Murom Icon of
the Mother of God (account under 12 April). Saint Vasilii was at first bishop
of Murom. But by the slander of the spirit of evil the citizens rose up against
him, unjustly accusing him of transgressions unbecoming an archpastor. Then the
saint, after prolonged prayer, left for the River Oka, and spreading out on the
water his bishop's mantle he stood upon it, holding in his hands the image of
the MostHoly Mother of God of Murom. A strong wind carried him against the
current and after several hours he reached Ryazan, where he was received with
reverence by the Ryazan prince and people.
Still during his
lifetime Saint Vasilii was regarded a righteous and pious man. Long before his
relics were uncovered at the beginning of the XVII Century, the Ryazan people
cherished his memory and called him "their constant intercessor, helper in
sorrows and travail". To him most often they turned in setting out on
journeys: on dry land – against problems, on the water – against drowning.
In about the year
1540 the monk Erazm Ermolaev wrote – "An Account about Vasilii, Bishop of
Ryazan and Murom".
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.