St Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow.

Commemorated January 9 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Born on February I 1 th, 1507, he was standing one day in church, while still a young man, when he heard the priest read from the Gospel the words:"No man can serve two masters"(Matt. 6:24). He was filled with awe at these words, as though they were said to him alone, and was enlightened in that same moment. He went off to the monastery of Solovetzk, where, after a long and hard novitiate, he received the monastic habit. In time he became abbot, and, resplendent as the sun in holiness, became known throughout the land of Russia. Because of this, Tsar Ivan the Terrible translated him to the vacant See of Moscow as Metropolitan in 1566. But the holy man could not witness with indifference the atrocities of that terrible Tsar, but counselled him strongly and then fearlessly denounced him. The Tsar found false witnesses against Philip, dismissed him, stripped him of all but his simple monastic rank and imprisoned him at Tver. On December 23rd, 1569, Malyuta Skhuratov, an emissary of the Tsar, came into Philip's cell and suffocated him with a pillow. But a horrible death quickly overtook all who had opposed Philip. After some years, the body of the saint was found to be whole and uncorrupt, and giving off a fragrant odour. It was transferred to the monastery of Solovetzk.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK





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