Finding of the Relics of Adrian Poshekhonsky (1626): On a Possible Mystification
The tragic death of hegumen Adrian, who was the founder of the Holy Assumption Adrian Monastery in Poshekhonye, and was killed by the peasants of Beloe village on 5 March 1550, received an unexpected continuation in connection with the discovery of Adrian’s relics. Despite the fact that a thorough investigation of the crime had been carried out, and the perpetrators of the attack on the monastery had been punished severely, the relics of hegumen Adrian were never found at that time. They were discovered only 76 years later. As is turned out, pious serfs secretly buried Adrian’s remains near an abandoned church on the banks of the Ukhra River. They also planted a rowan tree, which became the object of worship among the villagers. Shortly before Adrian's relics were discovered, a monastery was founded near the sacred rowan. The monastery’s founder, hegumen Lavrentiy, was the main initiator of the search for the relics. Probably, Lavrentiy wrote the Tale about Finding the Relics of Venerable Martyr Adrian, in which he described the events in detail. However, by careful analyses of the text of the curios, the author concludes that the relics discovered in 1626 might not belong to Adrian. This is indicated by certain points in the narrative, which suggests that hegumen Lavrentiy was inclined to wishful thinking. The fact of finding the relics seems to be indisputable, but their identification is doubtful. Probably, the discovered relics did not belong to Adrian, but to an unknown monk who once lived in the area.
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