St Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow.

Commemorated March 31 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He was born in the province of Kostmor, becoming a monk at the age of twelve and as such living in the Simonov monastery near Moscow. He became Bishop of Ryazan in the time of Metropolitan Photius, and when Photius died, Jonah was chosen as Metropolitan and sent to Constantinople for consecration and confirmation. But, at the same time, a man called Isidore, a Bulgarian by birth, outwitted Jonah, arrived in Constantinople before him and was consecrated as the Metropolitan for Russia. Jonah returned to his seat at Ryazan. But the malicious Isidore ended his reign as Metropolitan in an evil way. He went to the Council of Florence, and only returned to Moscow three years later. He was condemned as an apostate from Orthodoxy and exiled. It is not known where he died. Jonah, the good and wise pastor, came to the Metropolitical throne. He was a great wonder-worker, a seer and a spiritual guide. When the Agarians besieged Moscow, Jonah sent them packing by his prayers. In old age, he desired to experience such illness that he would suffer greatly, and would by his sufferings be completely purified before his departure to the other world. At his prayer, God gave him wounds in his feet, which were foreseen in a vision by a priest, James. The saint died of these wounds and went to join the citizens of heaven on March 31st, 1461. Many miracles were performed through his relics. A dumb man, John, was brought to the saint's relics. John kissed Jonah's hand and, as he related afterwards, the hand grabbed hold of his tongue and he felt a sharp pain. When it let his tongue go, he went back to his friends - and spoke as if he had never been dumb.

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

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