Nikola Sviatosha (Svyatoslav Davidovich), prince of Chernigov and wonderworker of the Kiev Caves, venerable (Near Caves)
Dates of commemoration
(Church calendar - Feb 27) Synaxis of all Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves (movable feast on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent)
(Church calendar - Sep 20) Synaxis of All Saints of Briansk
(Church calendar - Sep 22) Synaxis of All Saints of Tula
(Church calendar - Sep 28) Synaxis of the Saints of the Kievan Caves Monastery, venerated in the near caves of Venerable Anthony
(Church calendar - Oct 10) Synaxis of Saints of Volhynia
(Church calendar - Oct 14)
Saint Nicholas Sviatosha, Prince of Chernigov, and Wonderworker of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves, was a great-grandson of Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise and son of Prince David Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (+ 1123). Nicholas was the Prince of Lutsk, and he had a wife and children (his daughter was later married to the Novgorod prince Saint Vsevolod-Gabriel (February 11).
On February 17, 1106 the holy prince, left his family and was tonsured at the Kiev Caves monastery. Nicholas Sviatosha carried out his obediences with great humility. For three years he worked in the kitchen, for which he chopped wood and carried water. For the next three years, he was gatekeeper at the monastery. The saint had a garden around his cell. Out of his own means he built at the monastery the temple of the Holy Trinity and the infirmary church in the name of Saint Nicholas, his patron saint.
Saint Nicholas was the first of the Russian princes to accept monasticism, patiently enduring the reproaches of his brothers for his decision to lead a life of humble obedience. The saint’s doctor, Peter, pointed out to the royal ascetic, that such exploits of obedience had injured his health. But suddenly the doctor himself fell sick, and was healed only by the prayer of Saint Nicholas. Then Peter himself was tonsured.
After he had progressed through various obediences, Saint Nicholas took upon himself the vow of silence. When the saint received money, he used it to beautify the church, and to procure books (because he loved reading), or he distributed it to the poor. Saint Nicholas was a zealous peacemaker, in 1142 he reconciled the Prince of Chernigov with the Great Prince Vsevolod.
Soon after the death of the saint, his brother Prince Izyaslav fell grievously ill. The igumen of the monastery sent the sick man the saint’s hairshirt. Izyaslav put it on and was healed.
Holy relic type
unless specified otherwise below, "holy relic" means a fragment of a bone of the saint
Location of the holy relic in the Cathedral:
North kliros, reliquary #5
Тропарь преподобного Николы Святоши, князя Черниговского, Печерского чудотворца, в Ближних пещерах
Отечество и славу княжения твоего оставил,/ Князю смирения, Христови, усердно последовал еси,/ преподобне отче наш Николо;/ тем приял еси от Него вечное царство и славу на Небеси,/ идеже ликуя, поминай нас чтущих память твою верно.
Кондак преподобного Николы Святоши, князя Черниговского, Печерского чудотворца, в Ближних пещерах
Вся красная мира сего/ и тленное богатство нивочтоже вменив,/ обогатился еси многими чудесы и знамении от Христа Бога,/ Емуже в веселии предстоя,/ поминай нас, чтущих любовию память твою, да зовем ти:/ радуйся, Николо пречудне.