St. Dimitri, Bishop of Rostov, was a great man of prayer and fasting. Born near Kiev in 1651, he devoted his life to the prayer and service of God. When just 11 he attended the Kiev-Mogilyansk college when he learned Greek, Latin, and many classical sciences, and was a bright intellectual light. When just 17 he became a monk at Kirillov Monastery near Kiev, and he was made a priest monk in 1675 at just 24 years old. Living a truly ascetic life, St. Dimitri preached in the Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania, and was made superior of two monasteries in time.
At 34, in 1685, St. Dimitri was sent to the Kiev Caves Lavra, the most ancient monastery in Russia, and started an obedience to compile the extensive Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints, which continued through much of the rest of his life. He had access to many sources available to him at the time, some of which are unavailable to us now. One of the Saints even appeared to him to help him with the details of his martyrdom. St. Dimitri was consecrated first Bishop of Tobolsk in 1701, then made Bishop of Rostov in 1702, and finally give his pure soul to Christ in 1709.