Ioanikii Rudnev (secular name – Ivan Maksymovych Rudnev)

Ioanikii Rudnev (secular name – Ivan Maksymovych Rudnev)

Ioanikii Rudnev (secular name – Ivan Maksymovych Rudnev) was born on February 20, 1826 in the Tula province in the family of a poor village deacon Maxym Ivanovych Rudnev. He graduated from the Tula Theological Seminary (1845) and the Kyiv Theological Academy (1849), after which he received a master’s degree in theology and remained at the Academy to teach the Holy Scripture.

In the same year, in the cave church of St. Theodosius of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, he took monastic vows under the name Ioannikii – in honor of Fr. Joannicius the Great. His godfather in monasticism was a famous ascetic, hieroschimonach, clergyman of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Parthenius (Krasnopevtsev).

In 1851 he was ordained a cathedral hieromonk of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and three years later – archimandrite. In 1856 he was approved by the Holy Synod as an extraordinary professor of theology and appointed inspector of the Kyiv Theological Academy. For impeccable service in 1858 he was awarded with the 2nd class Order of St. Anna, and was appointed rector of the seminary, and the following 1859 – rector of the academy.

In 1860 he was transferred to the position of rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. In 1861–1864 he was the bishop of Vyborg, in 1864–1868 he was the bishop of Saratov, and in 1873–1877 he was the archbishop of Novgorod. 1877–1882 – exarch of Georgia, in 1881 he became a member of the Holy Synod.

In 1882–1891 he was Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomenskoye. In this position he had to take part in significant events in the life of the empire and the Church: on May 15, 1883, Ioanikii performed the coronation of Emperor Olexander III in the Moscow Kremlin, and on May 26 of the same year he consecrated the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

In 1891 bishop Ioanikii returned to Kyiv and headed the oldest metropolitanate, Kyiv.

Throughout his life he arranged shelters for widows and orphans, organized candle diocesan factories, the income from which maintained seminaries and schools, founded the fraternities of the “Holy Cross”, following the example of ancient fraternal unions, to educate the people and those Church’s children who lost themselves or went down the wrong path, opened free libraries. As a supporter of the development of theological science, metropolitan Ioanikii became the founder of three spiritual journals: “A Guide for Rural Shepherds”, “Proceedings of the Kyiv Theological Academy”, “Missionary Review”.

Metropolitan Ioanikii died in Kyiv on June 7, 1900 in St. Pokrovskyi Monastery, and was buried in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

On July 20, 2016, he was added to the list of (locally revered) saints.