SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications]—Sarov-Diveyevo, Russia will be the site of celebrations marking the 100th Anniversary of the canonization of Saint Seraphim July 29-August 1, 2003.
At the invitation of His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy II of Moscow and All Russia, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will be among the visiting hierarchs participating in the historic occasion.
Metropolitan Herman, accompanied by Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, the Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, and other representatives of the Orthodox Church in America, is slated to arrive in Moscow on Monday, July 28, and to travel with Patriarch Aleksy to Sarov the following day.
“In the early 1990s, the relics of Saint Seraphim were discovered in St. Petersburg, where they had been hidden since the early days of the Soviet regime,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “At that time, the relics were returned to Sarov-Diveyevo after making several stops, affording the faithful an opportunity to venerate them for the first time in decades.”
After returning to Moscow on Saturday, August 2, Metropolitan Herman and his entourage will fly to Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, for an official visit to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the invitation of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine. The visit will be Metropolitan Herman’s first to Ukraine since his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America in July 2002.
While in Kyiv, Metropolitan Herman will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the 1000-year-old Monastery of the Caves on Sunday, August 3, before departing the following morning for a visit to the Pochayiv Monastery in western Ukraine, where he will be welcomed by His Grace, Bishop Vladimir of Pochayiv. En route to Pochayiv, he will make brief stops in Ostroh and Kremenetz, birthplace of the late Metropolitan Leonty, who served as Primate of the Church during the 1950s and early 1960s.
“The Pochayiv Monastery, Ukraine’s second largest, was one of the few allowed to function during the Soviet era, despite continual harassment on the part of the communist regime,” Father Matusiak said. “Today, it once again serves as the spiritual center for faithful throughout western Ukraine, a region that after the fall of communism in the early 1990s witnessed numerous conflicts with the reemergence of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.”
On Tuesday, August 6, the new calendar celebration of the Great Feast of the Transfiguration, Metropolitan Herman will visit Chernivtsy in the heart of the Bukovinian region. He will celebrate the Divine Liturgy with His Eminence, Metropolitan Onufriy of Chernivtsy and Bukovina and visit several monasteries and churches.
After a brief stop in Kyiv, Metropolitan Herman and his entourage will travel to Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, on Friday, August 8, where he will pray before the relics of Saints Theodosius and Lavrenty, meet with students at the city’s pastoral school, and visit several churches and monasteries in the immediate area. Saint Theodosius of Chernihiv is the patron saint of Metropolitan Herman’s predecessor, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, who retired in 2002.
Metropolitan Herman will celebrate his name’s day, the Feast of Saint Herman of Alaska, by celebrating the Divine Liturgy at Kyiv’s Saint Panteleimon Monastery, on Saturday, August 9, after which he will be feted at a reception hosted by Metropolitan Volodymyr.
Following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, August 10, Metropolitan Herman will visit the Central Clinical Hospital’s Archangel Michael Church and a military hospital before an early-evening visit to the Florovskij Monastery in Kyiv’s ancient Podol district. The monastery is one of two in Kyiv that functioned during the Soviet era.
During his visit to Ukraine, Metropolitan Herman also will meet with staff members from the US and Canadian Embassies. He will also meet with Metropolitan Volodymyr on Monday, August 11, before returning to New York the following day.
Full coverage of Metropolitan Herman’s visits to Sarov-Diveyevo and Ukraine will be featured on the OCA’s web site at http://www.oca.org and in the September/October 2003 issue of “The Orthodox Church” newspaper.