Joachim Korsunianin of Novgorod

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Our father among the saints Joachim Korsunianin was the first Bishop of Novgorod the Great. He occupied the see from about 989 to 1030. He is commemorated on February 10 with the synaxis of the Hierarchs of Novgorod.


Bp. Joachim probably came from Cherson (Korsun) on the Crimean Peninsula, as his surname suggests. While sources differ on the precise year of his arrival in Kiev or later in Novgorod, 989 is given as the probable date. [1]

Once he arrived in Novgorod, Bp. Joachim immediately established a Christian presence. He cast the idol of the god Perun into the Volkhov River and built the Perunskii Monastery on the site where it once stood. He then built the first Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, a wooden building, on the site of a pagan cemetery. This was not discovered until archaeological excavations in the twentieth century. Some artifacts that were held in St. Sophia Cathedral may have originated from the time of Bp. Joachim arrival. Bp. Joachim also built the Church of Joachim and Anne that was dedicated to his patron saints. The church stood near the present site of the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom. He was buried there on his death in 1030, but his relics were transferred into the current cathedral in 1598.

Little is known of his episcopate. Although the Ioakimovskaia Letopis (Ioachim Chronicle) is traditionally attributed to him, this is now considered to be highly questionable. The chronicle is more likely a seventeenth century compilation that now often is attributed to Patriarch Joachim of Moscow rather than Joachim Korsunianin.[2] Upon his death in 1030, his disciple, Efrem, administered the eparchy for five years, from 1030 to 1035, until the arrival of Luka Zhidiata.

Joachim is venerated as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. His feast day is February 10 (the feast of the Novgorodian Saints, in which ten other bishops, archbishops, and others are commemorated).


  1. D. S. Likhachev, ed., Slovar Knizhnikov i knizhnostei drevnei Rusi, vol. 1, pp. 204-206.
  2. S. K. (Sergei Konstantinovich)Shambinago, “Ioakimovskaia letopis’.” Istoricheskie Zapiski (1947): 254-70.
Succession box:
Joachim Korsunianin of Novgorod
Preceded by:
Bishop of Novgorod
Succeeded by:
Luka Zhidiata
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