Rostov-on-Don, December 10, 2018
The official glorification among the saints of Hieromartyr Konstantin Veretsky was celebrated in Rostov-on-Don on Friday, December 7. According to the site of the Rostov-on-Don Diocese, he is the first hieormartyr from the city to be canonized for Church-wide veneration.
The decision to canonize St. Konstantin and include him in the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Orthodox Church was made by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on October 15. The decision was preceded by extensive work from the diocese’s commission for canonizing saints in collecting the necessary materials.
The Divine Liturgy, including the solemn act of glorification, was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Merkury of Rostov and Novocherkassk in the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Iveron Convent. He was concelebrated by three brother bishops and a number of clergy from near and far. The service was attended by a number of monastics, laity, and local public representatives.
The service was sung by a large choir made up of clergy of the Rostov-on-Don Metropolitanate.
The final memorial litia for St. Konstantin was served during the Small Entrance in the Divine Liturgy, after which a short life of the hieromartyr and the decision of the Holy Synod were read out. An icon of the new saint was carried out of the altar during the singing of his troparion and kontakion.
In his archpastoral address, Met. Merkury spoke about the feats of the saint, noting that he was the first priest of the Don land to be killed 100 years ago during the civil war. “A martyr, a confessor, and good and zealous pastor, Fr. Konstantin Veretsky attracted the word of God to himself and never sinned against his pastoral oath in anything.”
“He will be an image of faithful and zealous service, of good administration with care for the people, to family people—an example of a strong family, and to students—an example of wisdom, patience, humility, and obedience, because for many years Fr. Konstantin taught the Law of God. We believe that by his holy prayers the Lord will rule for the good of our lives, the life of the Don Region, and our Fatherland,” the hierarch said.
He also noted that a church being built near the place of St. Konstantin’s martyric death will be consecrated in his honor.
Konstantin Alexandrovich Veretsky was born to a priest’s family on May 21/June 3, 1874 in the village of Petrovsky in the Ekaterinoslav Governorate. He graduated from the Ekaterinoslav Seminary in 1892, and from 1898 to 1911he was a catechist in various theological institutions throughout the governorate.
He was ordained as a priest in November 1911, becoming a beloved pastor to whom the people would turn for consolation and help, and he refused none.
From the beginning of the civil war, he called his flock to peace, warning about the terrible tragedy that could arise from the war. He admonished the people to keep their Orthodox faith and traditions.
Soldiers arrested St. Konstantin on February 23, 1918, and he showed firmness and courage, not begging for mercy. He was shot the same day, with his body left on the street. He was buried near the Church of All Saints.
The good memory of Fr. Konstantin and his veneration among the people were so great that in May 1918 it was decided to build a monument-chapel on the site of his martyrdom. The church where he had served was destroyed during the Khrushchev persecutions, but the memory of the hieromartyr was preserved among the people. Every year on the day of his martyrdom, memorial services and commemorative events dedicated to his life and martyrdom are held in the Church of All Saints.
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