St. Archbishop Athanasius of Constantinople, Kharkiv and Lubny, the Wonderworker
The Church celebrates Remembrance Day of St. Athanasius of Constantinople, Kharkiv and Lubny on 15 May.
The future Saint was born in 1597 on the Crete Island and for 26 years lived in the Arcada; he studied there also.
In 1631 he became the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki (Greek Church). Three years later Athanasius was elected to be an Ecumenical Patriarch. When former Patriarch has returned to his throne, St. Athanasius went to Italy, to Venice and Ancona particularly, where were churches of Constantinopolitan Patriarchate.
He spent some time on Holy Mount of Athos in his personal cell.
In 1652 St. Athanasius was elected to Constantinopolitan Episcopal Throne again but not for long.
At the same year he definitively leaved the capital and went to Moscow. On his way the Hierarch met Ukrainian Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. St. Athanasius was hosted in Moscow by Tsar Alexis and according to Patriarch Nikon’s request the Saint made up the Service of Eastern Hierarchical Liturgy, which became the basis for Hierarchical Service Book and it is in use in Russian Church for today.
Patriarch Athanasius offered to Moscow governor to fight against Turkish Empire. According to plan, in case of winning Tsar will occupy Byzantine Throne; the bishop of Moscow – the Throne of Ecumenical Patriarch.
In 1654 St. Athanasius stayed in Mharsky Monastery near Lubny city (Poltava oblast) and peacefully reposed there on 5 April.
The Hierarch was buried sitting on the throne under the altar of monastic church of Transfiguration.
In 1662 Paisios of Gaza visited the monastery and he had seen St. Athanasius in his dream. Afterwards he took part in the opening of St. Hierarch’s incorruptible relics.
In 1818 bishop of Poltava Methodius appealed to the Synod on a question of St. Athanasius’ canonization and glorification. Even though the request was not granted, veneration of Saint and a lot of miracles near his relics were permanent.
Officially glorification took place in XIX century.
In 1922 Cathedral of Transfiguration was plundered. In 1930th the relics of Patriarch were translated to Kharkiv, and in 1947 – to Cathedral of Annunciation of Kharkiv, where they are for today.