Mykyta Saint

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times

Saint Mykyta (Nicetas) (birth date unknown, Kyiv – 31.01.1108, Novgorod, now Russian Federation) – Bishop of Novgorod. Tonsured in the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery.

Mykyta was tonsured in his early childhood in the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery and, despite the objection of Hegumen Nikon, became a recluse. His legend tells that Mykyta fell into temptation of the devil and did not withstand it. He began to prophesy, learnt by heart all books of the Old Testament but refused to study the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. His fame reached the Prince Iziaslav of Kyiv, whom he informed of the murder of Prince Hlib Sviatoslavych and advised him to send his son Sviatopolk to reign in Novgorod.

When Hegumen Nykon together with other monks expelled the devil from him by praying, Mykyta, answering monks’ questions, swore that he had never read books (he quoted by heart previously) and he even forgot the alphabet, so he had to learn reading and writing anew. After that Mykyta adhered to “restraint and obedience and pure and humble life and surpassed everyone in virtues.”

In 1096 Mykyta was made Bishop of Novgorod by the Metropolitan Yefrem of Kyiv. The chronicle calls him the sixth Bishop of Novgorod. During his episcopacy he built several churches. With his blessing St. Anthony’s Monastery was founded and later Nikon built the wooden Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God in this monastery. He also built the Transfiguration and Annunciation Churches. Both of them, though considerably reconstructed in the 16 th c., have come down to our time. The stone building of the Episcopate, built under Mykyta, also survived. The chronicle tells of miracles he wrought: he stopped a fire in Novgorod in 1097, brought rain from the heavens during a time of drought, etc.

St. Mykyta is buried in St. Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod. In 1547, at the First Makary Council he was canonized. In April 1558 Archbishop Pimen discovered the earthly remains of Mykyta to be incorrupt. In 1956 Bishop Sergey (Golubtsov) transferred the relics of Mykyta from St. Sophia Cathedral to St. Nicholas’ Cathedral, and in 1962 – to the church of the Holy Apostle Philip, where they rest now. He is commemorated on January 31 and April 30 (Julian calendar).