Sainted Arsenii, Bishop of Tver'
Commemorated on March 2, 1-st Sunday after June 29
Bishop of Tver', was born at Tver', and in his early years took monastic
vows in the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. Even among the monks of this ancient
monastery, distinguished for their piety, Arsenii was noted for his saintly
life – a strict keeping of the monastic vows, a knowledge of the Church ustav,
the study of Holy Scripture, and a love for work. Under the Kiev metropolitan
Kyprian (1380-1382) he served as archdeacon, and during times of the
metropolitan's absence he governed the working of the Kiev metropolitanate. On
3 July 1390 he went together with Metropolitan Kyprian to Tver', where at the
request of the Tver' prince Mikhail Aleksandrovich there had been convened a
Sobor of Russian and Greek hierarchs for judgement upon the Tver' bishop
Evphymii. The prince and the bishop were in a lengthy quarrel, and many of the
Tver' people had serious accusations against the Tver' bishop. After
unsuccessful attempts to restore peace to the Tver' church, Metropolitan
Kyprian "removed from the episcopacy" Evphymii and sent him off to
Moscow to the Chudov monastery. Saint Arsenii was appointed to the Tver'
cathedra. But he, "fearful to accept the authority at Tver', in view of
the much enmity and spite there, was both troubled and terrified". Upon
the return of Metropolitan Kyprian and archdeacon Arsenii to Moscow, the Tver'
prince sent his boyars with a petition to the metropolitan concerning
ordination of Arsenii to the Tver' cathedra. This time also Arsenii was not
agreeable. In the words of the chronicle for the year 1390 "hardly even by
the metropolitan's entreaty would archdeacon Arsenii be at Tver'". Under
the threat of cathedral suspension metropolitan and prince finally received his
assent to the ordination, which was done 15 August 1390. Among the bishops
taking part in the laying on of hands was Sainted Stephen, Bishop of Perm
(Comm. 26 April).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.