The Uncovering of the Relics of the Monk German of Solovetsk

Commemorated on July 30

      The Uncovering of the Relics of the Monk German of Solovetsk occurred in the year 1484. Saint German lived as an hermit at the River Vyg, by a chapel. It was here in about the year 1429 that the Monk Savvatii, from Valaamo monastery, came upon him, in seeking a solitary place for his ascetic deeds. German told Savvatii about Solovetsk Island, and both monks, in negotiating the sea, settled upon Solovetsk. They built themselves a cell beneathe the Sekir Heights, where they lived for six years. Upon the repose of Savvatii (+ 27 September 1435), the Monk German continued his ascetic efforts on the island together with another wilderness-dweller, the Monk Zosima (Comm. 17 April). German lived on the island for more than 50 years.
      Being unlettered, but made wise by Divine Providence and wanting to preserve the memory about the efforts of the Monk Savvatii to edify many others, he summoned clergy to write down his memories about the Monks Savvatii and Zosima, and about the events which occurred during their lifetime. The Monk German loved to listen to edifying readings and in his final instruction to his students he bid them gather books at the monastery. For the domestic and other needs of the monastery the monk into his old age made dangerous sailings and prolonged journeys to the mainland. On one of these excursions to Novgorod in 1479 he died at the Antoniev monastery. They conveyed his body to the Solovetsk monastery, but because of some ruffians they had to make burial at a chapel in the village of Khavron'in on the River Svira. In 1484, when it was decided to move the grave to the place of the activities of the monk, his relics were found undecayed.

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