Sainted Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow,
Commemorated on August 24
Metropolitan of Moscow, died on 21 December 1326. (The account about him is
located under 21 December). The first transfer of his relics was on 1 July
1472 – a feastday then established. The second transfer of the relics of
Sainted Peter was after the consecration of the Uspensk (Dormition) Cathedral
– constructed anew – on 24 August 1479, and the feastday of 1 July was
replaced. A feastday of appearing-forth of the relics of Sainted Peter (4
August) is also known of – upon the occasion of an appearance to the spouse of
Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584), – the tsaritsa Anastasia (1547-1560). Sainted
Peter appeared to tsaritsa Anastasia and allowed no one to open up his grave.
He commanded the grave to be sealed and a feastday established.
From Sainted Peter are preserved three epistles. The first was to priests with an exhortation to worthily pursue their pastoral service, and to tend zealously their spiritual children. It concluded with an account of Church law concerning widowed priests: with the aim of protecting them from reproach and temptation he advised them to settle in a monastery, and their children to be enrolled for upbringing and instruction in a monastery school. In the second missive, the saint urged priests to be true pastors and not hirelings, and to be concerned about the strengthening of oneself with Christian and pastoral virtues. In the third missive, Saint Peter again gives an exhortation to priests concerning their pastoral obligations, and he urges laypeople to fulfill the commandments of Christ.
Prominent in church-state affairs, Sainted Peter even for his contemporaries gave good cause to compare him with Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. The principal effort of Saint Peter was in the struggle for an unified Russian state and the blessing of Moscow as the unifier of the Russian land.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.