Sunday, 15 August 2010
St. Mitrophan of China
Our righteous father, hieromartyr Mitrophan Yang (1856-1900)
He was one of the many martyrs of the Yihetuan Movement (Boxer) Uprising
Commemoration day June 11
St. MITROPHAN. Priest Mitrophan, his Chinese name being Yang Ji , was born in 1855, on the 10th day of the 12th month . Before reaching twenty years of age, he was appointed to the post of catechist. At 25 he was ordained to the priesthood by Nikolai, bishop of Japan. He lost his father in early childhood and was raised under the care of his grandmother Ekaterina and his mother Marina; his mother was a teacher at a school for females. At the time he experienced many troubles. When Archimandrite Pallady became head of the Mission for the second time, he charged his teacher Juren, Long Yuan to take great care in educating Mitrophan, in order to prepare him for eventual ordination. Mitrophan was a humble person, very cautious and quiet, peaceful and not impassioned; even when faced with great insults, he did not try to justify himself.
Archimandrite Pallady's successor was Archimandrite Flavian, who later became Metropolitan of Kiev. From the time of his arrival in, Archimandrite Pallady charged him, as well as the teacher Long Yuan, to try to have Mitrophan attain what had been predestined (that is the priestly rank). Mitrophan did not want to accept ordination and constantly refused, saying "how can a person with insufficient abilities and charity dare to accept this great rank?" But under the forceful urging of Archimandrite Flavian and the persuasion of the teacher, Mitrophan obeyed, even though he knew that by accepting priesthood, his end would be inauspicious. Under Archimandrite Flavian, Priest Mitrophan assisted him in translating and checking books. For fifteen years, he tirelessly served God, while suffering many hurts and insults both from his own people and outsiders, he finally had a mild breakdown. Sometime after this spent three years living outside the mission, receiving half of his previous salary. All his life the Priest Mitrophan was not avaricious and many took advantage of this.
In 1900, on the evening of June 1 (which was the 17th day of the 5th month on the Chinese calendar) , the Boxers burned the Mission's buildings. Many Christians, hiding from danger, assembled in Priest Mitrophan's home. Although Fr. Mitrophan's former ill-wishers were among them, he did not drive them out. Seeing that some people were dispirited, he strengthened them, saying that the time of troubles had come and would be difficult to avoid. He himself several times daily went to look at the burned church. On the 10th of June, towards 10 in the evening, soldiers and Boxers surrounded Fr. Mitrophan's dwelling. Up to 70 Christians were there at the time; the stronger among them fled, while Fr. Mitrophan and many others, primarily women and children, remained and were tortured. Fr. Mitrophan sat in his courtyard when the Boxers punctured his chest like a honeycomb and he fell under a date tree. His neighbors removed his body to the Mission's almshouse. Later the Priest-monk Avraamy picked up Fr. Mitrophan's body and, in 1903, during the first commemoration of the martyrs, it along with others, was placed under the altar in the martyrs' church. At the place were Fr. Mitrophan was tortured, there were also: wife Tatiana , and three sons -- the older, Isaiah; the second Sergiy -- now a priest; and the third Ioann.
St. Mitrophan of China, pray for us to Christ our God for His Great Mercy!