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Sophronius of Irkutsk

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Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Sophronius of Irkutsk''', the [[Wonderworker]] of all Siberia, is a Russian saint from 19th nineteenth century. His [[feast day]] is celebrated on [[March 30]], and the translation of his [[relics]] is commemorated on [[June 30]].
{{stub}}==Life==Stephen Kristalevsky was born into the family of Nazarius Kristalevsky in Malorussia in the Chernigov region in 1704, the youngest son of three brothers and a daughter. Stephen spent his childhood in the village of Berezan of the Pereyaslaval district of the Poltava governance. As he reach maturity, Stephen entered the [[Kiev Theological Academy]]. After completing his religious education Stephen entered the Krasnogorsk Transfiguration Monastery at which one of his brothers labored in [[asceticism]]. The [[monastery]] was later renamed the Protection Monastery. On [[April 23]], 1730, Stephen was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] and given the name Sophronius, in honor of St. [[Sophronius I of Jerusalem|Sophronius of Jerusalem]]. During the night after his tonsure, Sophronius heard a voice in the Protection church predict his future service in the Church: ''When you become bishop, build a church dedicated to All Saints". In 1732, he was called back to Kiev where he was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]] and then a [[hieromonk]]. In 1734, Fr. Sophronius was named the treasurer of the Zolotonosh monastery. After serving for two years, Sophronius was assigned by [[Bishop]] Arsenius (Berlov) of Pereyaslaval to serve as the [[archbishop]]'s steward, a position he held for eight years. During these years, Fr. Sophronius maintained his connection with the Protection Monastery, visiting often for a day of contemplation and work and thus served as an example to the brethren. In his duties for his bishop, Fr. Sophronius traveled often to the [[Holy Synod]] in St. Petersburg where he became well known. In 1742, Fr. Sophronius was transferred to St. Petersburg and assigned to the St. [[Alexander Nevsky Lavra]]. In a year he was appointed treasurer of the monastery, then in 1746 he was appointed the Superior of the [[Lavra]]. Soon, Fr. Sophronius called a friend hieromonk Sibesios (Ivanoff) to St. Petersburg and installed him as [[igumen]] of the Lavra's dependency, the St. Sergius Hermitage. Through the following years they formed a strong pastoral bond that continued until their repose. During his years managing the Lavra, Fr. Sophronius also improved the instruction at the St. Petersburg Seminary and, with Archbishop Theodosius, greatly expanded the library at the monastery. During this time, he also built a two story stone [[church]] at the Lavra in which the upper church was dedicated to St. [[Alexander Nevsky]] and the lower church to St. [[John Chrysostom]].  On [[February 23]], 1753, the empress Elizabeth recommended Igumen Sophronius to fill the six year vacancy in the [[missionary]] Eparchy of Irkutsk, following the death of Bp. Innocent II (Nerunovich) of Irkutsk in 1747. On [[April 18]], 1753, Fr. Sophronius was [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated]] Bishop of Irkutsk and Nerchinsk. Foreseeing the difficult service on the Siberian frontier, Bp. Sophronius gathered educated and spiritually experienced co-workers, including his friend the hieromonk Sinesios, to aid him in his new responsibility.
==Life==Bp. Sophronius arrived in Irkutsk on [[March 20]], 1754 where he visited the residence of his predecessor, Bp. Innocent and prayed, asking his predecessor's blessing as he began his work in Siberia. Bp. Sophronius quickly gave attention to the century old monastery community of his [[diocese]] that had been the heart of the mission in Siberia. In 1754, Bp. Sophronius elevated hieromonk Sinesios to [[archimandrite]] of Ascension Monastery, a position he would hold for thirty-three years until his repose.  StBy September 1754, Bp. Sophronius had set standards for education, including that for the children of the [[clergy]]. In his sermons, conversations, and actions Bp. Sophronius called for a higher moral ideal and for the reverent and correct performance of the divine services. Bp. Sophronius recognized that it was originally named "Stephenhis duty to enlighten the Christians of the area as well as to teach and [[conversion|convert]] the idol-worshippers. As his health deteriorated," and Bp. Sophronius asked to be retired, an action that took some time as it was born difficult to find a worthy successor. In the final days of his life, he continued in 1704his asceticism and prayer. He Bp. Sophronius reposed on [[March 30]], 1771.  St. Sophronius was [[tonsureglorification|glorified]]d in 1730 with on [[April 23]], 1918 by the [[All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918|Local Council]] of the name "SophroniusRussian Orthodox Church."
In 1753, he became {{start box}}{{succession| before=?| title=Bishop of Irkutsk and Nerchinsk. During his service to the Church, he supported [[monasticism]] and education.| years=1753&mdash1771| after=?}}{{end box}}
==SourceSources== *[ OCA: St Sophronius the Bishop of Irkutsk] (*[ OCA: Translation of the relics of St Sophronius the Bishop of Irkutsk *[OCA] St Sophronius the Bishop of Irkutsk])
==External links==
*[ Translation of the relics of St Sophronius the Bishop of Irkutsk] (OCA)
*[ Sainted Sophronii, Bishop of Irkutsk and WonderWorker of all Siberia]
*[ St. Sophronius the Wonderworker, Bishop of Irkutsk and all Siberia]
[[Category:Bishops of Irkutsk]]
[[Category:Russian Saints]]

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