The Venerable Gennady
February 5 (January 23, Old Calendar)
St. Gennady Kostromsky, secularly known as Grigory, was born to rich Russo-Latvian nobles in the Latvian town of Mogilev. From childhood he distinguished himself by his piety. He loved to frequent God's Church and fasted faithfully, for which he was ridiculed by his friends. Wanting to consecrate his life to God, he secretly left his parent's house in beggar's clothing and went to Russia. Having visited Moscow and Novgorod, where he could not find a monastery to his liking, he sought out the Venerable Alexander on the river Svir. St. Alexander Svirskiy directed him to the Vologodskie forests to the Venerable Cornelius Komelsky, who tonsured him a monk with the name of Gennady. Some time later the Venerable Cornelius and Gennady departed to lake Sursk near the river Kostroma, where they founded a hermitage with two churches. Thereafter this hermitage became known as the Gennadiev Monastery.
The Venerable Gennady toiled incessantly. He baked the church hosts and bread, split wood and dug ponds with the brothers. In order to perform a labor he constantly wore fetters. He loved to paint icons and decorated the churches of his hermitage with them. For his pious life St. Gennady received from God the gift of discernment and healing. Thus, being in Moscow, he foretold to Anastasia Romanovna, the daughter of the nobleman Roman Zacharin, that she would become the tsarina. Truly, she later married Tsar Ivan the Terrible and was his favorite wife. The Tsar himself pleaded with the venerable one to be the godfather of his own daughter. The Venerable Gennady cured the Bishop Cyprian from a life threatening disease.
He died in 1565. In 1644 his incorrupt relics were obtained, which were guarded from that time under a bushel in the Church of the Transfiguration of his monastery. The Venerable Gennady wrote "Instructions of the Spiritual Elder to the Newly Vested Monk" and "A Spiritual Legacy."
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