Saint Joasaph of Belgorod was an 18th-century Russian Orthodox hierarch, bishop of Belgorod from 1748 until his death. His remains were found to be incorrupt, and after many miracles he was glorified by the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1911. Stolen from his shrine in 1917, the saint’s body was thought to be lost but was eventually found in storage in a museum and returned to Belgorod in 1991.
In 1727 he took monastic vows and received the name of Joasaph, and in 1728 he was ordained a deacon. By the end of that academic year he was teaching at the Academy. In 1737 he was appointed archimandrite and in 1744, by command of the Empress Elizabeth, Joasaph was advanced to the rank of archimandrite and translated to become head of the Trinity Lavra of Saint Sergius, the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church. On 2 June 1748 he was consecrated as bishop of Belgorod and Oboyanska.
He died on 10 December 1754, aged only 49, at a village in the Graivoron district. On 15 December his body was taken from there to Belgorod and was placed in his Holy Trinity Cathedral. Not until 28 February 1755 was the coffin transferred to a crypt in the cathedral which had been made on Joasaph’s orders.
Before the First World War, Joasaph’s relics were greatly venerated and were brought out for the curing of the sick, when great crowds came hoping for a miraculous cure.
He was canonized on the 4th of September 1911. Remembrance Day: December 10.