The Monk Leonid of Ust'nedumsk
Commemorated on July 17
The Monk Leonid of
Ust'nedumsk lived in the Poshekhonsk district of the Vologda outskirts, and
he was a farmer by occupation. At age fifty, he saw in a dream the Mother of
God, Who directed him to go to the River Dvina to the Morzhevsk Nikolaev
wilderness-monastery, to take there the Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God,
and at the River Luza and Mount Turin build a church. The Monk Leonid decided
not to follow the advice of this vision, thinking it but simply a dream. He
went off to the Kozheezersk monastery, accepting monasticism there and spending
about three years at work and monastic efforts. From there the monk transferred
to the Solovetsk monastery and toiled there in the bakery. The miraculous
dream-vision was repeated. The Monk Leonid thereupon set off to the Morzhevsk
wilderness-monastery, and after a year he told the monastery-head Kornilii
(1599-1623) about the command of the Mother of God. Having received from the
monastery-head both a blessing and the Hodegetria icon, the monk reached the
River Luza near the Turin Mount, 80 versts from the city of Ustiug, and he
built himself an hut from brushwood. But some not so good people compelled him
to resettle up along the river, in a marshy wilderness spot. At 30 versts from
the city of Lal'sk the elder constructed a cell and set about the building of a
monastery. For drawing down the marshes, the ascetic dug out three canals, in
length about 2 kilometers, – from the River Luza to Chernoe Ozero ("Black
Lake"), and from Chernoe Ozero to Svyatoe Ozero ("Holy Lake"),
and from there to the to the Chernaya-Black Rivulet. During this time of heavy
work he was bitten by poisonous vipers. Consigning himself to the will of God,
the Monk Leonid decided not to take any sort of measures of treatment nor did
he think of the consequences – and he remained healthy. In gratitude to the
Lord for His mercy, he called the canal the "Nedumaya Reka"
("Unplanned River"), and his monastery – the "Ust'nedumsk"
(the "Nedumaya-mouth") monastery.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.