LITTLE RUSSIAN PHILOKALIA: VOL V &NDASH; ST THEODORE OF SANAXAR
Elder Theodore, a spiritual instructor of St. Herman of Alaska, was born into a noble family in Russia in 1719. He served in the elite Preobrazhensky Regiment in St. Petersburg and was personally known to Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. However, shaken by the sudden death of one of his companions, he abandoned his life of ease and advantage and fled to the wilderness to take up a life of repentance and prayer.
I, in my undertaking for God and the salvation of my soul, wish to persevere to the end, Your Majesty, and my former life and rank I do not desire.”