Theophan the Recluse, also known as Theophan Zatvornik or Theophanes the Recluse, was born on January 10, 1815, as Georgy Vasilievich Govor in Imperial Russia.

Little is known about his younger years but in 1841 he was ordained, became a monk, and adopted the name Theophan. Later he became Bishop of Tambov.

He is especially well-known today through the many books he wrote concerning the spiritual life, especially on the subjects of the Christian life and the training of youth in the faith. He also played an important role in translating the Philokalia from Church Slavonic into Russian. The Philokalia is a classic of Orthodox spirituality, composed of the collected works of a number of church fathers which were edited and placed in a four-volume set in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Spiritual Life and How to Be Attuned To It was originally written in response to Theophan’s encounter with a young woman. While at a ball. After contacting Theophan, the two began corresponding through letters, the lady writing on her spiritual difficulties and Theophan responding with spiritual advice. This correspondence had a significant impact on the woman; she later became a nun.

He died on January 6, 1894, and was canonized by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1988.

*Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

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*Information retrieved from Christianhistoryinstitute.org and Rhemalogy.com.

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