Ignatie Briancianinov

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Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov (1807-1867) is a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was born Dimitri Alexandrovich Brianchaninov, to a wealthy landowning family. He was educated at Pioneer Military School in St. Petersburg. Although successful in his studies he was deeply unhappy there and turned to a life of prayer. In 1827 he fell seriously ill and left the army on this ground. He began pursuing a monastic vocation and in 1831 took vows and received the monastic name of Ignatius. Soon after he was ordained a priest. He rose rapidly to the rank of archimandrite and at the age of 26 was appointed superior of the St. Sergius monastery in St. Petersburg. In 1857, he was consecrated Bishop of the Caucasus and the Black Sea, but he retired only four years later to devote himself to writing. [1][2]

He wrote a very large amount of material, mostly about the spiritual life and prayer. Only a small portion of his writing has been translated into English. Although his writing was intended primarily for monks, his works are highly recommended for lay Christians by leading Orthodox figures such as Father Thomas Hopko. [3]


Available in English translation:

  • The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism. Brianchaninov, I. Translated by Arch. Lazarus. Holy Trinity Monastery, 1997. ISBN 0-88465-011-1
  • On the Prayer of Jesus. Brianchaninov, I. Translated by Arch. Lazarus. Ibis Press, 2006. ISBN 0-89254-120-2

Veneration as a saint

He was canonized by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1988. His relics are preserved at the Tolga Monastery, near Yaroslavl. [4]


  • He who is careless about prayer is careless about his salvation; he who quits prayer renounces his salvation.[5]
  • Worldly people and even monks without spiritual discernment are nearly always attracted by humbugs, imposters, hypocrites and those who are in demonic delusion, and they take them for saints and genuine servants of God.[6]

External links


  1. The Arena, pp. vi-vii.
  2. Deputatov, Nicholas. Champion of the Arena
  3. Hopko, Thomas. In The Spiritual Arena
  4. Maximovitch, St. John. The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1996. p. 20
  5. The Arena p. 218
  6. quoted from The Arena by Hopko