Translation of the relics of the Blessed Igor-George, tonsured Gabriel, Great Prince of Chernigov and Kiev to Chernigov

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5/18 June

The great prince of Kiev, Igor Olegovitch, in Holy Baptism Georgi (George) (commemorated 19 September/2 October), was defeated and imprisoned by prince Izyaslav. He was incarcerated in one of the monasteries in Pereyaslavl - Rus’/South, now known as Pereyaslavl’ Khmelnitski. Far removed from the vanities of this world, and profoundly ill, he began to repent of his sins, and asked to be tonsured as a monk. On January 5, 1147, bishop Euthemius of Pereyaslavl tonsured him as a monk, with the name Gabriel. Soon he regained his health, and was transferred to the Kiev-St.Theodore Monastery. There he took the schema, with the name Ignatius, and gave himself over entirely to monastic struggle.

However, the spirit of fratricidal hatred raged over Kiev. The Chernigov princes, Igor’s cousins, plotted to trick Izyaslav of Kiev into joining them on a campaign, in order to seize and kill him. The plot was discovered after the prince had already set off for Chernigov. Upon learning of the perfidy of the people of Chernigov, the indignant people of Kiev took out their revenge on the completely innocent prince/schema-monk. On September 19, 1147, prince Igor was cruelly murdered.

The Lord glorified the passion-bearer through miracles. With the blessing of Metropolitan Clement of Smolensk, Abbot Ananias of the St. Theodore Monastery served the funeral service for the passion-bearer in the church of the Kiev-Simonov Monastery. On June 5, 1150, when Yuri Dolgoruki ascended the throne of Kiev, his ally, Svyatoslav Olegovitch, prince of Chernigov and the murdered Igor’s brother, transferred Prince Igor’s holy relics to Chernigov, his native land, where they were placed in a reliquary “with a tower chamber” in the Cathedral Church of the Savior. At the same time, commemoration of the saint was instituted.

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