Blessed Nicholas Kochanov, Novgorod Fool-for-Christ (+ 1392), was born at Novgorod into a rich and illustrious family. From his youthful years he loved piety, he went to church faithfully, and he loved fasting and prayer. Seeing his virtuous life, people began to praise him. Blessed Nicholas, disdaining glory from men, began the difficult exploit of folly for the Lord’s sake. He ran about the city in the bitter cold dressed in rags, enduring beatings, insults and mockery. Blessed Nicholas and another Novgorod fool, Blessed Theodore (January 19), pretended to be irreconcilable foes, and graphically demonstrated to the people of Novgorod the pernicious character of their internecine strife.
Once, having overcome his sham opponent, Blessed Nicholas went along the Volkhov as if on dry land, and threw a head of cabbage at Blessed Theodore, therefore he was called “Kochanov” (i.e. “cabbage-head”). The Lord glorified Blessed Nicholas with the gift of miracles and clairvoyance.
Once, after being turned away by servants from a feast to which he had been invited, he left. Immediately, the wine disappeared from the barrel. Only upon the return of the fool, and through his prayer, did it reappear again. When he died, Blessed Nicholas was buried at the end of the cemetery by the Yakovlev cathedral.
The relics of Blessed Nicholas rest under a crypt in the church of the Great Martyr Panteleimon which was built over his grave.