Benjamin (Putsek-Grigorovich) of Kazan

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Metropolitan Benjamin (Putsek-Grigorovich) of Kazan was the ruling bishop of a number of dioceses of the Church of Russia. Successively, he served as Bishop of Nizhny Novgorod from 1748 to 1753. Then, as Bishop of Tver from 1753 to 1758, followed as Bishop of Pskov from 1758 to 1761. He was then transferred and became the Archbishop of St. Petersburg from 1761 to 1762 and finally Metropolitan of Kazan from 1762 to 1782.

Life

Vasiliy Grigorievich Putsek-Grigorovich was born early in the eighteenth century in the town of Lokhvitsy in the province of Poltava. After finishing his basic education he continued his studies at the Kiev Academy. Completing his studies, Vasiliy Grigorievich traveled to the city of Kazan of the Volga River and, in 1733, began teaching at the new Slavonic-Latin School, predecessor of the Kazan Theological Seminary/Academy. Vasiliy Grigorievich would spend a major part of his life serving in Kazan.

Beginning as a lecturer, he became the prefect of the seminary in 1744. During his time with the seminary Vasily was tonsured a monk with the name Benjamin and entered the Holy Orders. On December 6, 1744, Benjamin was raised to the dignity of archimandrite and appointed abbot of Savior-Transfiguration Monastery in Kazan while still serving the seminary. As Kazan was in the frontier of Christianity during his time, Archim. Benjamin participated as a missionary by preaching the Word of God among the pagans and Muslims of the Kazan province.

In 1746, it came time for Archim. Benjamin to serve in St. Petersburg for a period of time at the end of which he was elected to the see of Nizhny Novgorod. On August 14, 1748, he was consecrated Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod. On March 2, 1753, Abp. Benjamin was transferred to the see of Tver, and on the following October 6 he was appointed a member of the Holy Synod. Following in succession Abp. Benjamin was transferred first to the see of Pskov on April 2, 1758 and then on September 14, 1761 he was appointed Archbishop of St. Petersburg. On July 25, 1762, Abp. Benjamin requested his transfer to the Diocese of Kazan where upon his enthronement, he was the Archbishop of Kazan. However, before his departure for Kazan, Abp. Benjamin participated in the coronation of Empress Catherine II on September 22, 1762.

In 1771, the Kazan area was affected by a great pestilence that, by tradition, was relieved by religious processions around the city walls with the Icon of the Mother of God “Of the Seven Lakes”. This was the second instance that the procession of the wonderworking icon had relieved the city of Kazan from a general affliction. A previous procession during tenure of Cornelius I in 1654 had traditionally ended a plague epidemic.

On December 5, 1772, Abp. Benjamin, with Bp. Bartholomew (Lyubarsky) of Vyatka, consecrated as Bishop of Irkutsk Archimandrite Michael (Mitkevich) of the Tobolsk Monastery of the Icon of the Mother of God “The Sign”.

In 1774, following the defeat and execution of the rebel Yemelyan Pugachev, who had captured Kazan for a time, Abp. Benjamin was accused of aiding the rebel. An investigation, however, exonerated the archbishop after which empress Catherine elevated Abp. Benjamin to the rank of metropolitan on January 26, 1775. Metr. Banjamin continued to govern the Diocese of Kazan until March 17, 1782 when he asked for retirement. Granted a pension of 4410 rubles, Metr. Benjamin retired to the Monastery of the Icon of the Mother of God “Of The Seven Lakes” outside the city of Kazan where he died in July 1783.

Succession box:
Benjamin (Putsek-Grigorovich) of Kazan
Preceded by:
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Bishop of Nizhny Novgorod
1748-1753
Succeeded by:
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Preceded by:
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Bishop of Tver
1753-1758
Succeeded by:
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Preceded by:
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Bishop of Pskov
1758-1761
Succeeded by:
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Preceded by:
Silvester (Kulyabka)
Archbishop of St. Petersburg
1761-1762
Succeeded by:
Gavriil (Kremenetsky)
Preceded by:
Gabriel II (Kremenetsky)
Metropolitan of Kazan
1762-1782
Succeeded by:
Anthony I (Zybelin)
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