Pomozdino, Komi Republic, Russia, May 30, 2023
Human remains believed to belong to St. Dmitry Spassky (†1918), the first hieromartyr of the Russian Komi Republic, were recently discovered.
A search expedition to the village of Pomozdino, 1,000 miles northeast of Moscow, was launched on May 19, reports Search Teams of the Komi Republic.
On May 22, the local TV station Yurgan reported that the remains, likely the relics of St. Dmitry, had been found.
St. Dmitry was shot and killed by the Red Army in September 1918. To put a stop to the veneration of his grace, the authorities built an office for the executive committee over the site, which was later converted into a village school. Now a new school building has been erected and it became possible to conduct excavations in the old one.
Since St. Dmitry had been buried in full vestments, experts believed they would be able to identify his remains. Digging under the floor, the team eventually discovered human remains with a metal cross next to them. The remains have been transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for a special examination.
St. Dmitry was a beloved priest, enjoying well-deserved authority for his unselfish support for and popularization of the ideas and traditions of Orthodoxy.
He knew the Komi language and would preach to the natives in their own language.
In 1918, he was taken by revolutionaries to the village of Pomozdino, where he was executed and buried in the forest. St. Dmitry’s wife and local residents secretly took his body and reburied it in the village itself.
He was canonized as a New Martyr in 2001.