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St. Abraham of Smolensk

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Feastday: August 21
Death: 1221
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Biblical scholar and monk who endured many trials in his lifetime. Born to a wealthy family in Smolensk, Russia, Abraham was orphaned while young and gave away his inheritance to become a monk. He entered the Bogoroditskaya Monastery and developed a genuine apostolate for the sick and poor of the region. A biblical scholar who lived austerely and preached on the Last Judgement, Abraham made many enemies in his religious community, and he eventually withdrew from his monastery and joined the monks of the Holy Cross. He was not well received there either, and charges of heresy, immorality, and pride were leveled against him. After separate trials cleared him of these charges, Abraham was ordered back to Bogoroditskaya Monastery and was denied his priestly functions by Ignatius, bishop of Smolensk. However, when the city faced a terrible drought, the citizens of Smolensk demanded that Abraham be restored. This clamor for reinstatement led to a second investigation, one that cleared his name. Bishop Ignatius apologized to the saint for his treatment. Abraham became the abbot of the Mother of God Monastery where he received people and was revered for his courage and humility. He remained in the Mother of God Monastery until his death.

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