The Venerable hieromartyr [[Metropolitan]] '''Benjamin (Kazansky) of Petrograd and
Gdovsk''' headed the [[Eparchy of St. Petersburg]] as the Bolsheviks assumed power in Russia and was executed by them for his firm defense of the Church against the Renovated (Living Church) Church and for his stand against the requisition of the church valuables by the Bolsheviks. Benjamin is remembered on [[July 31]] along with his fellow [[martyr]]s [[Archimandrite]] Sergius (Shein), and laymen George Novitsky, and John Kovsharov.
Basil Pavlovich Kazansky was born into a family of a rural [[priest]] in the Nimensky in the Olonets Province about 1874. He attended the Petrozavodsk Theological [[Seminary]] before entering [[St. Petersburg Theological Academy]] in 1893. In 1895, he was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] with the name Benjamin and [[ordination|ordained]] a deacon. In 1896, he was ordained a priest.
After graduating in 1897, he began teaching at the Riga Theological Seminary before, first, being appointed Inspector of the
Kholmsk Theological Seminary in 1898 and then to the same position at the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary in 1899. In 1902, he was appointed [[Rector]] of the Samara Theological Seminary with the rank of [[archimandrite]] before he returned to the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary as its Rector in 1905.
On [[January 24]], 1910, he was elected [[Bishop]] of Gdovsk, [[vicar]] of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, and became involved in charitable activities in the diocese including organizing the establishment of the Mother of God for the Care of Abandoned Women. In March 1917, Bp. Benjamin was elected [[Archbishop]] of Petrograd and Ladoga, replacing [[Gregory Efimovich Rasputin |Rasputin’s]] appointee, Metr. Pitirim. In August, he was named Metropolitan of Petrograd and Ladoga and named also to the [[Holy Synod]] by the [[All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918|Local Church Council]]. Then, on [[January 26]], 1918, he was appointed [[abbot]] of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra and named Metropolitan of Petrograd and Gdovsk.