Luke (Konashevich) of Belgorod

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Bishop Luke (Konashevich) of Belgorod was the ruling bishop of the Diocese of Great Ustjug for a short period during 1738, of the Diocese of Kazan from 1738 to 1755, and of the Diocese of Belgorod from 1755 to 1758, all of the Church of Russia.


Little is known of Bp. Luke's early life. He came from Malorossiya, but the date of his birth is unknown. He studied at the Kiev Theological Academy, graduating in 1727 and was tonsured a monk with the name Luke at Sophia Monastery in Kiev. In 1730, he began teaching elementary courses at the Slavonic-Greek-Latin Academy in Moscow. On September 9, 1730, he was named to the position of preacher. In July 1732, the Monk Luke was transferred to teach law at the St. Petersburg Cadet College (Sea Cadet Corps - Russian: Морской шляхетный кадетский корпус) in St. Petersburg. Having entered the Holy Orders, Fr. Luke was raised to the dignity of archimandrite and assigned to the Simon Monastery either on October 20, 1735 or on February 4, 1736 (sources vary).

In September 1737, Archim. Luke was consecrated Bishop of Velikoustiug (Great Ustiug) for what proved to be a short assignment. During these months, Bp. Luke opened the Slavonic-Latin school in the local seminary. On March 9, 1738, he was transferred to the see in Kazan replacing Archbishop Gabriel (Russkoy), who had been appointed to replace Bp. Luke in the Great Ustiug see.

While he occupied the cathedra of Kazan, Bp. Luke took great interest in the seminary in Kazan, including donating his personal library to the school. His efforts in upgrading the Kazan Seminary library produced a library that challenged those in in St. Petersburg and the Moscow Academy. Bp. Luke actively evangelized the pagans and Muslims of the Kazan province, converting many of the heterodox in the region to Christianity. He also changed the emphasis of the curriculum the Kazan Seminary to support missionary activities.

His stress upon evangelization, however, became too zealous. Between his forceful efforts to build churches and conduct processions in Tatar settlements (Sloboda) and placing children against the desires of their parents in schools teaching Christianity, his activities brought reprimands against him by the civil authorities. Over enthusiastic actions by missionaries and converts themselves added to the civil reactions. As claims by the heterodox of conversions being made against their will also began to reach the Holy Synod, the Synod recognized the need to transfer Bp. Luke.

On October 9, 1755, Bp. Luke was transferred from the Diocese of Kazan to that of Belgorod. As expected in his new see, Bp. Luke placed his main attention on upgrading the educational institutions of the diocese, especially to that of the Kharkov Collegium. To the Collegium he bequeathed part of his estate upon his repose. Bp. Luke reposed on January 1, 1758. He was buried in the Belgorod Cathedral.

Succession box:
Luke (Konashevich) of Belgorod
Preceded by:
Bishop of Great Ustjug
Succeeded by:
Gabriel I (Russkoy)
Preceded by:
Gavrill I (Russkoy)
Archbishop of Kazan
Succeeded by:
Gabriel (Kremenetsky)
Preceded by:
Bishop of Belgorod
Succeeded by:
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