The Monk Joseph of Zaonikievsk
Commemorated on September 21 and June 23
The Monk Joseph of
Zaonikievsk, was in the world Ilarion, a pious peasant from the village of
Obukhovo Kubensk in the region of the Vologda gubernia. For a long time he
suffered an illness of eyesight and he fervently prayed for the help of the
Lord, to the MostHoly Mother of God and to the Saints, in particular the holy
Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian. His prayer was heard, and in 1588, by
revelation of Saint Cosmas, the Monk Joseph went into the forest into a swampy
place, to an icon of the Mother of God, from which he received healing. In
gratitude the monk cleared a forest thicket at the place of the appearance of
the wonderworking icon and built a chapel, in which he put the icon. He himself
settled close by, taking the monastic form with the name of Joseph. Afterwards,
with the blessing of Sainted Antonii, Bishop of Vologda, on the place of
Joseph's ascetic exploits emerged the Zaonikiev monastery, called such from the
name of the brigand Aniki who once dwelt in this forest. When the monastery
expanded and the number of monks grew, upon the advice of the Monk Joseph,
Antonii was chosen as hegumen. Joseph himself out of humility did not accept
the leadership and, having concealed from the others his own strict exploits,
he was perceived as a fool-for-Christ, – he stood on his feet at prayer in his
chapel, and in the fierce cold he went about barefoot.
The Monk Joseph reposed on 21 September 1612 at age 83, and was buried in the monastery founded by him.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.