Luca (Voino-Iasenețki) de Simferopol și Crimeea

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Sfântul ierarh Luca, arhiepiscop de Simferopol și Crimeea

Sfântul ierarh Luca al Crimeii, cum este cel mai cunoscut în literatura ortodoxă de limbă română, după numele civil Valentin Feliksovici Voino-Iasenețki, s-a născut la 14 aprilie 1877 și a murit la 11 iunie 1961 la Simferopol (în URSS).

Doctor în Medicină, profesor universitar și cercetător reputat (Premiul de Stat, în URSS), din 1944 a fost Arhiepiscop de Tambov și Michurinsk, iar mai târziu Arhiepiscop de Simferopol și Crimeea. Deși era cleric și episcop, sfântul Luca a continuat să practice medicina în calitate de chirurg și să publice cărți și articole despre specialitățile lui, anestezia locală și chirurgia.

În noiembrie 1995 este proclamat Sfânt de Biserica Ortodoxă din Ucraina și proslăvit de Biserica Ortodoxă Rusă la 25 mai 1996. Prăznuirea lui în Biserica Ortodoxă se face la 11 iunie (29 mai după vechiul calendar), data la care a adormit în Domnul.


Sf. Luca (Voino-Yasenetsky) de Simferopol și Crimeea

Sfântul Luca s-a născut la 14 aprilie (27 aprilie după vechiul calendar) 1877 la Kerch (estul Crimeii), și a primit numele de Valentin Felixovitch, în familia Voino-Yassentsky ai cărei membrii slujiseră familiilor regale lituaniene și poloneze. Familia lui a sărăcit de-a lungul timpului, dar copiii au primit o educație religioasă de la tatăl lor credincios. Dar adevărata înțelegere a credinței creștine va veni prin Noul Testament pe care la primit cadou de la dirigintele lui la absolvirea liceului.


He had an outstanding secular training. Having exceptional drawing abilities, he graduated the Academia de Arte Frumoase din Kiev. He decided however against pursuing art in favor of a career where he could help people who suffer, and chose to be a physician.

In 1903 at the age of 26, he graduated from Great Prince St. Vladimir Medical School at the University of Kiev, and for a long time worked as a local district physician. An extraordinary medical student, he excelled at anatomy. His superior knowledge of anatomy served him throughout his surgical career.

Out of compassion to the blindness that beggars were experiencing due to trachoma, Saint Luke studied ophthalmology at the Kiev ophthalmologic clinic. In a very short time he acquired a significant amount of ophthalmologic training. His knowledge of this subspecialty helped him treat not only his trachoma patients, but many other serious eye conditions as well.


Another important event in Valentine’s life was the marriage to his wife Anna, a nurse. They had four children. The family was transferred frequently to various regional health care facilities and from the very beginning Valentine never requested funds from his patients, nor would he turn anyone away because of his ethnic background or personal beliefs. When his wife died, God in setting the path for Valentine’s Sainthood provided the family with Sofia Sergeevna who would be the joyful surrogate mother of his children during the harsh times ahead. Valentine never remarried.


During his early career he published many scientific treatises and eventually became the head surgeon and professor of surgery at the hospital in Tashkent in March 1917. In October, Lenin took over the government and civil war erupted in Tashkent in January 1919. Lenin’s government disfavored any religious witness. Valentine was under constant threat, especially when treating party members but he refused to operate under any circumstances without the Icon of the Mother of God. His results were outstanding.

“I ought to tell you that what God did to me as amazing and incomprehensible...My pursuing surgery completely satisfied the goal I always had to serve the poor and the suffering, to dispose all my strength for the comfort of their pains, and to help them in their needs.”

These are some of the introductory comments from the memoirs of Saint Luke, that were kept by his secretary, E.P. Leikfeld. His words are not vainglorious, but a commentary on how God's plan was fulfilled through the life and example of Saint Luke. Living in the Ukraine during the oppressive period of communism, St. Luke stood out among his fellow physicians both as a surgeon and as a Christian. Even the communists coveted his talents for healing the body.

Hirotonirea și persecuția

Episcopul Luca, în 1923.

Despite the dangers from the Lenin regime he fearlessly attended theological discussions arranged by Archpriest Mikhail Andeev. During this period when clergymen and pious people would prove their faith in blood, providence led the Archpriest to invite Valentine to the priesthood. Thus in 1921 at the age of 44 Valentine was ordained a priest. For two years, this exceptional individual was active not only in his pastoral work but in public and scientific activity.

Eventually Fr. Valentine was arrested and put on trial, falsely accused of giving inappropriate surgical care to injured Red Army soldiers. At his trial in his characteristic fearless way he denounced the prosecutors claims by explaining:

“I cut people to save them. You, Mr. Public Prosecutor, why do you cut their heads off?”

Certainly the charges were never proven but since the Party had to be infallible Fr. Valentine was convicted to sixteen years imprisonment.

Medic, om de știință, episcop, închisoarea

Noting Fr. Valentine’s spiritual gifts, prior to his departure from Tashkent (arrest and exile to Siberia), in 1923 Bishop of Ufa Andrew (Ukhtomsky) administered monastic tonsure and facilitated his consecration as Bishop.[1] Almost immediately Saint Luke was sent to the first of his three imprisonments.

Due to his talent as a surgeon there would always be placement at a remote medical facility where the attending colleagues would be astounded that a professor with such impeccable academic credentials would be subservient to the whims of the local civil authorities. Despite the criticisms of lesser surgeons Saint Luke would practice his medical skills. With the grace of God he amazed his colleagues with excellent medical outcomes in ophthalmologic and surgical cases that others deemed incurable.

In 1926, Bishop Luke returned to Tashkent, but in 1930 was again arrested and sentenced to three years of exile.

Upon his release, he once again returned to Tashkent, and spent his time in medical practice. As a physician and professor he trained many students and colleagues in the art of surgery, and as a scientist he found the time to publish many articles. A fruit of this work was the appearance in 1934 of his book Notes on Purulent Surgery, which laid the foundation for an entire medical specialty. For that work, Bishop Luke was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medical Science in 1936, and his work continues to be used in medicine to this day. This monograph and the subsequent revisions was the “gold standard” reference for his colleagues at the time.

As a capable hierarch he strengthened the parishes and supported priests and church councils. As Saint Luke’s surgical and pastoral popularity would increase, the communist authorities would transfer him. When blatant injustices would be committed against Christians and fellow political prisoners he would initiate hunger strikes.

In 1937, Vladyka was arrested, and spent more than two difficult years undergoing tortuous interrogation and humiliation.[2] Nonetheless, resting his hope in the Lord, he courageously endured those trials, not only refusing to agree to false accusations against him, but engaging in active protests – refusing to eat, and sending complaints to the highest authorities against the prosecutors’ illegal actions. He would say to his fellow prisoners,

“They demand that I remove my ryassa. I will never do so. It, my ryassa, will be with me to my very death… I help people as a physician, and I help them as a servant of the Church….”

The people who met him during his ordeals bore witness to his true character. Ca medic s-a purtat ca un Doctor fără de arginți și nu a niciodată bani pentru tratarea pacienților cu o mare dragoste. He shared his patients’ pain and anguish for he saw each person as an image of God, unique and unrepeatable.

In 1940, Bishop Luke was sentenced to five years of exile in the Krasnoyarsk area. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (World War II), Bishop Luke offered the authorities his services as a doctor, and in 1941 was appointed consultant to the hospitals of Krasnoyarsk.

In 1942, Vladyka was elevated to the rank of Archbishop and appointed to the Krasnoyarsk kathedra, which at the time did not have a single church. Through Archbishop Luke’s efforts, in 1943 a church was opened in a suburb of Krasnoyarsk. He wrote to Patriarch Sergius:

“All of Eastern Siberia, from Krasnoyarsk to the Pacific Ocean, gave no sign of church life… If churches in various parts of the Krasnoyarsk area are not opened in the near future, there is a risk that the people will lapse into religious savagery....”
Sf. Luca, Arhiepiscop de Simferopol

In 1944, the archbishop was appointed to the kathedra in Tambov.

In 1946, for outstanding scientific work in the area of medicine, he was awarded the “Stalin Award” (USSR State Prize) for all his scientific publications. He donated almost all of the money to help children who had suffered as the result of the War.

Also in 1946 Vladyka was appointed to the kathedra of Crimea, where at first he combined archpastoral service with medical assistance to the people, but later dedicated himself to Church service, zealously working to build up Christ’s vineyard, something that, under the conditions of life under Communist authorities, then demanded great courage and faith.

As a Bishop he preached incessantly not only about the need to live Orthodoxy but against the perils of the “Living Church”. The latter was a defiled heretical sect propagated by the communist regime. He is credited with 1250 sermons over 38 years of priesthood and episcopal service, of which 750 are preserved in twelve volumes. When he practiced surgery from this point on, he wore his bishop's cassock in the operating room, and refused to perform surgery without an icon.

As the regimes of Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev came and went, Saint Luke’s persecutions and frequent transfers only increased his popularity. Despite public slander, he was known as an unselfish, loving, physician and spiritual father. This posed a great propaganda threat to each regime and towards the end of his life Saint Luke was restricted in his travels and his medical responsibilities to remedial services. This also was in God’s plan, as towards the end of his life Saint Luke lost his vision to glaucoma. He could now devote his time exclusively to matters of faith. He performed many healing miracles and had many spiritual children.

Moartea și înmormântarea

Racla Sf. Luca la Simferopol

Towards the end of his life he was worried if it would be permitted to chant “Holy God” at his funeral. He last celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the feast of the Nativity of Christ in 1960, and his last sermon was on Forgiveness Sunday. His repose was June 11, 1961, the day of commemoration for “All Saints who shone forth in the Land of Russia”.

The government made every effort to make Saint Luke’s funeral as inconspicuous as possible. Buses were provided to hurry the funeral procession along the side-streets to the gravesite so there would be little fanfare and recognition. God had different plans for Saint Luke and a popular uprising occurred at the funeral. The faithful refused to be hurried. They boldly ignored, at peril to life and limb, the roadblocks to the central corridors. The mayor was angered because of the roses spread on the roads, and flung a basket away claiming that the roses were litter and trash on the streets.[3] To the dismay of the government and to avoid an uprising, they conceded to allow the funeral to proceed for three and a half hours without interference. The roads were full and cars stopped everywhere. People had climbed on balconies, onto rooftops of houses. Such a funeral was a tribute of honor. The authorities wanted a silent event. It was witness to God’s Glory that throughout the walk there was a constant chant of “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us”.

Saint Luke’s prayers to have “Holy God” chanted at his funeral during the atheistic times were answered!

Proslăvirea și moaștele

Sinodul Bisericii Ortodoxe din Ucraina (aflată în jurisdicția Bisericii Ortodoxe Ruse) a recunoscut evlavia populară a credincioșilor față de arhiepiscopul Luca și a propus în 1995 canonizarea lui ca sfânt. Pe 17 martie 1996 rămășițele pământești ale arhiepiscopului Luca au fost deshumate, în cadrul unei ceremonii la care au participat mai 40.000 de persoane, și răspândeau o mireasmă plăcută, iar inima lui a fost găsită neputrezită. Trei zile mai târziu, pe 20 martie 1996, moaștele sale au fost mutate în Catedrala „Sf. Treime” din Simferopol.

Arhiepiscopul Luca al Crimeii a fost canonizat de Biserica Ortodoxă Rusă la 25 mai 1996. Ziua sa de prăznuire este 29 mai/11 iunie (calendarul iulian [vechi]/calendarul gregorian [nou]).

Sfântul Sinod al Bisericii Ortodoxe Române a hotărât în ședința de lucru din 28-29 septembrie 2012 includerea din anul 2013 a Sfântului Ierarh Luca, Arhiepiscopul Crimeii în calendarul creștin ortodox român, cu ziua de prăznuire la 11 iunie, considerându-l un „model de ierarh și medic creștin care se bucură deja de cinstire deosebită în multe Biserici Ortodoxe”.[4]

În prezent, moaștele Sf. Luca se află în Catedrala Sfintei Treimi din Simferopol, dar unele părticele au fost răspândite în alte biserici ortodoxe din întreaga lume: mănăstirile Sagmata și Dovra din Grecia, capela Spitalului Clinic de Urgență Floreasca și Biserica Șerban Vodă din București etc.[5] Credincioșii ortodocși din întreaga lume manifestă evlavie față de Sfântul Luca și sunt consemnate numeroase minuni atribuite mijlocirii sale.[6]


Holy Hiero-confessor St. Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky) was a precious vessel of Divine grace. Like his heavenly patron, the Holy Apostle St. Luke, he was a physician who continued Apostolic work; like the Apostle Paul he preached Christ’s Gospel not only in church but in prison, in exile, to friends, to persecutors, to well-wishing supporters, and while enduring sorrows at the hands of false friends. He was one of those people of unique importance to people who cannot do something for themselves alone, who cannot limit themselves their activities to only what pleases them. For such people, the duty of serving one’s neighbor is not an empty phrase, and for that reason in their activities they do not make choices by mere chance, do not build on a foreign foundation, but strive to find what needs to be done, right here and right now, and what will benefit all society. These are builders and workers who boldly come out onto the field of life in response to the Lord’s challenge. To the ten talents given them by the Lord they return an additional ten. And that is the embodiment of the Gospel model for all of us.

Casetă de succesiune:
Luca (Voino-Iasenețki) de Simferopol și Crimeea
Precedat de:
Inochentie (Pustynsky)
Episcop de Tașkent și Turkestan
Urmat de:
Serghei (Lavrov)
Precedat de:
Antonie (Milovidov)
Arhiepiscop de Krasnoyarsk și Yeniseysk
Urmat de:
Bartolomeu (Gorodtsov)
Precedat de:
Grigorie (Chukov)
Arhiepiscop de Tambov și Michurinsk
Urmat de:
Ioasaf (Zhurmanov)
Precedat de:
Ioasaf (Zhurmanov)
Arhiepiscop de Simferopol și Crimeea
Urmat de:
Alipie (Khotovitsky)

Excerpts from a 1956 sermon by St. Luke

St. Luke gave a sermon in Alushta, in Crimea, on August 12, 1956 [7], of which an audio recording exists[8]. Various verses from Ephesians and excerpts of this sermon have been loosely translated and paraphrased into Greek and English, and the resulting passage is often incorrectly described as St Luke's last words in many Greek-language and English-language websites and publications[9][10][11].

Original excerpts in Russian[12]

  • «Братия мои, укрепляйтесь Господом и могуществом силы Его, облекитесь во всеоружие Божие, чтобы вам можно было стать против козней диавольских»[13]
  • «Наша брань не против крови и плоти, но против начальств, против властей, против мироправителей тьмы века сего, против духов злобы поднебесных»[14]
  • И да, конечно, для бесов, для самого диавола в высшей степени выгодно, чтобы в них не верили, чтобы никогда о них не думали, чтобы никогда не ощущали близости их, ибо скрытный, неведомый враг гораздо опаснее врага видимого.
  • О, как огромна эта окаянная армия бесовская! О, как неизмерима их черная толпа! – неуклонно, неустанно, день и ночь стремящаяся к тому, чтобы нас, всех нас, верующих во имя Божие, совратить на путь неверия, совратить на путь зла и нечестия!
  • И эти враги Божии, бесчисленные, ставят своей единственной задачей, день и ночь заботятся о том, чтобы губить нас, чтобы толкать нас на путь зла, на путь неверия, на путь нечестия.
  • Эти высшие чины ведут борьбу с самыми твердыми, с самыми верными слугами Христовыми – со святыми, с праведными. И трудна, чрезвычайно трудна эта задача их, ибо именем Христовым отражают святые и праведные все нападения их.

English Translation from Greek passage

“My children, very much do I entreat you,
Arm yourselves with the armor that God gives, That you may withstand the devil's tricks.
You can't imagine how evil he is.
We don't have to fight with people but with rulers and powers, in effect the evil spirits.
Take care!
It's no use to the devil for anyone to think and feel
that he is close to him.
A hidden and unknown enemy is more dangerous than a visible enemy.
O how large and terrible is the army of the demons.
How numberless is their black horde!
Unchanged, untiring, day and night, seeking to push all of us who believe
in the name of Christ, to lure us on the road of unbelief, of evil and of impiety.
These unseen enemies of God have made their sole purpose, day and night to seek our destruction.
But do not be afraid, take power from the name of Jesus.”


Troparul Sf. Luca al Crimeii - Glas 5
Pe lauda doctorilor şi mândria Simferopolului, pe alesul ierarh al lui Hristos şi ocrotitorul Mănăstirii Dovra, pe Sfinţitul Luca Doctorul să-l lăudăm cu imnuri duhovniceşti şi cu sfinte cântări, că izvorăşte din belşug darurile vindecărilor.

Further Reading

Legături externe

În limba română

În alte limbi

YouTube Videos (in Greek)


  1. When consecrated Bishop, he was given the name Luke after the Apostle who similarly, in addition to being a physician and evangelist, was a talented iconographer.
  2. On December 5, 1937, after being sleep deprived and interrogated for three weeks he broke down in a state of hallucination and signed a confession that he was a counterrevolutionary.
  3. He soon after had a very ugly death.
  4.„Sfântul Sinod a aprobat noul Regulament pentru organizarea și funcționarea Comisiei de pictură bisericească a Patriarhiei Române”, în Ziarul Lumina din 30 septembrie 2012.
  5. „Sărbătorirea Sfântului Ierarh Luca al Crimeei în Capitală” în Ziarul Lumina din 12 iunie 2018.
  6. „Noi minuni ale doctorului fără de arginți din Crimeea” în Ziarul Lumina din 11 iunie 2017
  7. «Препоясать чресла наши правдой». Живое слово святителя Луки Крымского / Православие.Ru
  8. Проповедь свт. Луки Крымского о борьбе с духами злобы 12 августа 1956 г
  9. Αναστάσιος: Τα τελευταία λόγια του Αγίου Λουκά Συμφερουπόλεως
  10. Εκκλησία Παναγίας Αγίας Νάπας: Τα τελευταία λόγια του Αγίου Λουκά Συμφερουπόλεως
  11. Α ΛΟΓΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΑΕΡΑ: Τελευταία λόγια του Αγίου Λουκά
  12. «Препоясать чресла наши правдой». Живое слово святителя Луки Крымского / Православие.Ru
  13. Ephesians 6:10-11
  14. Ephesians 6:12