Synaxis of the Hierarchs of Novgorod, Buried in the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost. On October 4, 1439 Saint John (September 7) appeared to the presiding hierarch Saint Euthymius (March 11) and ordered him to serve a special panikhida in memory of those buried at the Sophia cathedral (the Russian princes and Archbishops of Novgorod, and all Orthodox Christians) on the Feast of the Hieromartyr Hierotheus, first Bishop of Athens.

Then the incorrupt relics of Saint John (September 7) were uncovered. Afterwards, the Synaxis was established to mark the glorification of the Novgorod hierarchs. E. E. Golubinsky says that because these hierarchs remained unknown at the time of their glorification, he determined this date for their common celebration was established in the period between the time of the Moscow Council of 1549 and the time of the formation of the Holy Synod (E. E. Golubinsky, History of the Canonization of Saints in the Russian Church. Moscow, 1903, p. 157).

Included in the Synaxis of Novgorod hierarchs are: Saint Joachim of Korsun, first bishop of Novgorod (988-1030); Saint Luke the Jew, bishop (October 15, 1060); Saint Germanus, bishop (1078-1096); Saint Arcadius, bishop (September 18); Saint Gregory, archbishop (May 24, 1193); Saint Martyrius, archbishop (August 24, 1199); Saint Anthony, archbishop (October 8, 1231); Saint Basil the Lame, archbishop (July 3, 1352); Saint Simeon, archbishop (June 15, 1421); Saint Gennadius, archbishop (December 4); Saint Pimen, archbishop (1553-1571); Aphthonius, metropolitan (April 6, 1653).

The relics of these saints were buried or transferred to Novgorod’s Sophia Cathedral (except for Saint Germanus, Saint Gennadius and Saint Pimen) therefore, in some sources their names are not included in the Synaxis.

The October 4 celebration was established in connection with the memory of the holy Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod (+ 1052), and the February 10 Synaxis of the Novgorod hierarchs is celebrated in connection with the holy Princess Anna of Novgorod (+ 1056).

Besides those mentioned, hierarchs who have separate commemorations are: Saint Nikita the Hermit, bishop (January 31); Saint Niphon, bishop (April 8); Saint John, archbishop (September 7); Saint Theoctistus, archbishop (December 23); Saint Moses, archbishop (January 25); Saint Euthymius, archbishop (March 11); Saint Jonah, archbishop (November 5); Saint Serapion, archbishop (March 16).