Man of God, the Rev. Elijah of Murom, lived in the XII century and died a monk of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra about 1188. Memory on the church calendar — December 19 st. Art. / January 1 HB. Art.
Reliable information on the Life of the saint remained till our time is extremely small. He came from a peasant family. In childhood and adolescence suffered from paralysis, but was miraculously healed. Before the vows was in the prince's retinue and the famous military exploits and unprecedented power. Rests in the power of St. Anthony's caves. Elijah shows that for the time he actually had a very impressive size and was a head taller than a man of average height.
He is the protagonist not only our epics, but the German epic poems in the XIII., Based on earlier stories. In them, he presented a powerful Vityaz Ilya Russian princely family. The relics of St. least clearly show a bright military biography — except deep circular wound on his left hand is seen as significant damage in the left chest area. It seems that the hero chest closed his hand and hit the spear it was nailed to the heart. After quite a successful military career, and apparently as a result of being wounded, Elijah decides to end his days and tonsured a monk in the monastery of Theodosius, now the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
It should be noted that this step is quite traditional for Orthodox soldiers — to replace an iron sword on sword of the Spirit, and spend their days in a battle not for earthly goods, but for heaven. Venerable. Elijah — not the first, nor the last warrior by doing so. Of our fellow citizens can be in this context to recall the great general prep. Alexander Nevsky, as well as professional soldiers and Peresvet Oslabya held under the obedience of Ven. Sergius of Radonezh, and who died heroically on the Kulikovo field.
The absence of the Kiev-Pechersk Paterikon lives Venerable. Elijah indirectly suggests that the monastic exploits holy warrior did not have time to spend so much time. This suggests that the vows Elijah of Murom arrive on time abbacy prep. Polycarp of the Kiev Caves (1164-1182), and under the authority of the same great ascetic and spiritual growth happening new soldier of Christ. It is known that interfere. Polycarp was highly respected by the Grand Duke Rostislav Mstislavovich. In Lent the prince used every Sunday to invite Venerable Abbot with twelve brothers Theodosiev abode for edifying conversations. It is possible that one of the participants in these discussions was a glorious warrior and former prep. Elijah.
In the XIX century, some researchers have questioned the possibility of identifying prep. Elijah's Cave of the same epic hero. To be sure, for our Orthodox ancestors it was the same person. For example, the pilgrim of the XVIII century (Leonti) says in his notes: "We have seen the brave warrior Ilya Muromets, is imperishable under cover of Zlata, the current major growth Thou people, the left hand was pierced with a spear, an ulcer all know, and the right side shows the sign of the cross."
In Soviet times, great efforts have been made by way of de-Christianization of Ven. Elijah of Murom with the aim of turning it into "the embodiment of the ideal of national hero-warrior." For example, a typical cleaning undergone the famous episode of the epic, when to real Ilya Muromets come "beggars perekhozhie", which eventually heal and Elijah. Who are they — all Soviet publications omitted. In the same edition of the pre-revolutionary epic "beggars" — is a two apostles of Christ.
In 1988, the Inter-Ministerial Commission of the USSR Ministry of Health has examined the relics of St. Elias of Murom. To obtain objective data was used the most advanced technique and high precision Japanese equipment. The research results are striking. Defined age — 40-55 years, revealed such spinal defects that suggest to postpone our hero in his youth paralysis of the limbs (strictly in accordance with Life), found that the cause of death was an extensive wound in the heart. Unfortunately, the dating of the death has been set very roughly — XI-XII centuries. An interesting fact is that Ven. Elijah is resting in a prayer position, hands clasped fingers of right hand as adopted and is now in the Orthodox Church — the first three fingers together, and the last two by bending the palm. During the struggle with the Old Believers split (XVII-XIX cc.), This fact is a strong evidence in favor of trehperstnogo addition.
Ilya Muromets was officially canonized in 1643 in the number of additional sixty nine saints of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Russian army hero finds his patron saint. In 1998, in one of the units in the suburbs was built and consecrated a wonderful church of St. Elias of Murom.
In our time, an epic image of Elias of Murom still attracts attention, including among non-church people. Hopefully, with the facial features of an invincible warrior will not dissolve a living person's face, sincerely devote their entire life and all his exploits for the glory of God. I would like to learn how to prep. Elijah amazing temperance and prudence, by which we would be able to, as he, being a large and capable of earthly affairs, do not forget about the kingdom of heaven.