Commemorated on May 12
Ermogen, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus', was glorified into the rank of
the saints on 12 May 1913.
During the course of
three centuries from generation to generation the memory of Patriarch Ermogen
as a sainted bishop-martyr was passed on, and popular faith in him grew as an
intercessor and supplicant for the Russian land before the Throne of the Almighty.
During terrible years of national hardship, the supplicative thought of the
nation turned itself to the memory of the heroic Patriarch. The Russian people
came to his tomb with their personal tribulations, sickness and infirmity,
reverently asking help of sainted Ermogen, believing him a fervent suppliant
and intercessor before the Lord. And the All‑Merciful Lord rewarded their
Towards the day of
his solemn glorification – 300 years from the time of death of the
Priest-martyr Ermogen, – believers from all ends of Russia began to flock to
Moscow. Pilgrims hastened to venerate the relics of the holy Patriarch, located
in the Uspensky Sobor (Dormition Cathedral) of the Kremlin, where panikhidai
were done almost without interruption. On the eve of the glorification a
procession was made, at the head of which they carried an icon of Saint
Ermogen, and after it a grave-cover, on which the saint was depicted
full-length in mantle and with staff. Alongside the icon of the Patriarch they
carried an icon of the Monk Dionisii of Radonezh – his fellow-striver in the
spiritual and the patriotic deeds in the liberation of the Russian land from
Polish-Lithuanian usurpers. At the bell-tower of Ivan the Great glistened a tremendous
banner: "Rejoice, Priest-Martyr Ermogen, Great Intercessor of the Russian
land". An hundred thousand candles blazed in the hands of believers
proclaiming the Saint of God. At the conclusion of the procession, ‑‑
at the shrine with the relics of the Patriarch, they began readings of the
Paschal Canon together with an appended Canon to Sainted Ermogen.
The all-night vigil
was done under the open skies on all the Kremlin squares. On this night there
occurred a number of healings through the graced prayers of Sainted Ermogen.
Thus, for example, a certain sick person came to the Uspensky Sobor on
crutches, but became aware of healing as he approached the shrine with the
relics of the Saint. Another sick person was healed, having suffered from
terrible crippling. They brought him on a stretcher to the reliquary of the
Priest-martyr Ermogen, where he received full healing. These and other similar
healings, eye-witnessed by a multitude of the faithful, became remarkable
proofs of the saintliness of the new Russian wonderworker.
On Sunday, 12 May, at
10:00 in the morning was celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Uspensky Sobor. At
the celebration of the solemn glorification of the new Saint was
His Beatitude Gregorios, Patriarch of Antioch, presiding over the service.
At the finish of Liturgy in all the churches of Moscow there were served
moliebens to Sainted Ermogen and procession made to the Moscow Kremlin, – in
which took part more than 20 hierarchs, accompanying the solemn procession
singing: "O Holy Hierarchical Father Ermogen, pray unto God for us".
From this day began liturgical veneration of Sainted Ermogen. Thus was
fulfilled the wish of the faithful Russian people, through whose prayers the
Russian Orthodox Church received a beneficent Heavenly Patron of the
The Holy Synod of the
Russian Church established as days of celebration to the Priest-Martyr Ermogen,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus': 17 February – his repose (the account about
his life and works are located under this day), and 12 May – his glorification
into the ranks of Sainted-hierarchs.
Great is the
all-national significance of Sainted Ermogen, a tireless struggler for the
purity of Orthodoxy and the unity of the Russian land. His ecclesial and
civil-patriotic activity during the course of several centuries serves as an
outstanding example of his ardent faith and love for the Russian people. The
ecclesial activity of the Arch-hierarch is characterised by an attentive and
strict regard for Divine-services. Under him were published: a Gospel, a
Monthly Meneion for September (1607), October (1609), November (1610), and the
first twelve days of December, and also there was printed the "Great
Primary Ustav / Rule" in 1610. In this Sainted Ermogen did not limit
himself to providing a blessing of the edition, but carefully oversaw the
accuracy of the text. With the blessing of Sainted Ermogen also was translated
from Greek into the Russian language the Service to the holy Apostle Andrew the
First-Called (Comm. 30 November) and the celebration of memory was initiated in
the Uspensky Sobor. Under the supervision of the Arch-hierarch, there were made
new presses for the printing of Divine-service books and a new building for
printing was built, – which however was damaged during the time of the 1611
conflagration, when Moscow was burnt by the Poles. Concerned about the order of
Divine-services, Saint Ermogen compiled a "Missive directed to all the
people, especially priests and deacons, about the improvement of Church
singing". The "Missive" chastises clergy-servers in the
non-ustav doing of Church services – for much-talking, and laypeople for
irreverent attitudes towards Divine-services.
The literary activity
of the Arch-hierarch of the Russian Church is widely known. He wrote: – An
Account about the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and the Service to this Icon
(1594); A Missive to Patriarch Job, containing an account about the Kazan Martyrs
(1591); a collection of articles in which are examined questions about
Divine-services (1598); patriotic documents and appeals, directed to the
Russian nation (1606-1613), and other works.
The remarks of his
contemporaries speak of Patriarch Ermogen as a man of outstanding mind and
erudition: "a Master of great reason and thought and of sharp mind",
"very remarkable and of much deliberation", "very accomplished
of wisdom and refined in book learning", "ever concerning himself
about Divine literature and all the books about the Old Law and the New Grace,
and chasing down to the end various Church ustavs and law principles".
Saint Ermogen busied himself much in the monastic libraries, foremost of which,
– in the very rich library of the Moscow Chudov monastery, where he copied out
from ancient manuscripts very precious historical accounts, located in the
their original in the chronicle manuscripts. In the XVII Century they called
the Chronicle by His Holiness Patriarch Ermogen the "Voskresensk
Chronicle". In the collected works of the Arch-pastor of the Russian
Church and his arch-pastoral documents there are constantly encountered
references to Holy Scripture, and examples taken from history, that testify to
his profound knowledge of the Word of God and his erudition in the Church
literature of his time.
brought together and displayed aspects from this erudition in his preaching and
teaching. The remarks of his contemporaries characterise the moral figure of
the Arch-hierarch as "a man of reverence", "of known purity of life",
"a true pastor of the flock of Christ", "a sincere upholder of
the Christian faith".
These qualities of
Saint Ermogen were quite especially apparent during the Time of Troubles, when
the Russian land was overwhelmed by the misfortune of internal chaos, and
worsened by the Polish-Lithuanian intrigue. During this dark period, the
Arch-hierarch of the Russian Church selflessly guarded the Russian realm, by
word and by deed defending the Orthodox faith from Latinism, and also the unity
of the Fatherland from enemies both internal and external. For his act of
saving his native land, Sainted Ermogen won the crown of a martyr's death,
having passed over into an Heavenly and graciously prayerful intercessor for
our fatherland before the Throne of the Holy Trinity.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.