BELGRADE, SERBIA: November 17, 2014
A Memorial Plaque to Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) is Blessed
As part of a visit by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Serbia, on Saturday, November 15, 2014, a memorial plaque to Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) in Sremsky Karlovci was blessed. March 29, 2013, marked the 150 th anniversary of his birth.
The place chosen for the plaque was the entrance to the Patriarchal Palace in Sremsky Karlovci, which was offered by the Serbian Orthodox Church for use by Russian bishops, and which was until 1946 the residence of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
With the blessing of Patriarch Kirill, the consecration ceremony was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev) of Volokolamsk, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. Also participating were His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe of the Russian Church Abroad; His Grace Bishop Chrisostom of Zvorniko and Tuzla of the Serbian Orthodox Church; His Grace Bishop Vasilije of Srem; Protopriest Vitaly Tarasiev, Rector of the Podvorie of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, and Protopriest Igor Yakimchuk, Secretary of the DECR of the Moscow Patriarchate on Inter-Orthodox Relations.
Before the ceremony , a moleben was performed at St Nicholas Cathedral, at the end of which Metropolitan Ilarion addressed the worshipers:
Your Eminences, Your Graces, Reverend Fathers, Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Today we gather here to honor the memory of one of the most eminent Russian hierarchs of the 20 th century, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky)--the 150 th anniversary of his birth was celebrated last year.
Metropolitan Anthony was a zealous archpastor, an outstanding thinker, a man who inspired and guided academic monasticism, and he holds a special place in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Over the last 15 years of his life until his death in 1936, Metropolitan Anthony was here in Karlovci, where he was invited to live along with other Russian refugee hierarchs by His Holiness Patriarch Dimitrije of Serbia. Patriarch Dimitrije lovingly gave this magnificent building, his patriarchal palace, for their use. It is fitting here to remember the words of the wise King Solomon: “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
Here in Sremsky Karlovic we find the echo of the tragic events which occurred in Russia almost 100 years ago which led to the internecine war and the division of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Today these events have gone into the history books. We do not cease thanking God for His mercy, which manifested itself in the reestablishment in 2007 of canonical unity within our Church. And we will never forget the podvig of active Christian love and the warm hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is even today among those which fervently welcomed and supported the process of reunification of the Russian Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate, and aided in the success of this historic event.
The unveiling of this memorial plaque, made through the efforts of St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, is not lonely a tribute to Metropolitan Anthony, but a memorial to the brotherly love which has bonded the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches for many centuries.
Eternal, blessed memory to the divinely-wise Archbishops of Pec, the Metropolitans of Belgrade and Karlovci and their Holinesses the Patriarchs of Serbia Dimitrije and Varnava! Eternal and blessed memory to Metropolitan Anthony! A deep bow to His Grace Bishop Vasilije of Srem, the people of Sremsky Karlovci and all the people of the Holy Serbian Orthodox Church for the genuine love they have shown to their brothers from Russia!
The initiators of the installation of the plaque was the Fund of St Andrew the First-Called. It was designed by the renowned Belgrade sculptor Zlatko Kuzmanovic, who made the bas-relief of Metropolitan Anthony based on a portrait painted by Russian emigre artist George Grinkevich-Sudnik. The inscription reads “To the First Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), 17 (29) March 1863 -28 June ( 10 August ) 1936.”
A plaque of similar size hangs on the right-hand column at the entrance dedicated to King Alexander I Karageorgijevic of Yugoslavia (1888-1934).
Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Department of External Church Relations