Icon Akimov 102.113 «Holy Hierarch Phillip, the Metropolitan of Moscow. Guardian Angel»
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"On the obverse of the locket there is the image of the Holy Hierarch Phillip, Metropolitan of Moscow, that of Guardian Angel being on the reverse. The square shape has an ancient symbolism and means ground where Holy Hierarchs and are placed into the image of Christ, as human shepherds and preceptors in Love and Truth. The Holy Hierarch Phillip was one of such Divine lampions.
Metropolitan of Moscow to be was born in 1507 to the boyar family of the Kolychevs, and early in his life was in the service at court of the Grand Prince Basil III. The Tsar deceased surviving by a three-year-old son John (afterwards, Ivan the Terrible) who had become very much attached to the kind boyar. However, because of plots and intrigues Kolychev had to leave Moscow. His family fell into disgrace, many relatives having been executed, and in 1537 the God-loving boyar retired to the Solovki (Solovetsky) Monastery. After years of hard works of penance he became there the Father Superior.
Under supervision of the Holy Hierarch Phillip the Solovetsky Monastery started to grow rich, and soon turned into the great spiritual stronghold of the Russian North. Directed by firm and wise hand of the Hierarch things started really to zip along in the Monastery. The monks worked iron ore and common salt, executed the most complicated hydrotechnical job, which allowed the cells to be supplied with drinking water; built a mill and a brickyard; erected a new bricky pier, infirmary, and an inn for pilgrims. Known it is that the Holy Hierarch himself invented a self-moving horseless cart, and sieves that screened flour by themselves; created greenhouses for vegetables, and acquired reindeer herd for outerwear and footwear. All that facilitated brethren life under the Extreme North conditions, and supported the welfare of peasant living on the Monastery ground. Besides two new stone churches, and famous Monastery granitic walls were erected under the Holy Hierarch.
But in 1566 Ivan the Terrible thought of his childhood friend and summoned the Solovetsky Father Superior up to Moscow.
That was time of general suspiciousness, cruel executions, and plunders. That is why Phillip was not unhesitating to accept the Metripolitan holy order offered by the Tsar. After consecration just in the first homily he reminded the Tsar of mercy, and urged him to abolish the oprichnina*. The Tsar firstly received Phillip’s admonitions with favour, but got annoyed little by little. Again blood of innocent victims was being shed by tsar oprichniks (membesr of the oprichnina).
On Third Sunday in Lent 1568 when the Tsar together with his oprichniks, all in cuspidate caps and in strange jeering clothes, appeared at the Liturgy, Phillip opposed him openly. He blamed Ivan the Terrible, and promised that God will recover from him for everything. Infuriated tsar thereafter assembled a false council whereat the Holy Hierarch was brought fabricated accusation, mainly of witchcraft. Phillip answered calmly that he did not seek for the holy order, and would better die than keep silence looking at atrocities and lawless acts. Four days later when he officiated in the Dormition Cathedral, oprichniks burst into the church, torn the vestments off the Holy Hierarch and dragged him out to the street. People were in panic and desperation, the Holy one only remaining calm. He took the sentence – life solitary confinement on a chain – in the same calm way.
But the Tsar was unstoppable and went all lengths in his revenge. He began to execute Phillip relatives, and even sent him the head of John, his favorite nephew. Once he ordered a hungry bear to be brought and left for night. The next morning he appeared the next morning in the dungeon but instead of a body torn to pieces he found the Holy one quietly praying, and the beast calmly lying in the corner.
After that Phillip was taken to the Tver Monastery of the Dormition where he was strangled by Malyuta Skuratov the year after in 1569.
Under the next tsar Feodor (Ivan`s son) St. Philip`s remains were reburied in the Solovetsky Monastery, where their wonder making powers revealed. Under tsar Alexis (father of Peter the Great) the relics were again carried in solemn way and placed in the Dormition Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin.
The Saint is commemorated on January 22(9), July 16(3), and October 18(5).
* Special administrative elite under tsar Ivan the Terrible; its territory and army."
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