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JORDANVILLE, NY: September 4, 2012
Archimandrite Florus (Vanko) Passes Away

On the morning of September 4, 2012, after a lengthy illness, Archimandrite Florus, born Vasily Vanko, departed for the eternal life. He had entered the monastic life together with Vasily Shkurla, who was later to become Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory, in the monastery of Ladomirovo (Slovakia). Brother Vasily was a trudnik [volunteer laborer] there since the early 1940’s.

During World War II, in the summer of 1944, the Red Army approached the Carpathian Mountains. The periodical Pravoslavnaya Rus’ [Orthodox Russia], which was published by Ladomirovo’s St Job of Pochaev Monastery, never hid its negative view of communism. The monastery’s residents anticipated the fate that would befall them, and elected to go west. It was particularly difficult to make this decision for those born in the area, including the two young Vasilys. At first, they were among the very few who stayed behind. Most of the monks were already in Bratislava, the Slovakian capital. At the time, Archbishop Seraphim (Ivanov) was able to make his way back to his home monastery and persuade Vasya Shkurla and his friend Vasya, the now-reposed Archimandrite Florus of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, to join the fleeing monks. Returning to Bratislava, Vladyka Seraphim sent Hieromonk Vitaly (Oustinov), who later became Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, to procure the parents’ permission and bring the two Vasyas to Bratislava. They all made their way through Germany and Switzerland to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville in 1946. Since then, Fr Florus quietly, earnestly and conscientiously fulfilled his monastic duties, serving as an example of a humble monastic podvizhnik.

Details on the divine services, funeral and burial of Archimandrite Florus will be forthcoming.Eternal Memory to Archimandrite Florus!