Sainted Theoktist, Bishop of Chernigov

Commemorated on August 6

      Sainted Theoktist, Bishop of Chernigov, prior to entering upon the cathedra-chair, pursued an ascetic life at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. He was among the number of the great startsi-elders, healing by prayer the Monk Nikita, afterwards Sainted Bishop of Novgorod (Comm. 31 January). In the year 1103 Saint Theoktist was made hegumen of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. In the year 1108 he built on the means of pious prince Gleb Vseslavich a stone refectory. Saint Theoktist particularly insisted, that the name of the Monk Theodosii (Feodosii, Comm. 3 May), be included in the synodikon of the saints of all Russia. In the year 1110, on 11 February, there was an heavenly apparition at the Pechersk monastery: a pillar of fire from the ground to the sky appeared and lightning lighted up all the earth, and at the 1st hour of the night there was the crash of thunder; the fiery pillar stood over the stone refectory so that its cross was not visible; afterwards it proceeded to the church and settled over the grave of the Monk Theodosii, and then, turning to the East, it disappeared. "This was not a pillar of fire, but rather an angelic face, – wrote the Monk Nestor the Chronicler, – because an angel appears thus, when there is a pillar of fire, a flaming, as says the Prophet David: Who maketh His angels spirits and His servants flames of fire" (Ps. 103 [104]: 4). In the year 1113 Saint Theoktist was ordained Bishop of Chernigov. The PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha (Comm. 27 August), enlightening at this time the Vyatichi, belonging to the Chernigov diocese. On 2 May 1115  Saint Theoktist participated in the transfer of the relics of holy Princes Boris and Gleb to Vyshgorod, and later in Chernigov near his cathedral he consecrated a church in the name of the holy Princes Boris and Gleb, erected in the year 1120 by prince David of Chernigov. And to the noble Prince Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb the saint made a sermon on the day of their memory. On 6 august 1123, the feast of the Transfiguration, Saint Theoktist died, and because of the feastday, his memory is made on 6 August. On one of the lists of the Saints it is said, that he was buried at the Pechersk monastery. For the memory of Saint Theoktist believers resort also to 28 September, when he is remembered in the 9th ode of the Canon of the Sobor-Assemblage of the Monastic Fathers of the Nearer Caves.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.