Barsukovskaya, Stavropol Krai, Russia, May 26, 2023
Hieromartyr Gregory Zlatorunsky was canonized by decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on August 25, 2022, and on Monday, May 22, his canonization was liturgically celebrated in Stavropol Krai.
The service was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Stavropol at the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in the village of Barsukovskaya on the occasion of the parish feast day, reports the Metropolia of Stavropol.
Met. Kirill also celebrated the consecration of the St. Nicholas Church, followed by the Divine Liturgy with the rite of glorification of St. Gregory.
At the small entrance, the Metropolitan read out the resolution of the Holy Synod on the inclusion of St. Gregory in the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church. His feast day is to be celebrated on the day of his martyrdom on June 8/21.
Then the life of the Hieromartyr was read out and his troparion was sung while Met. Kirill blessed all those present with his holy icon.
Following the service, Met. Kirill offered a homily, saying:
The church is filled with people. Those people who once created the Soviet state dreamed of destroying the Church and faith in people. Unfortunately, they accomplished a lot. But by the great grace of God, through the prayers of our hieromartyrs, our fellow countrymen, the Lord didn’t allow the complete destruction of faith, otherwise our country wouldn’t exist. Thanks to the labors of our ascetic hieromartyrs and the labors of those who built this church, we’re praying here again today.
Hieromartyr Gregory Zlatorunsky was born on January 4, 1877, in the Kuban Province. He graduated from the Ekaterinodar Theological School and became a reader in the Stavropol Governorate.
He was ordained to the diaconate on June 21, 1898, and served for 11 years in Stavropol and Kuban. He also showed special care for educational institutions and the Christian upbringing of children.
He was ordained a priest on March 25, 1909. He participated in the canonization of St. Joasaph of Belgorod in 1911, and having fervently prayed to the saint to be worthy of the priesthood, missionary activity began to occupy a major role in his ministry.
The Red Guard entered his village on June 18, 1918, and Fr. Gregory was arrested and imprisoned. He comforted his wife, telling her not to be sad, for he was to die innocently, “and I don’t need any better death.”
He was brutally executed on the night of June 20-21, 1918, being “literally chopped into small pieces.”
He has been locally venerated in the Stavropol Metropolia since 2016. His feast is celebrated on June 8/21.