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St. Nikola Svjatosha (Svjatoslav), prince of Chernigov, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves

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14/27 October

Venerable Nikola was the great-grandson of Grand Prince Jaroslav the Wise and the son of Prince David Svjatoslavovich of Chernigov (+1123). In some sources, the Venerable one's father is called a saint. Svjatosha was Prince of Lutzk, had a wife and children (his daughter was subsequently married to the Novgorod Prince, the holy, right-believing Vsevolod-Gabriel (+1138, commemorated on 11 February). On 17 February 1106, the holy Prince, having left his family, accepted the tonsure in the Kiev-Caves Monastery. Here, Nikola Svjatosha, with great humility, passed through [various] obediences: he worked three years in the kitchen, for which he cut wood and carried water; the following three years he was the gate-keeper in the Monastery. Around his cell, the saint planted a garden.

Using his own means, he built the church of the Holy Trinity in the Monastery and the infirmary church in the name of Hierarch Nicholas, his heavenly protector.

Venerable Nikola was the first of the Russian princes who accepted monasticism. He patiently bore the reproaches of his brethren for his resolve to lead the life of a submissive novice. The Venerable one's physician, Peter, tried to prove to the prince-ascetic that the ascesis of such obedience would harm his health. But suddenly the physician himself fell ill and was healed only by the prayers of Venerable Nikola. Then Peter was tonsured a monk.

Passing through various obediences, Venerable Nikola imposed upon himself a vow of silence. When the Saint received money, he used it for the adornment of the church, for purchasing books (for he loved reading books) or he distributed it to the indigent. Saint Nikola was a diligent peacemaker. In 1142, he reconciled the Chernigov princes with Grand Prince Vsevolod.

Soon after the Saint's decease, his own brother, Prince Izjaslav, fell seriously ill. The hegoumen of the Monastery sent the Venerable one's hair shirt to the ill one. Izjaslav donned it and was healed.

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