The Monks Jona and Nektarii of Kazan

Commemorated on October 4

      The Monks Jona and Nektarii of Kazan – in the world were Ioann (John) and Nestor Zastol'sky. When Sainted Gurii (+1563, Comm. 5 December) was sent to the newly established Kazan diocese, the boyar Ioann Zastol'sky journeyed with him. Under the spiritual guidance of Sainted Gurii, Ioann led a virtuous and pious life. He shunned sin, loved truth, and was strictly honest. Ioann raised his son Nestor in the fear of God. The gentle youth from childhood was an ascetic: he wore an hair-shirt, and kept the fasts. He loved to pray in church. With the consent of his father, Nestor took monastic vows with the name Nektarii. He died at a youthful age. Nestor's father, Ioann, was tonsured into monasticism with the name Jona. Before death he gave final instructions to bury him alongside Sainted Gurii, near whose grave was buried Nektarii.
      At the uncovering of the relics of Saints Gurii and Varsonophii in 1595 were uncovered also the undecayed bodies and clothing of the Monks Jona and Nektarii. They were left beneathe a crypt in a chapel of the Kazan Saviour-Transfiguration monastery (the chapel was built by Jona over the grave of Saint Gurii). The saints are mentioned in the service to Sainted Gurii: "Two monks having well asceticised to God, Jona and Nektarii, one born of the other, didst faithfully serve thee in the world and upon thy death keeping sincere faith with thee didst raise up over thine grave a chapel of stone. Herein alongside thee be buried these saints, honoured with much incorruption from God above. Pray thou with them, Sainted Gurii, unto Christ God, to grant us peace and great mercy".

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