The Monk Avraamii (Abraham) of Mirozhsk

Commemorated on September 24

      The Monk Avraamii (Abraham) of Mirozhsk was the builder and first hegumen of the Pskov Saviour-Transfiguration monastery on the banks of the River Velika, at the confluence into it of the Rivulet Mirozha. The Mirozhsk monastery was founded in about the year 1156, during the princedom of Svyatopolk Mstislavich, by both the Monk Avraamii and by Sainted Nyphont, Bishop of Novgorod (tonsured at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery, Comm. 8 April), a brother by birth of holy Prince Vsevolod-Gavriil (Comm. 11 February). This monastery, the most ancient in Pskov, was the first seed of monasticism transported to the Pskovsk soil from Kiev. On a chalice of the Monk Nyphont is inscribed: "Holy Bishop Nyphont... enthroned, many an holy monastery and church did he build with approval of prince Vsevolod of Pskov, and upon the demise of prince Vsevolod he came.. to Pskov and did construct... the church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and a monastery of fame and beauty, and did gather brethren and establish an hegumen". Towards the end of the XIX Century during a remodeling of the Transfiguration cathedral there were discovered beautiful frescoes of the XII Century, with which the church had been painted, and which now receive universal reknown. (The Monk Nyphont built also a similar church at Ladoga, dedicated to Sainted Clement of Rome, but in the present day only the foundations there have been preserved).
      About the life of the Monk Avraamii the accounts contain little, since the monastery was situated inside the city walls and often it was laid waste and served as quarters for enemy soldiers. The monk died on 24 September 1158. His relics lay beneathe a crypt of the cathedral church in honour of the Transfiguration of the Lord in the monastery built by him.
      Four centuries later, on 24 September 1567, on the day of memory of the Monk Avraamii at the Mirozhsk monastery there occurred a miraculous sign from an ancient icon of the MostHoly Mother of God. The Mirozhsk Icon had manifest itself at the monastery in the year 1198. But later, during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, at a time when a pestilential epidemic raged at Pskov, an ancient report tells how from this icon, "Our Sovereign Lady Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary in mystery did effect Her venerable sign: from the All-Pure image were tears from both eyes, and like streams did flow, and many a benefit and healing for man did occur from the image of the Mother of God". The Mirozhsk Icon was written on the style of the "Orans" ("Praying"). In front of the MostHoly Mother of God stand the Pskov Saints: on the right – holy Nobleborn Prince Dovmont-Timothy (Comm. 20 May), on the left – his spouse, the holy Nun Martha, in the world named Maria Dimitrievna (+ 8 November 1300). Tsar Ivan Vasil'evich took away the wonderworking image from Pskov, but at the monastery there remained a copy "measure for measure" – the so-called "Great Panagia" from the Saviour-Mirozhsk monastery. The celebration of the Sign Icon of Mirozh was established in that same year of 1567, with the blessing of archbishop Pimen of Novgorod and Pskov. A special service to this icon was compiled, published in the 1666 Menaion.  

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