Sainted Martyrii, ArchBishop of Novgorod
Commemorated on August 24
ArchBishop of Novgorod, was born in Stara Rus'. On the northeast side of
the city, near the right bank of the Polista River he founded in the year 1192
the Preobrazhenie (Transfiguration) men's monastery. At the Novgorod cathedral,
Saint Martyrii was chosen by lot after the death of Sainted Gregory (+ 1193,
Comm. 24 May). On 10 December 1193 in Kiev, he was elevated to the dignity
of archbishop. Sainted Martyrii became famous as an indefatigable builder of
churches. In May 1195 he contracted for a church in the name of the Mother of
God at the city gates, on 13 September 1196 he consecrated a church in
honour of the Resurrection (Voskresenie) of Christ in a new women's monastery
at Lake Myachina. In January 1197 the saint consecrated a church in the name of
Sainted Cyril of Alexandria at the same-named men's monastery 3 versts from
Novgorod. In the year 1197 he contracted in the carpenter's quarter of Novgorod
for a women's monastery in the name of the holy GreatMartyress Euthymia –
built by pious young women of the city. In January 1197 Sainted Martyrii
consecrated at the Preobrazhenie monastery in Stara Rus' a temple in the name
of Sainted Nicephoros, Patriarch of Tsargrad. In May 1198 he began to build a
stone church in honour of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and on 15 August of
the same year he consecrated it. And in that same year princess Elena, spouse
of prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich, built on the merchants' side at Molotkova a
church in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God at the
monastery, founded by Saint Martyrii. The church was built in memory of the
following miracle. A certain devout Novgorod person went to church each day.
One time he returned home, and becoming tired, he fell asleep and dropped a
prosphora imprinted with the Mother of God. The dogs, smelling bread, ran up to
the prosphora but jumped away, driven off by an invisible power.
GreatPrince Vsevolod became disaffected with the Novgorod people, and in 1199 Saint Martyrii together with representatives of the townspeople set off to Vladimir. Along the way – on the shore of Lake Seliger, he died on 24 August 1199. His body was taken to Novgorod in the Martyriev Portico of the Sophia Cathedral – receiving this designation because it was built by Saint Martyrii. His image is known of in the altar of the Novgorod Sophia Cathedral.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.