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Saints and Feasts: Venerable Athanasius the Abbot of Syandemsk in Vologda

Saint Athanasius of Synadem and Vologda was a disciple of St Alexander of Svir (August 30). After the death of his mentor, he established the Dormition hermitage in the forests of Karelia, not far from the city of Olonets, on an island of Lake Synadem.

The slander and pettiness of the local inhabitants compelled St Athanasius to move back to the Svir monastery, where they chose him as igumen. Later returning to the Dormition hermitage, St Athanasius died in about the year 1550 in great old age, and was buried on one of the promontories of Roschinsk island. Afterwards, a church was built over his grave, named for Sts Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria. The incorrupt relics of St Athanasius were placed in this church in 1720.

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