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.