St. Venerable Sophronius, the anchorite of Pechersk
According to Typicon, on March 24 the Church venerates a memory of St. Venerable Sophronius, the anchorite of Pechersk, who lived in XIII century.
St. Venerable Sophronius was glorified for the exploit of isolated life. It is a special type of ascetic, which is based on voluntary, permanent or temporal isolation in a limited space, for example, in a cell, in a cave etc. The main goal of isolated life is maximal rejection of the world and solitude for permanent prayer. Often God gave to anchorites special visions or gifts, for example healing or wonderworking.
In Rus examples of isolated life are known since the times of St. Venerable Antonius of Pechersk, who lived in XI century and was the founder of local monastic life. The Church chronicles indicates the names of forty saints who were glorifies as anchorites. It should be noted that names of many anchorites are unknown. The most important is that one third of canonized anchorites are in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
This is the story about one of them.
St. Venerable Sophronius, the anchorite of Pechersk, lived by ascetic life in the Far (St. Theodosius) Caves. He was strict ascetic and man of prayer. All his life he wore a simple monk’s long shirt and a heavy iron belt. Being in isolation, the Saint daily read the entire Psalter.
In the canon, devoted to Sts. Venerable Fathers of Far Caves, recounted an ascetic exploit of St. Sophronius, who was honored with hearing of angelic singing.
The relics of St. Venerable Sophronius of Pechersk are in Far Caves of Kyiv-Pechersk monastery.