Commemorated on October 28
Sainted Dimitrii, Metropolitan of
(in the world Daniil Savvich Tuptalo), was born in December 1651 in the locale
of Makarovo, not far from Kiev. He was born into a pious family a grew up a
deeply believing Christian. In 1662, soon after his parents resettled to Kiev,
Daniil was sent to the Kievo-Mogilyansk college, where the gifts and remarkable
abilities of the youth were first discovered. He successfully learned the Greek
and Latin languages and the whole series of classical sciences. On 9 July 1668
Daniil accepted monasticism with the name Dimitrii, in honour of the
GreatMartyr Demetrios of Soluneia (Thessalonika). Prior to the Spring of 1675
he progressed through the monastic obediences at the Kiev Kirillov monastery,
where he began his literary and preaching activity. The Chernigov archbishop
Lazar (Baranovich) ordained Dimitrii as priestmonk on 23 May 1675. Over the
course of several years Priestmonk Dimitrii asceticised and preached the Word
of God at various monasteries and churches in the Ukraine, Lithuania and
Belorus. For a certain while he as hegumen of the Maksimovsk monastery,and
later the Baturinsk Nikol'sk monastery, from where in 1684 he was summoned to
the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra. The head of the Lavra, archimandrite Varlaam
(Yasinsky), knowing the high spiritual disposition of his former student, his
education, his proclivity for scientific work, and also his undoubted literary
talent, – entrusted to the Priestmonk Dimitrii the organising of the Chetii
Minei (Lives of the Saints, Meneion) for the whole year.
From this time, all the further life
of Saint Dimitrii was devoted to the fulfilling of this ascetic work, grandiose
in its scope. The work demanded an enormous exertion of strength, since it
necessitated the gathering and analysing of a multitude of various sources and
to expound them in a fluent language, worthy of the lofty subject of exposition
and at the same time accessible to all believers. Divine assist did not abandon
the saint over the course of his twenty year labour. According to the testimony
of Saint Dimitrii himself, his soul was filled with impressions of the saints,
which strengthened him both in spirit and body, and they encouraged faith in
the felicitous completion of his noble task. And at the same time as this, the
Monk Dimitrii was head of several monasteries (in succession).
The works of he ascetic brought him
to the attention of Patriarch Adrian. In 1701, by ukaz-decree of tsar Peter I,
Archimandrite Dimitrii was summoned to Moscow, where on 23 March at the
Uspensky-Dormition cathedral of the Kremlin he was ordained Metropolitan to the
Siberian cathedra-seat of the city of Tobol'sk. But after a certain while,
because of the importance of his scientific work and the frailty of his health,
the saint received a new appointment to Rostov-Yaroslavl', whither on 1 March
1702 he arrived in the capacity of Metropolitan of Rostov.
Just as before, he continued to be
concerned about the strengthening of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church,
weakened by the Old Ritualist schism.
In his inspired works and preachings
many a generation of Russian theologians drew spiritual strength for creativity
and prayer. For all Orthodox Christians he remains an example of a saintly,
ascetic, non-covetous life. At his death, 28 October 1709, they found with him but
few possessions, except for books and manuscripts.
The enumeration of Sainted Dimitrii,
Metropolitan of Rostov, to the ranks of the Saints was made on 22 April 1757.
Celebration to him is made likewise on 21 September, on the day of the
uncovering of relics.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.