May 4, 2020

The Alfanov Brothers of Novgorod: Saints Nikita, Cyril, Nicephorus, Clement, and Isaac - Founders of the Sokolnitzki Monastery

The Venerable Alfanov Brothers - Saints Nikita, Cyril, Nicephorus, Clement, and Isaac - lived during the fourteenth century at Novgorod. They led a venerable life and founded the Sokolnitsky Monastery. According to the annals, “A wooden church dedicated to Saint Nicholas was built on the Sokol hill and a monastery was founded” in 1389.

The Venerable Alfanov brothers were kinsmen of the well-known James Anphalov [or Alfanov], who fled to the Dvina to avoid pursuit because of his dealings with Moscow. The venerable ones were subjected to misfortune because they were related to James, and they purified themselves through their innocent suffering. In the Tale of the Holy Brothers there is described a miracle that took place at their relics after their death.

Their memory is celebrated on May 4 and June 17. As the result of a fire which destroyed the Sokolnitsky Monastery, their holy relics were transferred to the Antoniev Monastery on May 4, 1775.