Passion bearer

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Russian icon of the Passion-bearers, Saints Boris and Gleb (mid-14th century, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).

In Eastern Christianity, a passion bearer (Russian: страстотéрпец, tr. strastoterpets, IPA: [strəstɐˈtʲɛrpʲɪts]) is one of the various customary titles for saints used in commemoration at divine services when honouring their feast on the Church Calendar; it is not generally used by Catholics of the Roman Rite,[1] but it is used within the Eastern Catholic Churches.[2]


The term can be defined as a person who faces his or her death in a Christ-like manner. Unlike martyrs, passion bearers are not explicitly killed for their faith, though they hold to that faith with piety and true love of God. Thus, although all martyrs are passion bearers, not all passion bearers are martyrs.[citation needed]

In Eastern Orthodoxy[edit]

Notable passion bearers include the brothers Boris and Gleb, Alexander Schmorell (executed for being a member of the White Rose student movement which wrote and distributed Samizdat that denounced Nazism), Mother Maria Skobtsova, and the entire Imperial Family of Russia, executed by the Bolsheviks on July 17, 1918.[3]

Byzantine Catholicism[edit]

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the surviving Russian Catholics, many of whom were directly connected to the Greek Catholic community of Dominican Sisters founded in August 1917 by Mother Catherine Abrikosova, began to appear in the open. At the same time, the martyrology of the Russian Greek Catholic Church began to be investigated.

In 2001, Exarch Leonid Feodorov was beatified during a Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy offered in Lviv by Pope John Paul II.[citation needed]

In 2003, a positio towards the Causes for Beatification of six others of those whom Fr. Christopher Zugger has termed, "The Passion bearers of the Russian Catholic Exarchate":[4] Fabijan Abrantovich, Anna Abrikosova, Igor Akulov, Potapy Emelianov, Halina Jętkiewicz, and Andrzej Cikoto; was submitted to the Holy See's Congregation for the Causes of Saints by the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Russia.[5]

Passion bearers[edit]

Unified Church[edit]

20th century Orthodox Passion bearers[edit]


  1. ^ ""Orthodox Terminology", Church of the Mother of God". Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  2. ^ Fr. Christopher Zugger (2001), The Forgotten; Catholics in the Soviet Empire from Lenin to Stalin, Syracuse University Press, pages 157-169.
  3. ^ "Feasts and saints with names like "passion-bearer"". Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  4. ^ Fr. Christopher Zugger (2001), The Forgotten; Catholics in the Soviet Empire from Lenin to Stalin, Syracuse University Press, pages 157-169.
  5. ^ "catholicmartyrs - News from the Catholic Newmartyrs". Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  6. ^ "Saint Doulas, Passion-Bearer of Egypt". Retrieved 2021-07-10.
  7. ^ "Martyrdom of Boris and Gleb: text - IntraText CT". Retrieved 2021-07-10.
  8. ^ "Translation of the Relics of the Holy Passionbearers Boris and Gleb (in Baptism Roman and David—1072 and 1115)". Retrieved 2021-07-10.