Lives of Saints - Prelate Dimitry of Rostov Christianity - Books
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Prelate Dimitry of Rostov

Prelate Dimitry (Daniel Tuptalo in the world) came from the village Makarovo of the Kiev region. He was born into a Kazak family in 1651. He had to give up his studies at the Kiev academy, because of war and finished his education studying by himself. After taking monastic vows at one of the Chernigov monasteries, he was noticed by Archbishop Lazarus Baranovich, who entrusted him to preach in his cathedral. During the next 2 years Saint Dimitry often preached there and became so famous for his eloquence that Lithuania and Malorossia (Ukraine) were competing in having him come and preach there.

When Dimitry was 33 he started his immortal 12-volume work — "Chet’i-Minei" (reader) which described the lives of saints for every day of the year. For 20 years (1684-1704) he had been relentlessly collecting, studying and compiling the lives of saints, which has become since those times a favorite selection for the Russian believers to read. That work was being completed when he was the Rostov Metropolitan (from 1702).

When the valiant prelate became a Metropolitan, he started a struggle against the schism of the church and wrote a detailed study about major schismatic sects under the title of "Inquest of Briansk faith." Seven years of his arch ministerial service in Rostov were full of his arduous work aimed at strengthening the creed; he was visiting every place of his parish, teaching people and preaching to them. Painfully conscious of the poor enlightenment of his parishioners and priests, he sponsored and organized a school in Rostov, and cared for the disciples there with a fatherly attention and love. They would often gather around him and sing spiritual hymns composed by him. Many of those sublime songs of Prelate Dimitry ("O, my worshiped Jesus," "Unto the Lord I am crying in my trouble" and others) were sung by people in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

The private life of Prelate Dimitry was an ascetic life of the strictest fasting, prayers and kindness. His food was very simple and always very meager. He was accessible to everyone, always benevolent and lenient. On the 28th of October 1709, the great devotee of learning and piety gave his soul to the Lord peacefully during his prayer in privacy; he was found fallen on his knees before an icon of the Savior. In 1752, his imperishable relics were opened and Prelate Dimitry was ranked among the saints.

In addition to "Chet’I-Minei" and "Inquest of Briansk faith," Prelate Dimitry wrote a number of sermons and instructions, such as "Concise Catechizes," "Private Script," "History of Tsars and Patriarchs," "The Record of Russian Metropolitans," and other writings. The works of Prelate Dimitry are permeated with deep faith, warmth and are easy to read, since the Russian language is polished to wonderful legibility and refinement. He was a truly national writer.

Let us please our golden-mouthed teacher Dimitry, who is the star of Russia that rose from Kiev and reaching Rostov through the new city in the north, illuminated the whole country with learning and wonders. He, who described all and instructed us, let him turn us to Christ like Paul and save our souls with righteousness.


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