St. Nectarius of Kazan

Saint Jonah and Nectarius of Kazan -- in the world known as John and Nestor Zastolsky. When Saint Gurias (December 5 ) was sent to the newly established Kazan diocese, the boyar John Zastolsky went with him. Under the spiritual guidance of Saint Gurias, John led a virtuous and pious life. He shunned sin, loved truth, and was strictly honest. John raised his son Nestor in the fear of God. The gentle youth was an ascetic from childhood: wearing a hair-shirt, keeping the fasts, and he loved to pray in church. With the consent of his father, Nestor became a monk with the name Nectarius. He died at a youthful age. Nestor’s father, John, was tonsured into monasticism with the name Jonah. Before hisdeath he gave final instructions to bury him beside Saint Gurias, near whose grave Nectarius was buried.

At the uncovering of the relics of Saints Gurias and Barsanuphius in 1595, the incorrupt bodies and clothing of Saint Jonah and Nectarius were also uncovered. They were left beneath a crypt in a chapel of the Kazan Savior-Transfiguration monastery. The chapel was built by Jonah over the grave of Saint Gurias.

The saints are mentioned in the service to Saint Gurias, “Two monks having been well-pleasing ascetics before God, Jonah and Nectarius, one born of the other, faithfully served you in the world. Upon your death, O Gurias, keeping sincere faith for you, they built a chapel over your grave. Here beside you these saints are buried, honored with incorruption from God above. Saint Gurias, pray with them unto Christ God, to grant us peace and great mercy.”