The Monk Adrian of Ondrusovsk
Commemorated on August 26, May 17
The Monk Adrian of
Ondrusovsk (in the world the nobleman Andrei Zavalushin), was the owner of
a rich estate (Andreevschina), 9 versts from the monastery of the Monk
Alexander of Svirsk (+ 30 August 1533). He accidentally encountered the Monk
Alexander of Svirsk at the time of a stag hunt in 1493, and after this he went
often to him for guidance, and supplied bread for the ascetics. Forsaking his
estate, he took monastic tonsure at the Valaamo monastery with the name Adrian.
Several years later, with the blessing of the Monk Alexander of Svirsk, the
Monk Adrian settled in a solitary place on the peninsula of Lake Ladoga. There
he built a church in honour of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Opposite the
settlement of monks in the deep forest was an island, Sala (the Thicket), on
which hid out a gang of robbers, under the leadership of Ondrusa as their
ataman. Encountering the monks, the ataman demanded that they get off his land.
Saint Adrian, knowing that he did not have money to offer to buy the place,
promised the ataman to intercede for him before God. The robber laughed at the
monk, but that one entreated him so long and so humbly, that the ataman
softened and said: "Live".
This ataman was soon taken captive by another gang, hidden not far from the stoney Cape of Storozhev. The hapless fellow knew, that after suffering torture death awaited him, and he bitterly repented of his former life. Suddenly he saw before him the Monk Adrian, who said: "Through the mercy of the Lord, for Whom wast besought of thee mercy for the wilderness brethren, thou art freed" – and he vanished. The ataman saw himself without fetters at the shore and with no one around. Astonished, he rushed to the monastery of Saint Adrian and found all the ascetics at psalms. And it seemed that the monk had not left the monastery. The robber fell at the knees of the saint and besought to be accepted amidst the brethren. He finished his life in repentance at the monastery. The robber of another gang likewise repented. Through the prayers of Saint Adrian he took monastic tonsure with the name Kiprian. And afterwards at the place of a tributary he built a monastery and was glorified by miracles.
The monastery of the Monk Adrian received an endowment from tsar Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584). In August 1549 the Monk Adrian was god-father for Anna, daughter of tsar Ivan the Terrible. When the saint was returning from Moscow to the monastery, robbers killed him near the village of Obzha, hoping to find money. The brethren waited for a long time for their head, and 2 years afterwards he appeared in a vision by night to a few elders and told them about his end. On another day, 17 May, the brethren found his undecayed body in a swamp and committed it to burial in the wall of his church in honour of Saint Nicholas. The memory of the Monk Adrian, having received the martyr's crown, has come to be celebrated twice: on the day of the finding and transfer of his relics – 17 May, and on the day of repose and name-in-common (tezoimenitstvo) with the Martyr Adrian.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.