NIZHNY NOVGOROD: May 18, 2012
The Three-Day Visit by a Delegation of the Russian Church Abroad to the Nizhny Novgorod Metropoliate Concludes
On May 18, 2012, the three-day visit by a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to the Metropoliate of Nizhny Novgorod came to an end. The delegation was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Vice President of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe, and other clergymen.
His Eminence Metropolitan Georgy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas accompanied the visitors on May 16-17 when they visited Diveevo Convent and Arzamas. Representing the Moscow Patriarchate with the delegation was His Eminence Archbishop Innokenty of Vilnius and Lithuania.
Their sojourn in Nizhny Novgorod began on May 18 with a visit to Voznesensky Pechersky Monastery. The delegates were greeted at the monastery’s Uspensky Church by its Prior, Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatyokin). They viewed the exhibits at the Museum of the History of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropoliate. Archimandrite Tikhon told the guests about the more important exhibits, including a miniature antimension upon which Divine Liturgy was secretly celebrated by clergymen who were imprisoned during the first decades of the Soviet Union.
The delegation of the Russian Church Abroad then visited Nizhny Novgorod’s Kremlin. Metropolitan Hilarion and Metropolitan Georgy lay flowers at the memorial of Holy Righteous Prince Georgy Vsevolodovich, founder of the city, and his spiritual father, Bishop Simon of Suzdal. Afterwards, the First Hierarch of the Church Abroad performed a litany over the grave of Kuzma Minin in Archangel Michael Cathedral.
The next point in the program was a visit to Blagoveshchensky Monastery and Nizhny Novgorod Theological Seminary. After praying at the Seminary’s Church of St Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow, the delegates headed for the Seminary’s large auditorium, where they met with the students and teachers of Nizhny Novgorod’s religious schools.
The archpastors spoke about the events of five years earlier, when the preparations for and actual signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia took place. The hierarchs noted the special role in achieving unity between the two branches of Russian Orthodoxy played by the late Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and the late Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York, and also by President Vladimir Putin and the present Primate of the Russian Church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
The visitors said they were very glad to be visiting Russia, which had seemed impossible when they were younger and living among the heterodox in different countries. The hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad stressed that it was adherence to the Orthodox culture and participation in the life of the Church that helped Russian émigrés and their children preserve their national identity.
The guests were unanimous in expressing their profound gratitude to Metropolitan Georgy for their warm reception in Nizhny Novgorod and the hope that the students of Nizhny Novgorod Seminary go on the be worthy pastors and preserve dedication to Christ in our post-Christian world.
In concluding their visit to the Nizhny Novgorod Metropoliate, the ROCOR delegation visited St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Metropolitan Hilarion headed a prayer service and megalynarion before an icon of the holy prince.
Website of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese. Text by Svetlana Vysotskaya.