Herman (Sadyrev-Polevoy) of Kazan

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Our father among the saints Herman (Sadyrev-Polevoy) of Kazan was the second Archbishop of Kazan, serving from 1564 to 1567. His feast day is commemorated on November 6. The first translation of his relics is remembered on September 25. A second Translation is celebrated on June 23.


Gregory Sadyrev-Polevoy was born in the city of Staritsa from the old boyar nobility of the Polevi. His date of birth is unknown. As a youth, Gregory was tonsured a monk and given the name Herman at the Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery which had been under the spiritual guidance of Igumen Gurias (St. Gury) from 1542 to 1551. Later, he was the first bishop of Kazan. While working at copying books, Herman became a close friend of St. Maximus the Greek who lived at the monastery in confinement. Having impressed the monks of the Staritsa Dormition monastery with his piety the Staritsa brethren chose him as their archimandrite in 1551.

After two and a half years Archim. Herman left the Staritsa monastery to return to the solitary life that he loved at Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery, leaving the direction of Staritsa monastery to the hieromonk Job, later to become the first Patriarch of Moscow. However, Herman and his father, who had also taken a tonsure at Volokolamsk Monastery with the name Philotheus, were called to Moscow for the Council of 1553 at which Matthew Bashkin was accused of refusing to acknowledge the Holy Mysteries and denial of faith in the Holy Trinity. After his censure, Bashkin was sent to the Volokolamsk monastery for correction under Archim. Herman who was known for his holy life and zeal for the faith in Christ.

In 1555 after Tsar Ivan IV had conquered Kazan, Archim. Herman was chosen by Abp. Gury, the first hierarch of the new Eparchy of Kazan, to establish the missionary oriented Dormition Monastery at the time located at the fortress of Sviyazhsk, but now on an island in the Kuybyshev reservoir along the Volga River up river from the city of Kazan. Soon under Herman's direction, a stone cathedral was built at the monastery with a bell tower and monastic cells as the monastery became a center of enlightenment for the Kazan region. In particular, he was concerned with acquiring a library for the monastery. As igumen of monastery, Herman lived very frugally in a cramped cell beneath the cathedral bell tower.

After the repose of Abp. Gury on December 5, 1563, Archim. Herman was consecrated Archbishop of Kazan on March 12, 1564 and then continued St. Gury's missionary program and enlightening the people of the region with the light of Christ.

In early 1566, Tsar Ivan called Abp. Herman to Moscow and had him elected to the Metropolitan cathedra of Moscow. Initially, Abp. Herman refused to have this burden imposed upon him. The Tsar, however, would not tolerate any objection, and he was obliged to occupy the Metropolitan's quarters until his enthronement as Metropolitan of Moscow.

Noticing the operations of the Oprichnina and injustice among the Tsar's inner circle, Herman, true to his pastoral duty, attempted to admonish the Tsar. "You are not yet elevated to Metropolitan, and already you place constraints upon my freedom," Ivan answered him through his aides. Ivan then ordered Abp. Herman expelled from the Metropolitan's quarters and placed under surveillance.

After living in disgrace for about two years, Metr. Herman reposed on November 6, 1567. He was initially buried in the church of St. Nicholas the Hospitable in Moscow. In 1595, at the request of the inhabitants of Sviyazhsk, the relics of the saint were transferred from Moscow to the Sviyazhsk Dormition monastery. This first translation is remembered on September 25. His relics were again moved in 1714 an event remembered of June 23.

Succession box:
Herman (Sadyrev-Polevoy) of Kazan
Preceded by:
Archbishop of Kazan
Succeeded by:
Lavrenty I
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Moscow
Succeeded by:
Philip II
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