Luka Zhidiata

Luka Zhidiata

Luka Zhidiata was the second bishop of Novgorod the Great (1035-1060). He replaced Efrem, who was not consecrated bishop, but who administered the eparchy from the death of Ioakim Korsunianin until Luka's appointment.

Little is know of Luka. He was the first Russian-born bishop of the Russian church; all previous ones had been Greek. His surname may indicate a Jewish background, although this is disputed by some scholars. The original Cathedral of Holy Wisdom burned down during his episcopate and was replaced by the current stone structure, possibly the oldeset building still in use in Russia, which Luka consecrated on September 14, 1052.

Luka opposed the Kievan Grand Princes' appointments of Hilarion and Efrem as metropolitans of Kiev, not simply to oppose Kiev, but because it was the prerogative of the Patriarch of Constantinople to name the Kievan metropolitan. For this he was confined in the Kiev Caves Monastery where he died on October 15, 1060. His remains were returned to Novgorod, where he was buried in the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, the first person to be buried there. [ see Michael C. Paul, "‘A Man Chosen by God’: The Office of Archbishop in Novgorod Russia 1165-1478. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Miami, 2003".]


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