THE BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Valentin Feliksovich Voyno-Yasenetsky was born on April 27 (May 9), 1877, in Kerch, in the family of a pharmacist Feliks Stanislavovich Voyno-Yasenetsky. The family soon moved to Kiev, where Valentin Feliksovich graduated from two educational institutions: the Kiev Gymnasium and the Kiev Art School. In 1898 he became a student at the medical faculty of Kiev University, from which he graduated with honors in 1903.
During the Russian-Japanese War, V. F. Voyno-Yasenetsky headed the department of surgery which was a part of the Red Cross medical team at a military hospital in Chita. At this period, Valentin Feliksovich became acquainted with a nurse, Anna Vasilyevna Lanskaya, whom he later married. From 1905 to 1917 V. F. Voyno-Yasenetsky worked as a county doctor in Simbirsk, Kursk, Saratov and Vladimir provinces, and also in Pereyaslavl-Zalessky. In 1908 he practiced at the P. Dyakonov surgical clinic in Moscow.
All through that period of his medical practice, Valentin Feliksovich performed many operations on the brain, visual organs, heart, stomach, intestines, biliary tract, kidneys, spine, joints and etc. The practical experience gained in those years allowed him to bring many new things to the technique of surgical operations.
In 1916, in Moscow, V. F. Voyno-Yasenetsky wrote and successfully defended his dissertation “On Regional Anesthesia of the Trigeminal Nerve Second Branch” and received a doctorate in medicine. The University of Warsaw awarded his dissertation a major Heinatsky Prize. In 1917, Voyno-Yasenetsky received a position of chief doctor and surgeon in the Tashkent city hospital.
Along with his official duties, Valentin Feliksovich took an active part in church life and attended meetings of the Tashkent Brotherhood. One day after his successful report at the church congress, the Tashkent bishop Innokenty wished him to become a priest. V. Voyno-Yasenetsky, who had not previously thought about such a variant of his life, suddenly answered that he agreed to become a priest, if it was God's will.
In October 1919, at the age of 38, Voyno-Yasenetsky’s wife, Anna Vasilyevna, died, leaving him with four children. Valentin Feliksovich grieved at the demise of his faithful girlfriend. Later his operating sister, Sofia Beletskaya, became mother to his three sons and daughter and a faithful companion to Valentin Feliksovich.
V. F. Voyno-Yasenetsky became one of the initiators for creating a university in Tashkent and in 1920 was elected a professor in the department of topographic anatomy and operative surgery at the State Turkestan University.
Valentin Feliksovich attended the local Orthodox religious society, studied theology, became more intimate with the clergy, and took part in the church affairs of the Tashkent eparchy.
In 1921, Valentin Feliksovich Voyno-Yasenetsky was ordained deacon, and a few days later became a priest and was appointed junior priest of the Tashkent Cathedral, while remaining a university professor. In May 1923, Father Valentin took monastic vows in honour of the Evangelist, physician and apostle Luke.
Even when he became a priest, V.F. Voyno-Yasenetsky always adhered to the order received from Patriarch Tikhon and confirmed by Patriarch Sergius, not to leave the scientific and practical activity in surgery. Despite all the trials and difficulties, Valentin Feliksovich always remained faithful to his medical duty.
In the following years, Lord Luke had to endure arrests, interrogations (even using the conveyor), sentences (in counter-revolution and espionage), and tough time exiles. The exile passing periods went through Yeniseisk (the Khaya village), Turukhansk (the Plakhino village, between Igarka and Dudinka), Arkhangelsk and Bolshaya Murta in Krasnoyarsk Territory.
In 1934, the first edition of “The Sketches on Purulent Surgery” was published, which for a long time became a reference book of many surgeons.
From 1937 to 1941, after the latest arrest, the convicted bishop was in the village Bolshaya Murta in Krasnoyarsk Territory, where he continued his medical practice. From the first days of the Great Patriotic War, V. F. Voyno-Yasenetsky worked as a consultant to all hospitals of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and chief surgeon of the evacuation hospital № 1515 in Krasnoyarsk.
In 1945-1947 he continued working on the theological book “Spirit, Soul and Body”, which was begun in the early 20-s. In this edition he developed the question of the soul and spirit of men, as well as the heart as an organ of God-knowledge. In February 1945, Archbishop Luke was awarded the right to carry a cross on his hood for his archpastoral activity and patriotic merit.
In February 1946, Archbishop Luke was awarded a 1st degree Stalin Prize for scientific research in medicine.
In May 1946, Valentin Feliksovich was transferred to Simferopol and appointed Archbishop of Crimea and Simferopol. Despite the progressing eye disease, Archbishop Luke continued to manage the Simferopol eparchy for three years and help the sick with advice. Total blindness came in 1958. During the last years of his life, he did not lose his courage, went to church on his own, and participated in the divine service.
Archbishop Luke died June 11, 1961 on All Saints Day. The Archbishop is buried in the Simferopol city cemetery.
In 2004, at the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, St. Luke was canonized for general church worship.