Saint Jonah of Yash Lake was born in the village of Shoksha, sixteen versts from the monastery later established by him. The foundation of the monastery took place in 1580, when a wooden church was built in honor of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, and eight monks joined together with the monk to labor in asceticism.
Saint Jonah toiled with great concern over the building up of the monastery. Thus, for example, in order to ease the catching of fish, he himself dug a channel from Yash Lake to the nearby Lake Senno. He often rode horseback along the solitary paths of the forest in search of necessities for the monastery.
The ascetic made vessels from wood to be used for the divine services. In time the monk became known for his holy life far beyond the bounds of the monastery. Many pilgrims brought gifts, among which also were Church service books. The boundaries of the monastery expanded, and the number of churches increased. Profound love and reverence for the ascetic were demonstrated by Metropolitan Isidore of Novgorod, by Igumen James of the Solovki monastery, by Saint Irenarchus (July 17), and also by many other contemporaries.
Saint Jonah died at the end of the sixteenth century and was buried in the Annunciation monastery founded by him.