OCA Represented at Glorification of Mother Maria [Skobtsova], Companions in Paris

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, was represented at the Glorification of Mother Maria [Skobtsova] and her companions at Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral here May 1-2, 2004 by the Rev. John Edwards Anderson, an OCA Army Chaplain stationed in Belgium.

The decision to canonize Mother Maria, together with Fathers Alexis Medvedkov, Dimitri Klepinine, George Skobtsov and Elie Fondaminskii, was made by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople during its January 16, 2004 session. The preceding September, His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel of Comane, Exarch of the Ecumenical patriarch for the Russian Orthodox Parishes of Western Europe, made a formal request to the Patriarchate to consider glorifying Mother Maria and companions, all of whom were closely linked with the spiritual legacy of the Russian Orthodox emigration in France during the first half of the 20th century.

Archbishop Gabriel, together with His Grace, Bishop Basil of Sergievo of the Diocese of Sourozh and His Grace, Bishop Siluan of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in Western Europe, concelebrated the Glorification Vigil and Divine Liturgy at the historic Paris cathedral. Father Anderson was among dozens of priests representing numerous jurisdictions who concelebrated. He also conveyed the greetings of Metropolitan Herman at the conclusion of the Glorification services.

Saints Maria, Dimitri, George and Elie bore witness to their total commitment of living the Gospel by saving numerous Jews during the Nazi occupation of France. All four subsequently perished in Nazi death camps for their witness.