The article deals with texts placed on engravings depicting Russian saints. The texts belong to diff erent genres and include extracts from stories of saints’ lives, various prayer texts (troparia, kontakia, prayers), stories of miracles which happened near relics, original historical references providing encyclopedic information, and excerpts from writings by actual Russian ascetics. Research of the sources which were used by the authors of the engravings shows that the troparia and kontakia generally correspond to those found in modern liturgical books. This is only partially true for the prayers: while some of them have entered liturgical practice, others have not. The hagiographic texts mainly present borrowings from The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints by Demetrius of Rostov and the Synaxarion. Finally, some texts have no published analogues and originate from manuscripts. Thus, the legends of miracles were borrowed from the notebooks kept with relics and intended for recording the healings taking place near the relics. Another e xample is the story of Blessed Maximus based on the handwritten text about the transfer of the relics of the fool-for-Christ of Moscow.
The material used in writing the article is constituted by the texts published by D. A. Rovinsky or included in his album on the one hand, and the engravings from his collection stored in the Department of Prints of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts on the other. Due to the length restrictions, the material is distributed between two articles. This article analyzes texts dedicated to the saints whose names start with the letters A–I of the Russian alphabet.