August 5, 2019

Saint Job of Ushchelsk (+ 1628)

St. Job of Ushchelsk (Feast Day - August 5)

Saint Job the Gorge-Dweller (Ushchelsk) was a monk of the Solovki Monastery (his father was named Patrick Mazovsky). On November 10, 1608 he was ordained as a hieromonk by Metropolitan Isidore of Novgorod. In 1614 Saint Job was sent to the Mezen frontier, where at the confluence of the Rivers Ezeg and Vazhka into the River Mezen, he set up a chapel in honor of the Nativity of Christ. The first monks to gather around him lived at the homes of their kinsmen, so poor was the monastery. After Tsar Michael Theodorovich (1613-1645) conferred lands with fishing rights, the Saint built a church and monastic cells.

On August 5, 1628, when all the brethren were off cutting hay, robbers attacked the monastery. After torturing him to get him to open the monastery treasury, the robbers beheaded Saint Job. Finding nothing at all, they fled. The brethren upon returning buried the body of the martyr with honor. Local veneration of Saint Job as a saint of God began soon after his death, because of numerous miracles (in the seventeenth century about fifty were known). The first icon was painted in 1658, and his Life written in the 1660s.

About this time a chapel was built over the relics of the monk. Later, with the blessing of Archbishop Athanasius of Kholmogorsk it was rebuilt as a church in honor of his namesake the Righteous Job the Much-Suffering (May 6). On November 3, 1739 the relics of Saint Job were witnessed to by Archbishop Barsanuphius, with the singing of a Molieben to the Saint. Thus his glorification was accomplished. In iconography, Saint Job is depicted in this manner: “Similarly grey bearded like Saint Alexander of Svir, in the garb of the schemamonk, and in his hands a scroll upon which is written: “Fear not those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul” (Mt. 10:28).