Nicholas Konchanov of Novgorod

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The Righteous Nicholas Konchanov of Novgorod, Fool-for-Christ, was an ascetic of the fourteenth century in Novgorod, Russia who, through "mimical" warfare with the Blessed Theodore, strove to end internecine strife between citizens of the Torgov and Sophia sides of Novgorod. His feast day is July 27.


Blessed Nicholas Konchanov of Novgorod was born at Novgorod into a rich and illustrious family. From his early years Nicholas loved piety. He attended church services faithfully and loved fasting and prayer. Seeing his virtuous life, the people of Novgorod began to praise him. Disdaining such glory from men, Nicholas began the difficult exploit of folly for the Lord's sake. He roamed the city dressed in rags whether in the bitter cold of winter or the heat of summer, enduring beatings, insults, and mockery.

Mimicking the enmity and strife between the people of the Torgov quarter of Novgorod and those of the Sophia quarter, Nicholas and Theodore, another Novgorod fool, pretended to be irreconcilable foes, and graphically demonstrated to the people of Novgorod the pernicious character of their internecine strife. In one incident, having overcome his sham opponent Theodore, Nicholas proceeded along the Volkhov River as if on dry land and threw a head of cabbage at Theodore, thus earning himself the epitaph "Konchanov" (i.e. "cabbage-head").

The Lord blessed Nicholas with the gift of miracles and clairvoyance. Once, after being turned away by servants from a feast to which he had been invited, he left peacefully. Immediately, the wine disappeared from the barrel and only through his prayer after the Fool-for-Christ returned did the wine reappear.

When he died in 1392, the Blessed Nicholas was buried at the end of the cemetery near the cathedral in Yakovlev. His relics now rest under a crypt in the church of the Great Martyr Panteleimon that was built over his grave.