"Malyuta Skuratov approaching Saint Philip in order to kill him", a 19th-century painting, Nikolai Nevrev. #IvanTheTerrible
Unfortunately, the others who dared openly to confront Ivan regarding his bloody campaigns were not as lucky as Nicholas Salos. This next one is a story of the martyr Saint Philip.
Philip at first was a monk in the Solovetsky monastery. He was renowned for his hard work: he was always the first one in church for the services, and was the last to leave. When Philip was made abbot of the monastery, he took part in many constructions, from the cathedrals, water-mills, storehouses, and even a network of canals connecting 72 lakes. The tsar heard about this indefatigable monk and asked him to fill the vacant Archdiocese of Moscow. Philip agreed on condition that Ivan would abolish Oprichnina.
After only 2 years, however, Ivan persisted with committing murders. Therefore, Philip decided to oppose him. During Great Lent in 1568, when the Tsar came for Divine Liturgy, Philip refused to bless him and publicly rebuked him for the ongoing massacre. In a rage Ivan retorted, “Would you oppose us? We shall see your firmness! I have been too soft on you.”
Ivan eventually ordered to arrest Philip and imprison him in a dingy cell, fettered with chains, with a heavy collar around his neck, and was deprived of food for a few days. A year later, in 1569, he was strangled by the Tsar's minion, Malyuta Skuratov 2 days before Christmas. As if aware of his approaching death, Philip had asked to receive Holy Communion 3 days earlier. #PartNine