Neo-martyr Philosoph Ornatsky, and those with him

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May 31/June 13

He was born into the family of a priest in the province of Novgorod. One of his brothers was married to a cousin of Holy Righteous St. John of Kronstadt. Philosoph Ornatsky completed the St. Petersburg Theological Academy and was ordained a priest. Several years later, he was appointed rector of the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The faithful were unanimous in their support of this appointment.

His talents as a homilist attracted those seeking the living word. He often called upon his flock to reject the idea of “equality.” During the revolution, he witnessed the execution of Archpriest Peter Skipetrov, husband of his wife’s sister. Metropolitan Benjamin, together with the cathedral clergy, served the funeral service. Philosoph read the homily at the funeral. The editor Suvorin wrote him, “You, Philosoph, are the only hope; everyone else is keeping silent.” And he continued to fearlessly condemn the Bolsheviks. On the eve of the feast of St. Elias, he and his two sons, Nicholas (a military physician) and Boris (also an officer), were arrested. That same night, they, together with other prisoners, including twenty-two of his parishioners, were taken away to be shot. Along the way, St. Philosoph read aloud to the condemned the prayers for the departure of the soul. All of those killed were thrown into the sea on 20 July/2 August 1918.

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  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000




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