Abraham of Smolensk

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Saint Abraham of Smolensk
Saint Abraham of Smolensk.jpg
Saint Abraham of Smolensk
Born unknown (12th century)
Smolensk, Russia
Died about 1222
Smolensk, Russia
Honored in Eastern Orthodoxy
Canonized 1549
Feast August 21

Abraham of Smolensk was a monk of Smolensk, his birthplace, where he became a monk of the Bogoroditzkaja monastery. He is historically regarded as a miracle worker. As a monk, he engaged in extensive preaching and biblical study. He is considered to be a notable figure in pre-Mongol Russia.

He is described as being a man of stern and militant character, who kept the idea of the Last Judgement in the minds of himself and others. He was very popular among the laity, as he worked for the sick and troubled. He was less popular with the other local clergy, who came to view him with enmity and jealousy.

This animosity led ultimately to several moral and theological charges being brought against him. Based on these charges, the local bishop of Smolensk took disciplinary measures against Abraham, which cast a cloud over his character for five years. He was said to have been later justified by a miracle. At that time, the bishop reopened the case against Abraham, acquitted him against the charges leveled against him, and made him the abbot of the smaller Holy Cross monastery in the area. Abraham would spend the rest of his life peacefully following his calling there, dying there peacefully in 1221. A biography by his disciple Ephraem has survived.

Veneration[edit]

His feast day is celebrated on August 21 in all of the Russian church.

References[edit]

  • Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
  • Holweck, F. G. A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924.