Ignaty Brianchaninov (1807-1867) monk and pastor
Today the Russian Orthodox Church commemorates Ignaty Brianchaninov, a monk who lived near St. Petersburg and became bishop of the Caucasus.
Dimitry Alexandrovich Brianchaninov was born into a noble family in the Vologda region. Following family tradition, he began to train for a military career. It was at the academy, where he studied engineering, that he encountered the seeds of religious renewal that were being scattered everywhere by the disciples of the great starets Paisius Velichkovsky. Perhaps encouraged by the starets Leonida, who later became the first great spiritual father of Optina Monastery, Dimitry became a monk, received the name Ignaty, and was ordained a priest.
During his years in the military academy he had become a perceptive critic of the contemporary world, and after just a few years of monastic life he acquired a strong grounding in the Orthodox ascetic tradition. He was thus able to take on the guidance of the St. Sergius - Trinity Lavra near St. Petersburg at the age of only twenty-seven. For twenty-three years he broke the bread of the Word daily for his brothers, initiating them into the prayer of the heart and the spiritual struggle, according to the tradition of the Church fathers.
Ignaty was elected bishop of the Caucasus and the Black Sea in 1857, but after only two years, poor health forced him to retire to a monastery in Kostroma. He dedicated the last years of his life to writing spiritual texts, which he used in teaching others, especially monks. Yet his popularity is due to the fact that his writings have been heard as an appeal addressed to all people, a call to discover the beauty of a life of radical faithfulness to the Gospel and the greatness of the universal vocation to divinization.
Ignaty died on April 30, 1867.
Heb 7:26-8:2; Jn 10:9-16
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Ignaty Brianchaninov, bishop of Stavropol' (Russian Church)