Spaso-Yakovlevsky Dimitriev Monastery in Rostov the Great
Yakovlevsky monastery was founded at the end of the XIV century. Bishop Jacob, who headed the Rostov diocese from 1386 to 1389. After being expelled from the episcopal see by the Rostov prince and the inhabitants of the city, Bishop Jacob left the flock and chose the western outskirts of Rostov as his place of residence.
During the first three centuries, the Yakovlevsky monastery did not have stone structures, all of its buildings were wooden. The chronicles preserved mentions that the monastery was destroyed twice. For the first time – soon after its foundation, in 1408, during the invasion of Rostov by the Tatar Khan Edigei, and again – two hundred years later, in 1608, during the Polish-Lithuanian intervention.
In the 17th century, the land ownership of the monastery grew, the Rostov scribal books recorded 18 wastelands as part of the monastic patrimony, in which there were 34 courtyards. For these possessions in 1679 the monastery was given a diploma of tsar Fyodor Alekseevich.
In the mid-50s of the 17th century, a personal decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich followed on the assignment of the Zachatievsky Yakovlevsky Monastery to the Rostov bishop’s house, for which the blessed letter of Patriarch Nikon was given. The royal decree clearly states the reason for the annexation – “for the fact that Iyakov’s bishop’s relics lie in that monastery, and in Rostov in the cathedral church he was Iyakov’s bishop, co-throne to the Rostov wonderworkers.” : Bishops Leonty, Isaiah, Ignatius and Archbishop Theodore The relics of their co-throne, Bishop Jacob were hidden in the cathedral church of the Yakovlevsky monastery.This circumstance was the main reason for joining this monastery to the bishop’s house.
By the end of the 17th century, the Yakovlevsky monastery had the following appearance. A wooden fence surrounded a small monastery courtyard, on which a five-domed stone Trinity Church with a hipped-roof bell tower towered. A stone meal and wooden cells stood near the northern wall of the fence; behind the monastery wall were the courtyards of the ministers.
The 18th century in the history of the Conception Yakovlevsky Monastery was marked by significant events that drastically changed its subsequent fate. They are associated with the name of the Rostov Metropolitan Demetrius (1702-1709).
Contrary to the church tradition, according to which the cathedral should serve as the burial place of the diocesan bishop, Metropolitan Dimitri in his will designated the Yakovlevsky monastery, struck from the city center, as his resting place, naming the temple in which the relics of St. James, persecuted during his lifetime and glorified after the death of the Rostov wonder-worker … In 1709, on the night of October 28, the day after his namesake, Metropolitan Dimitri died. On November 25, the body of the saint was transferred to the Yakovlevsky monastery and buried in the cathedral church.
In 1746, on June 6, a decree was sent from the Rostov spiritual consistory to the Yakovlevsky monastery on the establishment of a common meal in the monastery, from which it follows that until then a non-communal charter was in force in the monastery.
In 1752, the relics of St. Demetrius of Rostov were uncovered in the Yakovlevsky monastery.
A new period in the history of the Yakovlevsky monastery opens at the beginning of March 1765, when he was awarded the title of stavropegia by the imperial decree of Empress Catherine II, thanks to which he left the diocesan subordination and entered the Synod office. It should be emphasized that only selected Russian monasteries reached such a high position. It is significant that the Yakovlevsky monastery became stavropegic at the same time as the famous monastery of the Russian North – the Solovetsky monastery.
On March 26, 1765, the Yakovlevsky monastery was ranked among the second class monasteries, which guaranteed it a stable state support. In keeping with the status of a second-class monastery, it received about 1,500 rubles from the treasury annually.
On the same day, March 26, Archimandrite Pavel, who was transferred from the Novgorod Spiritual Monastery, was approved as the abbot of the monastery. Since that time, all subsequent abbots had a rank not lower than the archimandrite.
In the last quarter of the XIX century. The Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery receives a new status. In 1888 he returned to the diocesan office and became the seat of vicar bishops.
On the basis of the Soviet decree “On Museum Property” of October 10, 1918, the Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery “as a first-class monument of ancient Russian art in general, with all the buildings in it that are of historical and artistic significance, as well as items of church utensils of artistic and archaeological values ”entered the jurisdiction of the Museum Department of the People’s Commissariat for Education. The supervision of the state of the monuments of the Yakovlevsky Monastery was assigned to the staff of the Rostov Museum.
In April 1920, by the decision of the X Rostov District Congress of Soviets, an autopsy of the relics of the saints was carried out in the city.
In the 1920s, the Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery, in fact, remained active, although it existed in the form of a church-monastery community. In two monastery churches – warm Yakovlevsky and cold Dimitrievsky, the service continued until the end of the twenties. The closure of the monastery churches in 1929 meant the final abolition of the Spaso-Yakovlevsky monastery.
In the mid-1980s, the ensemble of the Yakovlevsky Monastery, with the exception of residential buildings, was transferred to the Rostov Museum. The former monastery was officially opened for visiting tourists. During this time, the territory inside the monastery fence and the premises of the temples, as far as possible, were put in order. However, the monastery did not remain a museum branch for long. In 1991 it was returned to the Orthodox Church and became operational again.
Monastic services were resumed at St. Easter, April 7, 1991 In the church of St. Demetrius of Rostov was served by the rector of the Rostov Assumption Cathedral, Abbot Sylvester. The first abbot of the Spaso-Yakovlevsky monastery was Archimandrite Eustathius, who ruled the monastery for eight years and achieved significant success in its restoration. At present, His Grace Bishop Eustathius heads the Chita and Trans-Baikal Diocese.
According to the monastery charter, divine services are held daily in the Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery. The church of St. Jacob of Rostov, in the warm season the church of St. Dimitri Rostovsky.
At present, the fraternity consists of fifteen people: the governor, four hieromonks, four hierodeacons, two monks and four novices. In May 2003, with the blessing of His Eminence Cyril, Archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov, by the decision of the Holy Synod, Hieromonk Seraphim was appointed abbot of the monastery. Since October 2009, hegumen Savva has been appointed governor. The monastery’s confessor is the Rostov Dean Archimandrite Sylvester.
Since 2003, on the territory of the monastery, with the blessing of Vladyka Kirill, a Theological School has been located, in which future pastors of the Russian Orthodox Church acquire knowledge and educate. Archbishop Eugene of Vereya, rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, when visiting the Yakovlevsky monastery in October 2003 and getting to know the seminary, left the following entry in the visitors’ book: “The spiritual school that has found shelter here, we hope, will strengthen from year to year, and the brethren will help this. ”
The Spaso-Yakovlevskaya monastery is open for pilgrims, everyone can visit it, excursions are conducted for organized pilgrim groups. The monastery has the opportunity to receive those who would like to visit here and help the reviving monastery with their labors.
The maintenance of the monastery, the maintenance of its monuments in proper condition, the development of the monastery economy require considerable efforts and significant funds. The revival of the monastery is facilitated by the daily work and tireless prayers of the brethren.