Church of the Annunciation and Saint Apostle Jacob (Благовещенско- Яковлевская церковь) (Yaroslavl)

Church of the Annunciation and Saint Apostle Jacob Благовещенско- Яковлевская церковь Yaroslavl


Description of Church of the Annunciation

Church of the Annunciation was built in 1769 using the funds of common citizens of Yaroslavl. It was constructed on a site of a small medieval monastery of Saint apostle Jacob. Monks moved into impenetrable forests and wetlands to look for salvation. They erected a wooden church along with small huts for brothers. Polish armies discovered well hidden monastery and burned it down along with everyone inside. Shortly after invaders left Yaroslavl and Russia a new wooden chapel was constructed on a site of burned down convent. Stone church replaced formed house of prayer in 1778. It was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint James the Apostle. Bell tower and winter church was completed in 1783.


Unlike other Christian temples in Yaroslavl Church of Annunciation and Saint Jacob the Apostle was never closed during atheistic rule. Some believe that this facts is owed due to a fact that it contains a massive relic of a wooden cross inside. Local legend claim that it was discovered by a local rich land owner in the 13th century. He got sick and during his sleep he saw a cross buried in the forest. He sent several of his workers to dig for the relic and discovered it. The legend claims that the cross healed the man. He donated the wooden relic to the Church of Annunciation and Saint Jacob the Apostle. While it might seem like a cute story it is completely plausible. Russia in the 13th century was attacked by hordes of Mongols. Locals could have hidden their cross from a local church and buried it in the woods to keep it away from the hands of heathens. So discovery might have been not so accidental. Prophetic dream of a rich land owner might have been a coincidence. Whatever might be the real story behind its discovery, but it is a revered relic that miraculously survives since the medieval period. In 1856 it was encased in metallic case.


The Annunciation-Yakovlevsky Church that has survived to this day according to archival documents from the 19th century. was built in 1769 at the expense of parishioners. According to the inscription of the temple, a small wooden monastery in the name of the Apostle James was erected on the site of impenetrable forests and swamps, which stood until the 17th century, when it was not ravaged by the Polish invaders. On the site of this monastery within the Yakovlevskaya Sloboda, a parish wooden church was erected.

The stone church in honor of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos and the holy Apostle James was founded in 1778 by the efforts of parishioners on the site of an old wooden church. A summer temple was first built. The bell tower and winter temple were finally completed in 1783.

The temple-created inscription contains slightly different dates for the construction of the temple than the documents of the 19th century. In 1778, the summer church was consecrated with the blessing of Archbishop Samuel; in 1783 a winter church was consecrated in the refectory connected to the cold church by an arch and a bell tower. Most likely, the construction of the church building was begun in 1769, and the thrones were consecrated as their improvement was completed.

Documentary data that would confirm that there was a monastery to this day has not survived. But there is a number of testimonies, one of which is the Holy Gates.

Two settlements located next to the churchyard were named after the dedication of the second temple in the name of the Apostle James. Their inhabitants were engaged in leatherworking. Then the settlement became a serf village. In the very essence of the settlement, one can notice another confirmation of the existence of the monastery. This monastery is also mentioned by a local historian of the 19th century. V. Lestvitsyn. The described legend suggests that in the middle of the 14th century, one Kostroma landowner, who suffered from a serious illness, went to Yaroslavl from Kostroma. At the Yakovlevsky monastery, he stopped for the night and in a dream he dreamed of the healing Holy Cross coming from the earth. The landowner, waking up, indicated this place and ordered the servants to dig. The cross was acquired. A sick landowner who venerated him received healing. In honor of this miraculous healing, the landowner donated a cross to the Yakovlevsky monastery, and a procession of the cross on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was also approved. A chapel was erected, originally wooden, and at the beginning of the 20th century. - stone. There was a well in the chapel, where the cross was found. After the revolution, a milk collection point was established here. The chapel in the 1930s demolished. Now there is a grocery store in this place.

The miraculous Image of the Honest and Life-giving Cross is still the main shrine of the Yakovlevsko-Annunciation Church today. The custom of performing the Procession on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in 2008 was renewed.

Consecrations of old wooden temples have been preserved in the present church. In a cold church, the main altar is named in honor of the Annunciation of the Mother of God. In the warm church there are two thrones: in the southern part, the throne is consecrated in the name of the Apostle James, the brother of the Lord, the northern throne - in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "The Burning Bush". The revered ancient icon "Burning Bush" is located nearby. To the right of the Royal Doors is a cancer with the relics of Hieromartyr Nikolai Lyubomudrov.

In Soviet times, the Annunciation-Yakovlevsky Church was not closed and is still under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. The main shrines of the temple have been preserved. As well as before the revolutionary times, it is revered here, acquired in the 14th century. the miraculous Life-giving Cross - wooden, massive, with the carved Crucifixion of Christ. In 1856 the cross was framed with a frame. It is also placed in a picturesque frame, covered with chased riza.

In the parish, three images stand out, presumably, they were temple images in old wooden churches: the image of the Apostle James with the life (on the left above the salt), the icon of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, the icon of the Mother of God "Burning Bush"

A new shrine is also venerated in the church - the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "The Inexhaustible Chalice", which was commissioned with the blessing of Vladyka Joseph by Father Mikhail Stark. The icon is located in the icon case in the summer church, on the north wall. The interior of the temple is quite harmonious and carefully thought out. Its main decoration is ancient icons of the 17-19th centuries. in silver frames.