Russian Orthodox Church Transfiguration of Our Lord
Baltimore, USA Transfiguration of Our Lord
Online Orthodox Library
Christian Teaching
Our Lord Jesus Christ
Holy Mother of God
Lives of the Saints
Christian Family
Science and Religion
World of the Angels
The Royal Martyrs
Modern-day Life
Church and Services

Contact usSpiritual poetryTransfiguration of Our LordChurch choirOur churchHome
Back to the list
E-mail this page
Saint Ignaty (Bryanchaninov)

On May 13th (April 30th, old style) the Church commemorates the great spiritual writer and hierarch, Saint Ignaty (Bryanchaninov).

Saint Ignaty (born Dmitriy Aleksandrovich Bryanchaninov) was born on February 5, 1807 in the Pokrovsky village of the Vologodskaya province. His mother gave birth to him after a long period of barrenness, followed by many fervent prayers and pilgrimages to holy places. The boy spent his childhood in the solitude of village life, and from his earliest years he was drawn to monasticism. As he grew older, his religious feelings became more and more prominent: they were manifested in his constant desire to pray and read spiritual books.

His father hoped to see Dmitriy in a government job, and to this end he took him to St. Petersburg and enrolled him in the Chief Engineering Institute. Dmitriy was a brilliant student, and until his very graduation remained at the top of his class. His abilities were varied - not only in the sciences, but also in painting and music. However, even living among the hustle and bustle of life in the capital, Dmitriy did not renounce his inner aspirations.

Saint Ignaty (Bryanchaninov).
Saint Ignaty (Bryanchaninov).

Just as earnestly as he studied the sciences, so did Dmitriy begin to acquaint himself with ancient and modern philosophy, trying to still his inner spiritual torment, but again in this case he was unable to find an answer to his wonderings about Truth and the meaning of life. Then Dmitriy turned to studying the Orthodox faith through the writings of the Holy Fathers, whose holiness, together with the wondrous concord between them, became a guarantee for him of their probity. Soon Dmitriy began attending services at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, where he found counselors who genuinely understood his spiritual needs. The final change in his life occurred after his meeting with elder Leonid (who later became the great Optina elder Leo). Then Dmitriy Bryanchaninov left the glitter and wealth of aristocratic life and, causing deep perplexity among high society, retired from the world. After spending some time as a novice in several monasteries, he soon became a monastic under the name of Ignaty, and afterwards was appointed to various neglected monasteries and hermitages, which he invariably restored to their former thriving condition. At the same time he occupied himself with the writing of spiritual books, among which the best-known were his Ascetic experiences.

In 1857 St. Ignaty was ordained Bishop of Caucasus and the Black Sea, but due a severe illness (smallpox), he was able to remain in his diocese for only four years. In 1861 St. Ignaty retired and devoted the remaining time until his death to his spiritual writings. St. Ignaty peacefully departed from this world in 1867.

Home    Our Church    Services    Church Choir    Contact Us
Transfiguration    Spiritual poetry    Library
Top page
© 2000-2010 Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church.