The Monk Jakov of Zheleznoborovsk

Commemorated on May 5, April 11

      On this day is celebrated the memory of the Uncovering of the Relics of the Kostroma Wonderworker.
      The Monk Jakov of Zheleznoborovsk, a son of the boyar-noble Anosov (or Amosov) line, which had their lands at Kostroma Galich, was born in the second half of the XIV Century. As a youth he went to the Monk Sergei of Radonezh, accepted from him monastic tonsure and for several years he lived at the Trinity monastery. In 1392 the Monk Jakov settled in a dense forest near iron mines, at a place which was called the Iron Pines, at the banks of the rivulet Tebza. His sanctity of life was known of already in his own time. In 1415 the wife of GreatPrince Vasilii Dmitrievich (1389-1425), Sophia Vitovtovna (in monasticism Synkletikia, + 1453) fell seriously ill before childbirth. The greatprince dispatched a message to the Monk Jakov beseeching that the monk pray for his wife, and asking whether she would live. The monk bid him pray to the holy Martyr Longinus and foretold the happy birth of a son, Vasilii. (In 1450, this son, GreatPrince Vasilii Vasilevich (1425-1462), after his victory over prince Dimitrii Shemyaka, visited the monastery of the Monk Jakov and prayed there with gratitude).
      The grateful prince Vasilii Dmitrievich generously rewarded the Monk Jakov and gave him the means to build at the place of his efforts a monastery with a church in the name of the holy Prophet John the ForeRunner. In 1429 the Khazan Tatars laid waste the surroundings of Galich. The Monk Jakov with his disciples hid deep in the forest. Returning, they found the monastery in ruins. Everything had to be rebuilt anew. The monk built a church in the name of Saint Nicholas, and he dug out ponds with the brethren. On the example of the Trinity-Sergiev monastery a strict common-life rule was introduced. Many of the hungry and destitute people, devastated by the Tatars, were fed at the monastery.
      After many years of efforts in common, the monks besought the Monk Jakov to be their hegumen. He humbly submitted to their request and journeyed to Moscow, where he was bestown the priestly dignity.
      The monk died a venerable elder on 11 April 1442 and was buried at the John the ForeRunner church of the monastery founded by him.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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