Luka Zhidiata of Novgorod

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Luka Zhidiata of Novgorod was the second bishop of Orthodox Church to occupy the see of Novgorod the Great. Efrem, who was not a bishop, acted as locum tenens following the repose of Joachim Korsunianin who was the first bishop. Bp. Luka's episcopate was from 1035 to 1060.


Little is known of his early life. He was born in the Russian lands and was the first native bishop in Russia. All previous bishops in Kievan Rus were of Greek origin. While it is disputed by some scholars, his surname suggests he may have had a Jewish background. Bp. Luka caused the building of the current stone Cathedral of St. Sophia (Holy Wisdom) after the original wooden-built structure built under Bp. Joachim burned down during Luka's episcopate. The new St. Sophia Cathedral was consecrated by Bp. Luka on September 14, 1052.

When Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise proclaimed Hilarion metropolitan of KIev following the repose of Metr. Theopemptus is 1049, Bp. Luka strenuously opposed the appointment by Yaroslav because it was the prerogative of the Patriarch of Constantinople to name the Kievan metropolitan. Luka's opposition resulted in his confinement in the Kiev Caves Monastery where he died on October 15, 1060. His relics were returned to Novgorod, where they were buried in the St. Sophia Cathedral. Bp. Luka was first person to be buried in the new cathedral.[1]


  1. see Michael C. Paul, ‘A Man Chosen by God’: The Office of Archbishop in Novgorod Russia 1165-1478. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Miami, 2003.
Succession box:
Luka Zhidiata of Novgorod
Preceded by:
Joachim Korsunianin
Bishop of Novgorod
Succeeded by:
Help with box