Lives of Saints - Hierarch Mithrophanus of Voronezh Christianity - Books
I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.                But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.                Aren't five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God.                But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don't be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.                I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God;                but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God.               
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Hierarch Mithrophanus of Voronezh

Hierarch Mithrophanus (Michael in the world) was born in 1623 near the city of Vladimir into a clerical family. His righteous parents brought him up properly in the spirit of Christian faith. Widowed at the age of 40, Michael became a monk at the Zolotnikovsk monastery of Dormition of the Mother of God, not far from the town of Suzdal. A devoted ascetic, he was ordained by laying on of hands to become a hieromonk in 1663 and in 3 years he was appointed Father Superior of the Kosmino-Yakhromski monastery.

In this capacity, Saint Mithrophanus was respected both by the clerical and the society people. Patriarch Joachim trusted Saint Mithrophanus completely and relied on him to give out salaries to army people from the monastery treasury. After a new eparchial cathedra was opened in Voronezh, Father Superior Mithrophanus was ordained a bishop in 1682. When Emperor Peter was succeeding the throne, Saint Mithrophanus was a witness to large-scale schism riots, which left a deep and most traumatic impression on him. He saw how much evil could be brought about by schisms, so for the rest of his life he was an active fighter against schisms.

Despite occupying a high priestly rank of an archbishop in the Church, Prelate Mithrophanus was approachable to everyone. His ministerial house harbored the sorrowful, hosted the travelers and was the place to cure the ailing. The prelate often toured the city visiting the sick and consoling the sufferers with hope for God’s mercy. He frequently visited prisons too. Emperor Peter singled him out from among other bishops and loved him very much. During his frequent visits to Voronezh where a shipyard and the fleet were under construction, Peter the Great supplied Prelate Mithrophanus with money and land lots for the needy. The prelate was the first person the emperor would visit on arrival to Voronezh. After a conversation with him the emperor would always leave in a bright and invigorated disposition.

In the 20 years of his episcopate services Prelate Mithrophanus contributed greatly to the benefit of the Church. In 1705 he fell seriously ill. Emperor Peter, who arrived to Voronezh at the time, came to see the dying prelate, clung to his deathbed and stayed with him all the time until the prelate died. During the funeral the emperor was among those carrying the coffin. Prelate Mithrophanus was buried in the Voronezh cathedral.

The citizens of Voronezh cherished good memories of the righteousness and virtues of Prelate Mithrophanus. When his imperishable relics were opened in 1718 and people received healing from them, no one doubted his sacredness anymore. Later, in 1833 Saint Mithrophanus’ relics were brought with due ceremonies to the Voronezh cathedral of the Annunciation of Holy Virgin Mary.

A paragon of faith and a model of modesty, thou hast been a wise and humble father in word and deed to thy parish: like the sun thou didst shine in the bright holiness with the crown of immortality and glory. Intercede before Christ our God for the Orthodox Christians to be saved in this world.


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