Pecherin (Petcherine), Vladimir (1807–85), Russian émigré, Redemptorist priest and orator, and first chaplain of the Mater Hospital, Dublin, was born in Dymerka, the Ukraine, on 27 June 1807, son of Sergei Panteleimonovich Pecherin, a high-ranking Russian army officer, and his wife, Pelegaya Petrovna Simonovskaya, a descendant of the old Muscovite aristocracy. Throughout his childhood he lived in a variety of garrison towns in southern Russia and was educated first by a private tutor (an Orthodox priest) and then at a boarding-school in Kiev. During 1825–9 he is believed to have held a minor civil service post in St Petersburg (MacWhite, 299), and in 1829 began his studies at the University of St Petersburg. While he was a student there, his translations of Greek verse led to an invitation in March 1833 from the minister of education to complete his studies at Berlin University and to study the German university system. When he returned to Russia in 1835, he was appointed librarian and professor of Greek at the University of Moscow. Before assuming this post (January 1836), he completed a doctoral thesis at the University of St Petersburg in order to fulfil eligibility requirements for the position.
Although a member of the Orthodox church, Pecherin became increasingly interested in western catholicism. Under the pretext of visiting Berlin for personal reasons, he left Russia on 23 June 1836, arriving in Basel, moving to Zurich on 11 December 1836, and to Liège, Belgium, in c. June 1837. On 19 July 1840 he converted to Roman catholicism. His former patron, the tsar, was unhappy with his conversion and with his liberal views, and exiled him from Russia. Pecherin was professed in the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer at Saint-Trond on 15 October 1840 and ordained in Liège on 10 September 1843. In January 1845 he went to England, where he worked in Falmouth and then in Clapham. Pecherin first travelled to Ireland in September 1851, and subsequently returned in October 1851 and for long periods in 1852–3 in a missionary capacity. On 27 March 1854 he was transferred to the order's new foundation in Limerick. A recognised preacher who captivated audiences with his oratorical skills, Pecherin was invited by John Henry Newman (qv), rector of the Catholic University, to give the St Patrick's day sermon in the university chapel in 1856. In December 1855 he was charged with burning a protestant bible while conducting a mission in Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire). There was great publicity surrounding his trial, partially owing to the nature of the charge, and partially to the notoriety of the attorney general, William Keogh (qv), who led the prosecution. Pecherin was acquitted, much to the dissatisfaction of various protestant groups.
Meanwhile, his relationship with the Redemptorist community deteriorated. His superiors were unimpressed by his liberal political opinions and by his criticism of papal temporal power. They sent him to Rome to preach sermons in the Russian church and, while he was there, sought to inhibit his opinions. Pecherin eventually left the order on 3 October 1861. He entered the Cistercian (Trappist) monastery at Mount Melleray on 8 December, and received the habit on 25 December 1861. However, he left again on 23 January 1862. He requested readmittance to the Redemptorists, but was refused. His subsequent appointment under Cardinal Cullen (qv) as the first chaplain of the Sisters of Mercy's newly opened Mater Misericordiae Hospital in 1862 meant that he withdrew from his preaching to concentrate on pastoral duties. He remained in this position, and in relative obscurity, living most of this time in the household of Miss G. M. Furlong, 47 Lower Dominick St., until his death at home on 17 April 1885 after a three-month illness. He was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. The Sisters of Mercy erected a headstone in his honour. Pecherin wrote memoirs in 1873, which covered his life until 1848. His biographer, M. O. Gershenson, discovered the manuscript after 1910 and published it in 1932.