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September 29, 2017

Saint Cyprian of Ustiug (+ 1276)

St. Cyril of Ustiug (Feast Day - September 29)

Saint Cyprian of Ustiug was a rich landowner, but turning from the vanities of the world, he received the angelic schema with the name Cyprian at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Gledeno.

The inhabitants of the newly-established city of Ustiug begged Saint Cyprian to build a monastery somewhere near the city. Saint Cyprian went about the city and observed its layout, then chose a place near shallow lakes at the Ostrozh falls and he started to construct a cell.

By the year 1212, he began to build a monastery in honor of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos, and a church in the name of the Archangel Michael, the Chief Commander of the Heavenly Hosts. The inhabitants of Ustiug, seeing the godliness of the holy ascetic, brought him all the necessities for building the monastery, and many began to pursue asceticism together with Saint Cyprian, who received everyone with joy and with love.

The holy monastery grew, and according to the account in the Ustiug Chronicle, Saint Cyprian “was chosen head of the holy monastery and pastor of the flock of Christ,” but out of humility he did not accept the priestly office. By his bed, there was a stone, evidence of the monk’s ascetic deeds. During his night prayers, the ascetic held it in his hands so as to maintain vigilance and be constantly at prayer.

Saint Cyprian died on September 29, 1276 and was buried in the monastery he founded. Afterwards, at his tomb, a church was built in honor of the Feast of Mid-Pentecost. The grave is inside the church, behind the left choir at the wall and above it is a tomb, which is still visible to all.

In 1621, one of the novices of the monastery, returning from Verkhoturye, under the Pyskorsky Monastery, inadvertently gnawed at the root of a plant given to him in the form of a medicine, and thus became so ill with a stomach illness that he, hardly alive, could barely return to the monastery. There he lay sick for a year, tested various medicines and, without any benefit, turned with an earnest prayer to Saint Cyprian, promising to serve in the chapel where his grave is located, and put a cover on the tomb. Only after the requiem was performed and the veil was laid, the sick John became healthy, as if he had never been ill.