Hieromonk in schema Iliodor

Hieromonk in schema Iliodor the Prayer.

(commemorated on the 9th of April)


«The one who acts kindly and goes piously is honest in
front of God, his word  is honest  and his face  is honest too:
he  is  blessed  and will  leave  blessed  memory  of  himself.»
St. Theodore the Studite.

Hieromonk in schema Iliodor, Nikita Zakharov in the secular world, was born to a family of smallholders in the province of Kursk. He was notable for his outstanding piety. He seemed to be otherworldly and in 1850, when he was twenty-seven, he joined the brethren of Gliskaya Pustyn’ under the spiritual guidance of Starets Hieromonk in schema Macarius.

Nikita Zakharov worked in the monastery kitchen, in the bakehouse and most of all in the bakehouse for communion bread. Finally, he was appointed sexton and took monastic vows in 1858 with the name of Hieronymus. In 1862 he was ordained hierodeacon and three years later hieromonk.

Hierodeacon Hieronymus had been the helper of the sacristan till 1875 when he was appointed sacristan and became a conciliar starets. His quiet and meek character distinguished him and everybody loved him. His words were always full of love, persuasion and had a great effect. He avoided human glory and liked solitude. He concealed his spiritual exploits in the field of private prayer, but it became known that they grew in accordance with his spiritual growth. His latest everyday rule consisted of two chapters of New Testament, a chapter of Apostles’ Epistle, three kathismas of Psalter, Penitential Canon, 150 great bows with the prayer to Jesus, the same number of bows with the prayer to the Theotokos, and 33 great bows with St. Ephraim’s prayer. The rest of time, which he had after Divine Services, work of penance and private monastic rule, Father Hieronymus used for saying the prayer to Jesus and God gave him the gift of this prayer, so the prayer was constantly said in his heart although he could be busy with anything else. Father Hieronymus prayed for himself and at the same time he prayed for others.