The PriestMartyr Kuksha and the Monk Pimen the Faster

Commemorated on August 27

      The PriestMartyr Kuksha and the Monk Pimen the Faster died after the year 1114. Sainted Simon, Bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal' (XII Century, Comm. 10 May), in a missive to the Monk Polykarp, Archimandrite of Pechersk (+ 1182, Comm. 24 July), wrote thus about the Monk Kuksha: "How can I worthily proclaim the glory of those saintly men, dwelling in the holy Pechersk monastery, in which pagans were baptised and became monks, and Jews accepted the holy faith? But I cannot keep silent about the Blessed PriestMartyr and Black-Robed Kuksha of this monastery, about whom everyone doth know, that he cast out devils, baptised the Vyatichi, caused it to rain, dried up a lake, did many other miracles, and after many torments was killed together with his disciple Nikon". The death of the PriestMartyr Kuksha was discerned by the Monk Pimen the Faster. Standing amidst the Pechersk Great church, he loudly exclaimed: "Our brother Kuksha was killed at dawn".
      The Vyatichi, among whom the PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha preached and died, lived along the River Oka, and they occupied the locale of the Orlov and Kaluzh districts. They were pagans. The Monk Nestor the Chronicler (Comm. 27 October), writing about the Vyatichi, was shocked by their brutal customs and he added, that they thus live "furthermore only for the present day", remaining unacquainted with the Law of God and instead making their own law. The PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha preached to the Vyatichi during the era of Sainted Theoktist, Bishop of Chernigov (1113-1123, Comm. 5 August). He was buried thus, as was the Monk Pimen the Faster, in the Nearer Caves (Comm. of Monks of the Nearer Caves is 28 September).

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