St. Philaret of Chernigov


Archbishop Philaret (Филарет Гумилевский, born Dmitry Grigorievich Gumilevsky; 1805-1866) was the Russian Orthodox Bishop of Riga(1841-48), Archbishop of Kharkov (1848-59), and Archbishop of Chernigov (1859-66).

The son of a priest from the Shatsk district, Philaret is best known as a theologian and church historian. At the precocious age of 30 he was appointed Dean of the Moscow Theological Academy based in the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra.

His magnum opus is The History of the Russian Church (1847-48), the first complete and systematic outline of the evolution of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was seen as a clerical counterpart to Karamzin's great history of the Russian state and went through many reprints. This work was later revised and expanded by the likes of Macarius Bulgakov and Yevgeny Golubinsky.

Philaret Gumilevsky was a very popular prelate. He is buried in the Trinity Cathedral, Chernihiv. In 2009, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) recognized him as a saint for local veneration.