This File Last Updated: 2002/02/16

The (Russian Orthodox) Saints of Belarus

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    In 1984, the [Russian] Orthodox Church of Belarus established a holiday, the Day of Belarusís Saints, to be observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Fifteen saints were chosen to be honored:

    • St. Mina of Polacak   (? -- 1116)

    • St. Marcin of Thrau   (? -- 1150)

    • St. Rascislau Mscislavich   (1100s -- 1167)

    • St. Jeufrasinnia   (Euphrosyne)   of Polacak   (ca. 1102 -- 1173)

    • St. Dzijanisij of Polacak   (? -- 1182)

    • St. Kiryla of Turau   (ca. 1130 -- ca. 1182)

    • St. Laurencij of Turau   (1130s -- 1194)

    • St. Jelisiej of Laurysau   (? -- 1250)

    • St. Juliania of Alshany   (? -- 1550)

    • St. Sofja of Sluck   (1585 -- 1612)

    • St. Afanasij of Brest   (1595 -- 1648)

    • St. Makaryj Kanieuski   (1605 -- 1678)

    • St. Siamion of Polacak   (in Zaprudnik's book: 1220 - 1289;   correct dates: 1629 - 1680   ?   )

    • St. Hauryil of Bielastok   (1684 -- 1690)

        There is a version of the background of St. Hauryil (i.e., 6-year old Gavril Belostoksky) that states that anti-semitism was the basis for his canonization (in the 20th century) and later sainthood, and this anti-semitism is revived today in Belarus under Mr. Lukashenka: See the articles at: "Blood Libel"   (Aug., 1997)

    • St. Hieorhij Kaniski   (1717 -- 1795)

    • Also see, Saint Ioann of Korma (? -- 1917)   (he was added in 1998)

Other Saints & Holy Persons of Belarus

    There are other saints and holy persons intimately connected with the history of Christianity in Belarus who were not included in the official Orthodox roster of saints for various reasons, among them the fact that they acted beyond the present borders of the Belarusan state. Most of them lived in medieval times. Those persons include Makaryj, metropolitan of Kiev; Martyrs Iaan, Antonij, and Jaustafij of Vilnia; Merkuryj of Smalensk; Auram of Smalensk; and Metropolitan Kipryjan of Navahradak.

Catholic and Uniate Saints of Belarus

    Among the Catholic and Uniate saints venerated in Belarus are, respectively, Kuncevich Jasafat, an archbishop, and Babola Andrej, a Jesuit missionary, both of the 17th century.

Source Materials

    Much--but not all--of the information on this page is from the Saints of Belarus entry in the Historical Dictionary of Belarus (Zaprudnik, 1998; pp. 192-93). Note: In the preceding excerpt, terms in bold (other than in the headings) refer to other entries in the Historical Dictionary of Belarus. The Historical Dictionary of Belarus is an important summary of the history of Belarus.)

News Article: Orthodox Believers in Homel (Gomel) Region Celebrate Day of Saint Ioann of Korma

    "Orthodox believers in the Gomel region celebrated the Day of Saint Ioann of Korma on September 9 [2000]."

    "The holiday was marked by a service in the church of the village of Korma, where the local saint's relics rest."

    "Ioann Gashkevich was a local archpriest known to heal with prayers. He died in 1917, and his undecayed remains were discovered in 1991 by construction workers. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him on September 9, 1998. Thousands of pilgrims seeking cure have visited Korma since then."

    "Only once have the relics left Korma. This August, they were transferred from the remote village to a monastery in Gomel for two weeks, following numerous requests by believers."

      Source: BelaPAN, No. 40; Sunday, September 10, 2000; 9:15 p.m.

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