Ignatius of Smolensk

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Our father among the saints Ignatius of Smolensk was the Bishop of Smolensk and Wonderworker during the late twelfth century and first decade of the thirteenth. His feast day is January 29.


Little is known of his life. Bishop Ignatius is remembered as a kindly and pious elder and is thought by some to have been the first Bishop of Smolensk. He became a friend of the monk Abraham, whom he ordained to the priesthood. Bp. Ignatius is credited with the founding of a number of monasteries including a monastery in honor of the Placing of the Robe of the Mother of God and the ancient Abraham (Avraamiev) Monastery.

When the monk Abraham came under charges by his enemies of heresy, immorality, and pride, Bp. Ignatius initially suspended St. Abraham, but after a new investigation he cleared his name. Later, Bp. Ignastius resigned his see to spend his remaining years at the Abraham Monastery.

When St. Ignatius died on January 29, 1210 a miracle occurred: "A great light came down from heaven upon him, wherein fear befell all". His relics rest in the cathedral church in Smolensk.