Venerable Simon, Abbot of Volomsk

Hosiomartyr Simon of Volomsk, in the world Simon, son of the peasant Michael from the vicinity of Volokolamsk, was born in the year 1586. At 24 years of age, after long pilgrimage through Orthodox monasteries, he received monastic tonsure at the Pinegsk Makariev monastery. In the year 1613 he settled in the Volomsk forest, 80 versts to the southwest of Ustiug at the River Kichmenga. Here he spent five years alone, away from people. He nourished himself with vegetables which he himself cultivated, and sometimes asked for bread in some settlement.

When lovers of the quiet life began to gather to him, Saint Simon, through a grant of Tsar Michael Theodoreovich and with the blessing of the Rostov Metropolitan Barlaam, built a temple in honor of the Cross of the Lord, and in 1620 was made head of the monastery he founded. A strict ascetic, serving as an example to all in virtue, love of toil, fasting and prayer, he was wickedly murdered in his own monastery on July 12, 1641. The body of the venerable Simon was buried on the left side of the church he built.

Veneration of the saint began in 1646 after grace-filled miracles at his relics were attested. His Life was written in the seventeenth century.