Sainted Innocent (Innokentii) (Veniaminov), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomensk

Commemorated on March 31, September 23

      Sainted Innocent (Innokentii) (Veniaminov), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomensk (26 August 1797 - 31 March 1879), was glorified in canonisation by the Russian Orthodox Church on 6 October 1977. He was born in the village of Anginsk in the Irkutsk diocese. The Apostle of America and Siberia bespoke his good-news "even to the ends of the earth": in the Aleutian islands (from 1823), in the six dialects of the local tribes on the island of Sitka (from 1834), amongst the Kolosh (Tlingit); in the remotest settlements of the extensive Kamchatka diocese (from 1853); amidst the Koryak, Chukchei, Tungus in the Yakutsk region (from 1853) and North America (in 1857); in the Amur and the Usuriisk region (from 1860).
      Having spent a large part of his life in journeys, Saint Innocent translated into the Aleutian language a Catechism and the Gospel, and in 1833 he wrote in this language one of the finest works of Orthodox missionary activity "A Directive of the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven". In 1859 the Yakut first heard the Word of God and Divine-services in their own native language. Twice (in 1860 and 1861) Sainted Innocent met with the Apostle to Japan Sainted Nikolai (Comm. 3 February), sharing with him his spiritual experience.
      A remarkable preacher, Sainted Innocent said: "Exactly that, whosoever aboundeth in faith and love, can have mouth and wisdom, and the heart cannot resist their serving it".
      Having begun apostolic work as a parish priest, Saint Innocent closed with it upon the cathedra of Moscow First-Hierarchs (5 January 1868 - 31 March 1879). He was devoted to the Will of God during all the course of his life, and he left behind a testimonial of faith to his successors decreed in the words of the prophet: "From the Lord are the footsteps of man directed" (Ps. 36: 23). The memory of Saint Innocent is celebrated twice during the year: on 23 September (6 October) and on 31 March (13 April).
      About Sainted Innocent in the "Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate": 1949, # 7, p. 36-44; 1955, # 1; 1975, # 3, p. 58-65; 1977, # 12, p. 3, 58-65; 1979, # 3, 4, 5, 6.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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Sainted Innocent
(Innokentii) (Veniaminov), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomensk

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