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Therapont of White Lake

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Therapont of White Lake

Therapont of White Lake (1331-1426) (Therapont Belozersky, Therapont of Beloozero, etc.), (Russian: Ферапонт Белозерский (Ferapont Belozersky) or Ферапонт Белоезерский (Ferapont Beloezersky)) was a Russian Orthodox monk credited with the foundation of the Ferapontov Monastery in Northern Russia, currently close to Kirillov in Vologda Oblast, and the Luzhetsky Monastery in Mozhaysk close to Moscow. Therapont is venered as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Therapont was born as Fyodor Poskochin in a noble family in Volokolamsk in 1430s. Being already an adult, he decided to become a monk and arrived to the Simonov Monastery in Moscow.[1] There he get acquainted with Cyril, who was to become later Cyril of White Lake. Apparently, Therapont was once commissioned by the monastery to travel to the North of Russia, to the Lake Beloye area. At a certain point, Cyril decided to leave the monastery and seek for a remote area where he could become a hermit. Ferapont agreed to accompany him and suggested that the Lake Beloye area would be most appropriate for that.[1]

Between 1390 and 1397 Cyril and Therapont left the Simonov monastery and travelled north to Lake Siverskoye, where they stayed in the place which eventually became Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. For a year they lived together, and then Therapont left and moved to a location in about a dozen kilometers to the northeast currently known as Ferapontovo.1398 is formally considered as the year when the Ferapontov Monastery was founded. Originally there were not more than 15 monks living in the monastery. Ferapont refused to become a hegumen, but lived for ten years at the monastery.[1]

The monastery was located in the Principality of Beloozero, which at the time was administered jointly with the Principality of Mozhaysk. The prince, Andrey of Mozhaysk, resided in Mozhaysk, and was a brother of Vasily, the Grand Prince of Moscow. He was also one of the main sponsors of the monastery. In 1408, he sent a letter to Therapont urging him to come to Mozhaysk, and Therapont was obliged to obey. Even though Therapont, after arriving to Mozhaysk, expressed very clearly his wish to return to White Lake, the prince never let him go. They made a deal, and Therapont founded Luzhetsky Monastery in Mozhaysk. He died in the monastery in 1426.[1]

Therapont was venered as a saint since 1549.[1]

References

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