Yefrem of Pereyaslav

XI pageKyivan RusPrincely times Saints

Yefrem of Pereyaslav (birth date and place unknown – after 1091, town of Pereyaslav, now Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Kyiv Oblast) – Venerable, monk of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery, Bishop of Pereyaslav (1070 s – 1090 s), Metropolitan (nominally).

Yefrem of Pereyaslav – one of the associates of St. Anthony of Pechersk. Canonized by the Orthodox Church as a Venerable. Saint Yefrem, from the princely home of Iziaslav, was so esteemed by the Prince and enjoyed his confidence that ruled on his behalf. With the blessing of Saint Anthony he went to Constantinople, where he settled at a monastery. About 1072 he returned to the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery and with time was appointed Bishop of Pereyaslav.

The Kyiv-Pechersk Paterikon states that Saint Yefrem was a builder of churches, he also sanctified St. Michael’s Cathedral in Pereyaslav, which is mentioned in the Laurentian Codex under the year of 1089. In 1090, according to The Tale ofBygone Years, Saint Yefrem, called by the chronicler the Metropolitan, took part in the translation of the relics of St. Theodosios from the cave to the stone Pechersk church. His Metropolitan status has been confirmed by the fact of the existence of the Kyivan Metropolitan See residence in Pereyaslav (after 1072 – not later than 1100).

Within Yefrem’s church jurisdiction were also the town of Rostov (now the town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russian Federation) and Suzdal lands, which at that time belonged to the Pereyaslav eparchy. Annalistic sources mention under the year of 1091 churches built by Yefrem: “This Yefrem during those years built a number of structures: having completed Saint Michael’s Church, he laid down also the Church of Saint Theodore (Stratelatos) above the Bishop’s Gates in the town, and Saint Andrew’s the First Called near the Church (of Saint Michael) at the gates, and the stone structure of the bell tower – such had not been in Rus before – and adorned the town of Pereyaslav with churches and other buildings” (The Tale of Bygone Years).

The relics of Saint Yefrem are in the Near Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

Portrait (imaginary) of St. Yefrem of Pereyaslav