June 6, 2020

Saint Paisius of Uglich (+ 1504)

St. Paisius of Uglich (Feast Day - June 6)

Saint Paisius of Uglich was born in the village of Bogorodsky, near the city of Kashin. His father, John Gavrenev, was the boyar of the Uglich prince. His mother, Xenia, was the daughter of the commander Vasily Ananievich Kozhi and the sister of Saint Macarius of Kalyazin (Mar. 17). He was given the name Paul in Holy Baptism.

Paul entered his uncle’s monastery, Kalyazinsky Trinity Monastery, after the death of his parents, when he was just an eleven-year-old child. He was tonsured by his uncle with the name Paisius. Under his uncle’s guidance, Saint Paisius led a monastic life of obedience, fasting and prayer, and he was put to work copying soul-saving books, some of which still survive.

A man wondrous of spirit, famed teacher of holiness and most astounding wonderworker, he founded (in 1464) the cenobitic Protection Monastery three versts from Uglich at the wish of Prince Andrew Vasilievich, and he was chosen abbot.

Soon after the construction of the cathedral church, Prince Andrew's brother, Grand Duke John of Moscow, rose up against him and, having driven him from the throne, imprisoned him with his children, where he died in 1493. Paisius was not indifferent, nor did he betray his prince, but he buried him with honor in the Uglich Cathedral. When, at the death of their father, his sons John and Dimitri were imprisoned in the Vologda dungeon, the holy elder grieved, and although he could not overcome the violence of the prince, he repeatedly exposed himself to John, begging him to postpone his anger with many messages. Seeing the failure of his petitions, he handed all this matter to the court of God, but he himself did not stop praying in the silence of his monastery for them and sent them everything they needed to the Vologda dungeon. He even made sure that even after his repose the alms of the imprisoned princes did not go down. The Saint, by frequently writing, supported the spirit of noble prisoners, promising them crowns and endless blessings for short-term suffering. Thus, this spiritual fruit ripened in prison and, as a worthy disciple of the elder Paisius, Prince John, in schema Ignatius, was himself venerated, promising them crowns and endless blessings for short-term suffering.

Saint Paisius was also founder and organizer of the holy Nikolsky Grekhozaruchnya Monastery in 1489.

Struggling at the Protection Monastery, Saint Paisius lived passed a hundred years old and died on June 6, 1504. His last words were: "Lord, into Your hands I commit my spirit," and then his face became illumined and the whole monastery smelled of incense. His relics, glorified by miracles, rest beneath a crypt in the Protection Monastery.