Tryphon of Pechenga

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Saint Tryphon of Pechenga
Tryphon of Pechenga.jpg
Enlightener of the Sami
Torzhok, Russia
Died1583 (aged 88)
Pechenga, Lapland
Venerated in Russian Orthodox Church [1]
Feast 15 December
Patronage Invoked by Russian mariners

Saint Tryphon of Pechenga (Russian : Преподобный Трифон Печенгский, Кольский; Finnish : Pyhittäjä Trifon Petsamolainen (Kuolalainen); Skolt Sami : Pââʹss Treeffan, 1495–1583) was a Russian monk and ascetic in the Eastern Orthodox Church on the Kola Peninsula and in Lapland in the 16th century. He is considered to be the founder of the Pechenga Monastery and "Enlightener of the Sami". [2]


Life and missionary work

Baptized with the name Mitrofan, he was the son of a priest from the Novgorod region. [2] Trained as a military engineer, [1] he felt that he was called by God to proclaim the Gospels to the Sámi. [3] Though he was met with hostility from the pagans, he was effective in convincing many of them to convert to Christianity. His effectiveness is attributed to the fact that he took the time to study their beliefs and languages. [3]

With permission from Archbishop Macarius of Novgorod to found a Church of the Annunciation up north, Mitrofan was tonsured a monk with the religious name Tryphon and ordained a hieromonk. [4] After his ordination and tonsure, Tryphon became the leader of the Holy Trinity Monastery on the banks of the Pechenga River. He continued spreading the Gospel to the residents near the river.


Saint Tryphon died in 1583 at the age of 88 [2] and is commemorated on December 15 in the Eastern Orthodox Church. [5] Russian seamen traditionally pray to Tryphon when they are in danger. [6]

Saint Tryphon is relatively unknown in the greater Orthodox traditions, but achieved and maintained popularity among Orthodox Christians in the Lapland Regions. His popularity is often attributed to his skillful blends of Orthodoxy and pagan practices. [7]

St. Triphon's Brook in Pechenga got its name from the Saint (1894 painting by Konstantin Korovin). Korovin-pechenega.JPG
St. Triphon's Brook in Pechenga got its name from the Saint (1894 painting by Konstantin Korovin).

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  1. 1 2 Garrett, Paul D., "Tryphon of Pechenga", Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, (Gerald H. Anderson, ed.), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999, ISBN   9780802846808
  2. 1 2 3 " - Pyhittäjä Trifon Petsamolainen". Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  3. 1 2 "Venerable Tryphon the Abbot of Pechenga (Kolsk)". Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  4. "Saint Tryphon of Pechenga – Enlightener of Lapland". Archived from the original on 2001-02-28. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  5. "Orthodox Saints for December". Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  6. Agioi_anargyroi (2010-01-27). "Full of Grace and Truth: The Prayer to St. Tryphon for the Deliverance of Gardens". Full of Grace and Truth. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  7. Boer, R. (2013). Lenin, Religion, and Theology. Springer. ISBN   1137323906.