St.Michael of Klops Monastery, fool-for-Christ (Novgorod)

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11/24 January

St. Michael of Klops was of aristocratic [boyar] ancestry, and was a relative of great prince Dimitry Donskoy (1363-1389). He took upon himself the podvig of being a fool-for-Christ and, leaving Moscow, came dressed in rags to the Klops Monastery near Novgorod. No one knows how he got into the locked cell of Hieromonk Makariy. Fr. Makariy was censing on the 9th Ode of the canon, and entered to cense the cell. There sat a person dressed in monastic attire, copying the Acts of the Holy Apostles. After serving Matins, the abbot came with the brethren and began to question the stranger: Who are you, and what is your name? The stranger replied simply by repeating the questions, and did not reveal his lineage. In church, the saint sang on the kliros and read the Epistles. In the refectory, he would read the lives of the saints. All who heard him were touched by the beauty and spirituality of his reading.

On the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord, prince Constantine Dimitrievitch (son of great prince Dimitriy Donskoy) visited the Klops Monastery. After Holy Communion, he and the prince were having a meal in the refectory, while the anonymous visitor was reading the Book of Job. Hearing the reading, the prince approached the reader and, carefully looking him over, bowed to him, and addressed his relative as Mikhail Maximovitch. The fool-for-Christ said, “Only the One Who created me knows who I am.” However, he did confirm that he was called Michael.

Soon Venerable St. Michael became an example for the brethren in all monastic spiritual struggles. He lived in the Klops Monastery for 44 years, wearing out his body with labors, vigils, and various kinds of deprivations, and receiving from the Lord the gift of clairvoyance. He denounced people’s vices, and did not fear the mighty of this earth. He foretold that great prince Ioann III (1462-1505) would be born on 22 January 1440, and that he would take Novgorod. He denounced prince Dimitriy Shemyako for blinding his brother, great prince Vasily Temny [the Dark] (1425-1462).

Venerable St. Michael brought forth a spring on a sandy spot by writing on the ground, “I will take the cup of salvation (Psalm 115:13); on this spot a spring will appear.” By his prayers, during a famine the amount of grain in the monastery granary did not decrease, despite the fact that the grain was freely distributed to the hungry.

Having foretold the place of his burial, the venerable one reposed on 11 January (+ ca. 1453).

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

Phone  (202) 726-3000




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