February 12, 2020

Saint Bassian of Uglich (+ 1509)

St. Bassian of Uglich (Feast Day - February 12);
photo shows what is left of the Trinity Ryabovsky Forest Monastery and
the area where the relics of St. Bassian are likely located

Saint Bassian of Uglich was a disciple of Saint Paisius of Uglich (June 6). He was born in the village of Rozhalov, in the Kesov district of the city of Bezhetsk Verkha. He was descended from the Shestikhin princes, whose ancestor was the prince Saint Theodore of Smolensk (Sept. 19).

Saint Bassian came to the Protection Monastery when he was thirty-three years of age in 1473, and was soon tonsured by Saint Paisius. He fulfilled his obediences without complaint and lived in great abstinence. In 1482, Saint Bassian discovered the Protection Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on the banks of the Volga. Having spent twenty years at the Monastery of Saint Paisius, Saint Bassian then asked a blessing to live in silence. His teacher blessed him saying, “Go my child, be guided by Christ with the blessed yoke of the Lord as it pleases Him. Soon you yourself shall form your own monastery and gather a monastic flock to the glory of the the Most Holy Trinity.”

In 1492 Saint Bassian left the monastery and, after spending time at the Nikolo-Uleimsk Monastery, he went to a remote place in Ryabovsky Forest thirty versts south of Uglich and began to live as a hermit. Soon people learned of his solitary habitation and began to come for advice and guidance.

In 1492, the Saint built a wooden church dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, and soon those wishing to live the monastic life came to be guided by him. Saint Bassian did not cease his relationship with his teacher until the latter’s death, at which he was present together with other disciples.

Having dwelt at the Trinity Ryabovsky Forest Monastery Monastery for seventeen years, Saint Bassian died on February 12, 1509. Three years later, a man named Gerasimus received healing from unclean spirits at his grave, and another fellow named Valerian was healed of palsy.

In 1548 the incorrupt relics of the Saint were found during the construction of a stone Trinity Church to replace the old wooden one, and over the relics a stone crypt was built. In the Time of Troubles, the monastery was devastated by the Poles. In 1619 it was restored by decree of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich and Patriarch Philaret of All Russia. In 1764, the monastery was abolished, and the Trinity Church became a parish. The temple was not preserved, and the place of the burial of the Saint was lost.

Saint Bassian is commemorated twice during the year: on the day of his repose, February 12, and on June 6 with his spiritual teacher Saint Paisius of Uglich.