Icon of St. Barlaam of Khutyn (Russian, 17th c.) – S279


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St. Barlaam was born in the 12th century in Novgorod, Russia, of pious and faithful parents, who were wealthy boyars.  He became a hermit and lived by the bank of the Volkhov River after giving all his possessions to the poor upon his parents’ death.  In time, many people, attracted by his ascetic life, came to live with him and became monks.  Later, in a.d. 1192, he established the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour in Khutyn, just north of Novgorod, on the right bank of the Volkhov River.

At both places they all lived a life of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability, wearing down the selfish “old man” of sin and pride, and establishing the “new Adam” of Christ within themselves.    Once, the Grand Prince Vasily, of the Riazan boyars, was healed by the prayers of St. Barlaam when he visited Novgorod, and the fame of this miracle went far and wide.   St. Barlaam did not live long after Transfiguration Monastery was established, but named the monk Anthony to succeed him as abbot.  After a life of humility and meekness, St. Barlaam left the confines of this earth and went to live in the presence of God in Heaven in a.d. 1193.