St Stephen of Perm
A Russian by birth, he gave himself from his youth to prayer and pondering on God, and as a young man went to Rostov, where he became a monk in the monastery of St Gregory the Theologian. Learning about the land of Perm, all overgrown with the weeds of paganism, Stephen conceived the desire to be a missionary in that land. He immediately set about learning the language and, when he had become proficient, compiled an alphabet and translated the service books. With the blessing of the Metropolitan of Moscow, he, as a priest, set off on his apostolic labours and began with apos-tolic zeal to preach the Gospel in the thick darkness of Permian paganism. Baptising a number of souls, he laboured to build in Perm a church dedicated to the Annunciation. And, when the Church in Perm grew larger, he was consecrated as its bishop. Enduring all toil, pain, evil and humiliation, he succeeded in dispersing the darkness among the pagan Permians and in illumin-ing them with the light of Christ. He returned once in old age to Moscow, and there went to the Lord in 1396.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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