Bishop Nikolai was born on 13 Oct 1891, to a pious and faithful Old Believer family in Siberia. Siberian Old Believers were known to be particularly tenacious in their adherence to the Old Belief. Up until the end of the 19th century, the forests “were rife with … secret shelters and small monasteries [of Old Believers] inhabited by two or three to up to a dozen monks.”
His grandmother, frightened that the newborn might not live, had him baptized without recourse to a priest. Worried about his irregular baptism, she made a vow to God that her grandson would grow up as an Orthodox Christian. Vladyka Nikolai himself did not remember being specifically taught about monasticism, but once mentioned that he had a vague recollection of being told about the monasteries of Mount Athos and Kiev when very young. Igumenia Elizaveta, “Vospominania o Vladikie Nikolaie (Karpovie)” Pravoslavnaya Rus, Jordanville, N.Y.www.semeyskie.ru/history_ural.htmlru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9D%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B9_(%D0%9A%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2) Wikipedia, Bishop Nikolai (Karpov)
The vow of Vladyka Nikolai’s grandmother was indeed fulfilled. The future Bishop Nikolai graduated from Tobolsk Seminary in 1913. The Tobolsk Seminary, the first in Siberia, was founded in 1743 as a continuation of the Slavonic-Russian “Bishop’s School,” by a decree of Emperor Peter I, which decree was carried out by Saint Filofei (Leshchinsky, 1650-1727), Metropolitan of Tobolsk. Metropolitan Filofei, the greatest figure of Russian Orthodoxy in Siberia in his time, was an educated man, and exerted all efforts towards the spread of Orthodoxy and the religious education of the people. Saint John (Maximovitch), who succeeded Metropolitan Filofei in 1712 as Metropolitan of Tobolsk, was known for his care for the students of the school. Saint John had founded the first Seminary in Russia while Bishop of Chernigov. He invited teachers from Chernigov and Kiev to Tobolsk, and also ensured that the indigenous Siberian peoples were educated there alongside Russians.
The seminary was generally known as “the Episcopal School.” Financial difficulties caused its closure in 1742. The “Episcopal school” was reopened and transformed into the Tobolsk Seminary in 1743 by Metropolitan Antony (Narozhitsky, birthdate unknown-1748), former Abbot of the Holy Trinity Saint Sergius Lavra, who remained in Tobolsk to the end of his earthly days and was laid to rest in the crypt of the Tobolsk Sophia-Dormition Cathedral. Always concerned for the state of the seminary, Metropolitan Antony greatly enhanced the library of the school and also brought instructors from Kiev to teach there.
The Metropolitans of Tobolsk Sylvester (Glovatsky, +1760, later Metropolitan of Suzdal) and Saint Pavel (Konyukevich, 1705-1770) continued to closely oversee the Seminary in the latter part of the 18th century and undertook improvements whenever necessary. Always located at In 1770, due to the increasing number of students, the Seminary was relocated to the Tobolsk Monastery of the Sign, having previously always been located at the episcopal residence. This arrangement turned out to be both spiritually and materially beneficial for both the Monastery and Seminary.
Archbishop Varlaam (Petrov, 1728-1802) was serving at the turn of the 18th into the 19th century. He had great concern for the Seminary’s students and was always kind and cordial in his encounters with them. He attracted them to preaching, and also encouraged the parish clergy to further their education at the Seminary.
The Seminary was the center of education in the Siberian Diocese, which at that time was immense, with borders stretching from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean. Slavonic/Russian schools were opened in Tyumen, Turin, Ishim, Tara, and Samarovo. All of these schools intended to prepare students to enter the Tobolsk Seminary. The Seminary also played an important part in secular education in Siberia, as its graduates supplied the core of the teaching staff in all secular schools.
The teaching and increase of the Orthodox Faith, and missionary work, however, always came first. Graduates of the Tobolsk Seminary reached the most remote parts of the Russian Empire, carrying the Gospel of Christ to “Nenets’ tents on shore of the Arctic Ocean, in the mountains of Altai and Sayan, in the vast eastern Siberia, reaching the shores of the Pacific Ocean,” and on to the Western Hemisphere, to Alaska. The future Bishop Nikolai carried and honored these traditions of the Tobolsk Seminary with him always. He taught the Orthodox Faith in the emigration in Yugoslavia, and carried the Gospel of Christ to England …
In 1840 there was a reform of religious schools. The curriculum of the Tobolsk Seminary changed, favoring more practical and theological subjects and diminishing the philosophical courses. This change was intended to make the Seminary more effective in preparing future pastors, especially for rural parishes, and also as a preparation for advanced education at a Theological Academy. The Kazan Theological Academy opened in 1842, and many of the missionary courses and other advanced curricula that had been taught at the Tobolsk Seminary were then taught at the Kazan Academy.
The Tobolsk Seminary continued throughout the 19th century with its reputation for excellence. In the early 20th century, during the disturbances of 1905, as in other Russian Seminaries and all the Theological Academies, the social upheavals affected the student body and the Seminary was closed for a time. By the time Ivan Ilych Karpov attended and graduated from the Tobolsk Seminary, the troubles of 1905 were long over. He did well at the Seminary, more than sufficiently demonstrated by his acceptance into the Moscow Theological Academy to continue his education. history-mda.ru/publ/istoriya-tobolskoy-duhovnoy-seminarii-s1743-g-do-zakryitiya-v-1919-g_1304.htmlru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%98%D0%BE%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BD_%D0%A2%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9 Wikipedia, St. John (Maximovich) of Tobolskop.cit. 1
At the Moscow Theological Academy, Ivan Ilyich Karpov received monastic tonsure from the Rector of the Academy, Bishop Feodor (Pozdeievskii, 02 Apr 1876-23 Oct 1937) on 16 Nov 1913, and was given the name “Nikolai,” after the Holy Hierarch Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. Bishop Feodor, like the future Bishop Nikolai, had accepted monasticism early in his life, at the age of 24. Bishop Feodor had been tonsured a monk by then Bishop Antony (Khrapovitskii, later Metropolitan of Kiev, 1863-1936) at the Kazan Theological Academy, where Bishop Antony was Rector, and the future Bishop Feodor was a student. Bishop Antony (Khrapovitskii) served as Rector in three of the four Russian Theological Academies: Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Kazan.
Always concerned with and close to his students, one of Bishop Antony’s most heartfelt ideals was monasticism. By the example of his personal life, as well as his explanations of monastic life to his students, he greatly influenced many students to embrace the monasticism. Bishop Antony personally tonsured some sixty of his students into the monastic life. Bishop Antony was also a champion of Patristic Orthodoxy. Castigated by those who wanted to “modernize” the Russian Church as a “conservative,” as was Bishop Feodor, Bishop Antony’s was not a dull, staid, “status quo” conservatism, but rather a dynamic advocacy for all that was the best in the Church: genuine piety, genuine monasticism, genuine asceticism, and opposition to unnecessary “reforms,” novelties, and anything that brought the Church closer to the “spirit of this world.” Bishop Feodor took these ideals into his heart as his own. www.pravaya.ru/faith/471/1439ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B5%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BE%D1%80_(%D0%9F%D0%BE%D0%B7%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%B5%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9)
Bishop Feodor was known for his strict ascetic life. The fact that the future Bishop Nikolai was tonsured by Bishop Feodor suggests that Bishop Feodor had much the same influence on the future Bishop Nikolai that Bishop Antony (Khrapovitskii) had on Bishop Feodor — a true “handing down,” and “transmitting” of Holy Orthodoxy and monasticism from spiritual father to spiritual son, from teacher to student. “Vladyka Feodor enjoyed great prestige among adherents of traditional, patristic Orthodoxy. He was the principal opponent of the innovations and reforms in the Church.” This prestige was neither unearned, nor taken lightly. After the Bolsheviks seized power, as Bishop of Volokolamsk (one of Patriarch Tikhon’s Vicars) Bishop Feodor was one of the staunchest defenders of the Church against both renovationism and improper compromise with the godless authority. He was one of Patriarch Tikhon’s closest advisors, even though there were disagreements, and warnings to Patriarch Tikhon against compromise.
After the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodskii, +1944, later Patriarch) in 1927, then Archbishop Feodor broke relations with Metropolitan Sergius, and was one of the architects of the Catacomb Church. Archbishop Feodor strongly believed that even negotiations (much less agreements) with the godless authority, would mean the ruin of the Church. He felt the only alternative was the illegal existence of the Church “in the catacombs.” The future Bishop Nikolai was also influenced by these principles of Archbishop Feodor in the emigration, as Archbishop Feodor’s position was basically that of the Russian Church Abroad. Soon after tonsure into the Great Schema with the name Daniel, Vladyka Feodor was shot in the Ivanovo prison. Archbishop Feodor was glorified as a New Hieromartyr of Russia, along with the Holy New Martyrs of Russia, by the Russian Church Abroad in 1981. Ibid.www.ortho-rus.ru/cgi-bin/ps_file.cgi?2_2045No author named
The Moscow Theological Academy had its origins in 1685 as the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, located in the center of Moscow at the Zaikonospasskii Monastery. In 1814, due to the dilapidated state of the Monastery’s buildings, the Academy was moved to the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, where educational reforms were enacted that transformed the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy into a “modern” Theological Academy. Its greatest patron in the 19th century was Saint Philaret (Drozdov), Metropolitan of Moscow, who gave spirit and direction to the Academy, and charged it with guarding the purity of Orthodox Theology by “the idea of creating sustainable theological continuity undisturbed by extraneous influences.”
The Academy enjoyed a bright period during the Rectorship of Archimandrite Antony (Khrapovitskii) from 1890 to 1895, and weathered the storms of 1905, when “extraneous influences” sought to gain the upper hand. Despite temporary closure, the Academy flowered again under the rectorship of Bishop Feodor (Pozdeyevskii), from 1909 to 1917. The Bolsheviks closed the Academy in 1917. www.mpda.ru/history/history_mpda/
After his graduation from the Moscow Theological Academy as a Candidate of Theology (Master’s Degree) in 1915, the future Bishop Nikolai taught at spiritual and educational institutions, and was a preacher at the Oboyan Monastery in the Kursk Diocese. op. cit. 2 In 1916, the future Bishop Nikolai took part in the Glorification of Saint John (Maximovich), Metropolitan of Tobolsk. The form of his participation in the Glorification of Saint John of Tobolsk is unknown; it is known that the Glorification touched him deeply, and that he always great venerated Saint John of Tobolsk. Saint John (Maximovich), Archbishop of Shanghai & San Francisco, who shared the Sainted Metropolitan of Tobolsk’s name, was a distant relative of St. John of Tobolsk.
Saint John (Maximovich), Metropolitan of Tobolsk, was born in 1651 in Nezhin, Ukraine. His father was Maxim Vasilkovskaia, so called for the city of Vasilkova, where he once lived. He later moved to Kiev and became known for his donations to and construction of many churches in Kiev. John was the first of ten sons in the family. His surname “Maximovich” was derived from his patronymic, meaning “son of Maxim.” His mother’s name was Evfrosinia.
John Maximovich was educated at the Kiev Mogila Academy, and after graduation in 1675, was tonsured a monk with the name John, after Saint John Chrysostom. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Lazar (Baranovichi, 1620-1693) of Chernigov, and in 1680 was appointed Steward of the Kiev Caves Lavra. Between 1680 and 1690, he made many trips to Moscow on official Church business. In 1695, Saint Feodosy (Polonitskii-Uglich, 1630s-1696) of Chernigov decided that Hieromonk John was to be his successor, and had him transferred to the Yeletskii Monastery of the Dormition in Chernigov.
In 1696, Hieromonk John was elevated to Archimandrite at the request of Archbishop Feodosy of Chernigov to Church authorities in Moscow. He was elected successor to Archbishop Feodosy after the latter’s death in 1696. On 10 Jan 1697, Patriarch Adrian consecrated Archimandrite John to the Episcopate in the Moscow Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral, and immediately thereafter elevated him to Archbishop.
While serving in Chernigov, he started honoring the sanctity of his predecessor, Archbishop Feodosy. When he had suffered a serious illness, he attributed the help of Archbishop Feodosy to his relief, and later authored the Troparion and Kontakion to Saint Feodosy. Also as Archbishop of Chernigov,he helped to support Hieromonk Dimitri (Tuptalo, 1651-1709) while Father Dimitri was writing the third volume of his “Lives of the Saints.” Hieromonk Dimitri was later glorified as Saint Dimitri of Rostov.
In 1700, Archbishop John opened the Collegium, which was the first Seminary to open in Russia. In the Boldin Trinity Monastery, Archbishop John set up a print shop, which produced prayer books, textbooks, and works of spiritual and moral content, including several of his own works. Also during this period, he made contact and communicated with the Monasteries of Athos, Jerusalem, and Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai. Archbishop John aided the monks of these Monasteries with material support.
In 1711, Archbishop John was elevated to Metropolitan, and, due to a conflict with Prince Dimitri Menshikov, was transferred to Tobolsk, as Metropolitan of Tobolsk and Siberia. There were instances of clairvoyance in conversations with Emperor Peter I concerning the Battle of Poltava and the fate of Prince Menshikov.
Metropolitan John undertook extensive missionary efforts while in Tobolsk-his Diocese was enormous, stretching from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean. He sent missionaries to the Ostyaks, Voguls, and other Siberian peoples. He converted a Muslim “princeling” to Christ’s Holy Church, and baptized 300 of his tribesmen.
In 1714, Metropolitan John directed the Russian Mission in Peking, which was founded officially to serve the spiritual needs of the “Albazins,” descendants of Cossacks that had been captured by the Chinese, and pressed into serving the Chinese Emperor. He gave support to the Slavonic-Russian school that was the predecessor of the Tobolsk Seminary, and actively assisted the building of churches in his Diocese. He was also a great helper to the needy, assisting the opening of twenty almshouses in Tobolsk.
He was also well known for his literary efforts, works of spiritual and moral content. Perhaps best known is the “Iliotropion,” an adaptation of a work by Jeremiah Drexel about the conformity of the human will to the Divine Will. This work of Saint John has been criticized as being influenced too heavily by Roman Catholicism, but those who make this criticism assume it was mostly simply a translation. This is not the case, however, as Metropolitan John not only translated the work, but applied Orthodox theology to correspond to the written illustrations of Divine Will in the work.
On 09 June 1715, after serving the Divine Liturgy, and then himself serving guests at a dinner for the clergy and the poor, Metropolitan John retired to his room. He was found the next morning to have reposed in an attitude of prayer before the Chernigov Icon of the Mother of God. Metropolitan John’s body was placed in various temporary graves until 1753, when it was placed in a tomb in the right wall of the altar of the Saint John Chrysostom chapel in the Tobolsk Saint Sophia Cathedral. After his repose, various healings and other miraculous works were ascribed to the intercession of Metropolitan John.
In 1913, with the approach of the bicentennial of his repose, Bishop Varnava (Nakropin), an early advocate of the glorification of Metropolitan John, petitioned the Holy Synod and the Tsar on behalf of the Congress of Clergy and Churchwardens of the Tobolsk and Siberia Diocese to that end. The Synod replied that the remains of Metropolitan John were to be examined, and accounts of his intercession were to be investigated. In 1914, Bishop Varnava inspected the remains of Metropolitan John. While conditions in the tomb were extremely damp, and the wooden coffin had rotted completely, literally disintegrating, the body of Metropolitan John was incorrupt, and his episcopal vestments, although wet, were undamaged.
In 1915, Bishop Varnava sent a telegram to Tsar Nicholas II asking permission to glorify Metropolitan John, but the response was confusing. On 27 Aug 1914, Bishop Varnava led a prayer service at Metropolitan John’s tomb; the troparion to Saint John Chrysostom was sung, with the refrain, “Holy Father John, pray to God for us.” At the dismissal, the name of John of Tobolsk was mentioned, and this became a practice of Bishop Varnava in the following days. The incident was made known to the Holy Synod, and Bishop Varnava was summoned to Petrograd, where he was told that his conduct had been out of order, and was told also to remain in Petrograd. Bishop Varnava ignored this order, and returned to Tobolsk. Some of the members of the Holy Synod were outraged by the behavior of Bishop Varnava. However, Tsar Nicholas II sent Archbishop Tikhon (Bellavin, +1925, later Patriarch) to again inspect the remains of Metropolitan John, and look at the reports of his intercession.
Upon a favorable report from Archbishop Tikhon, on 20 Jan 1916, Tsar Nicholas II informed the Holy Synod that it was his wish to glorify Metropolitan John of Tobolsk. The Holy Synod then ordered that the Glorification take place on 10 Jun 1916. On 10 Jun 1916, the Metropolitan John (Maximovich) of Tobolsk and Siberia was glorified as a Saint of the Holy Church in celebrations at the Tobolsk Sophia-Dormition Cathedral.
The Glorification services were concelebrated by thirteen hierarchs, presided over by Saint Makary (Nevsky, 1835-1924), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna. Concelebrating with Metropolitan Makary were: Bishop Varnava (Nakropin, 1859-1924) of Tobolsk & Siberia; Archbishop Ioann (Smirnov, 1857-1918) of Irkutsk & Verkholensk; Bishop Anatoly (Kamensky, 1853-1925) of Tomsk & Altai; Bishop Evsevy (Grozdov, 1866-1930) of Pskov & Porkhov; Bishop Mefody (Gerasimov, 1856-1931) of Orenburg, later ROCOR’s Metropolitan of Harbin; Bishop Melety (Zaborovsky, 1869-1946) of Transbaikal, also later ROCOR’s Metropolitan of Harbin, succeeding Metropolitan Mefody; Bishop Nikon (Bessonov, 1868-1919) of Yenisei & Krasonyarsk; Bishop Seraphim (Alexandrov, 1867-1937, later Metropolitan of Kazan) of Chelyabinsk; Bishop Seraphim (Golubyatnikov, 1856-1921) of Ekaterinburg & Irbit; Bishop Sylvester (Olshevsky, 1860-1920; later Head of the Provisional Supreme Church Authority in Siberia) of Omsk & Pavlodar; Bishop Varsonofy (Vivelin, 1864-1934) of Kargopol; and Bishop Veniamin (Kazansky, 1873-1922) of Gdov, later Metropolitan of Petrograd and New Hieromartyr of Russia.
On the evening of 08 June 1916, Metropolitan Makary opened the coffin containing the incorrupt body of Metropolitan John of Tobolsk. The body was washed, and clothed in new episcopal vestments. The body was then placed in a silver reliquary shrine, which was put into a new cypress sarcophagus. Both reliquary and sarcophagus had been purchased with donations from the faithful in Moscow and Tobolsk. During the Vigil on the evening of 09 June, there was a procession around the Cathedral, which stopped four times, at each stop “Eternal Memory” was sung in honor of Metropolitan John of Tobolsk. The Vigil and the Liturgy the next morning were concelebrated by the thirteen hierarchs, and many archpriests and priests.
On the day of the Glorification, 10 June, which was the anniversary of the repose of Saint John of Tobolsk and was to become the day the Holy Church commemorates his memory, the sarcophagus was opened, and after the procession, was placed on the Cathedral square, for the veneration of the more than fifty thousand pilgrims who attended. After the ceremonies at the Cathedral, a procession was undertaken throughout the entire city of Tobolsk, with wonder-working icons of the Savior and the Mother of God. Stopping at the Annunciation Square, the Hierarchs and clergy read the Akathist to the Savior. Accompanied by a huge throng of pilgrims such as had never been seen before in Tobolsk, the procession returned to the Cathedral at 5 p.m.in the afternoon.
On 11 June, the sarcophagus was placed inside the Cathedral, and, after the Liturgy, the Holy Synod’s Act of Glorification was read. Many telegrams were received in Tobolsk, expressing regret at not being able to attend the Glorification – from Tsar Nicholas II, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, the Archbishop of Chernigov, and many other hierarchs. It is not difficult to understand that such an event as the Glorification of Saint John of Tobolsk would have a profound effect on anyone – but perhaps even moreso a young monk zealous for the Orthodox Faith. ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%98%D0%BE%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BD_%D0%A2%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9www.st-nikolas.orthodoxy.ru/newmartyres/tzar/tzar_kanonizacia.html#ioannwww.ic-xc-nika.ru/texts/books/sergiev_roman/tzar_nikolai/6_2_3.htmlwww.ihtus.ru/sm6.shtmlwww.ihtus.ru/102010/st08.shtmlforshtadt.prihod.ru/svjatye_i_svjatyni_khrama_razdel/view/id/37229www.ortho-rus.ru
The sources are unclear as to the length of the future Bishop Nikolai’s tenure at the Oboyan Seminary and Monastery. The sources uniformly state that after his graduation from the Moscow Theological Academy in 1915, he taught at spiritual and educational institutions and was a preacher at the Oboyan Monastery of the Sign. It does not seem too far-fetched to assume that his previous teaching assignments led to a teaching assignment at the Oboyan Seminary. As the Seminary was operated by the Monastery, and located on its grounds, undoubtedly, as a monastic, he would have been included in the Monastery’s brotherhood. The position as “preacher” at the Monastery was most likely his monastic obedience-not a “full time” obedience, due to his teaching position.
The Oboyan Monastery of the Sign was founded in the 17th century, on lands that had been sanctified as the refuge of hermit monks “long before the foundation of [the city of] Oboyan.” Many of these hermit monks had fled the “Polish side of the Dnieper” in order to be able to undertake monastic life “free from the oppression of the Uniates.” These hermitages finally received the designation of “monastery” in the early 1660s, and the monastery was named in honor of the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign. The monastery was “located on a hill near the River Psel, between the Greater and Lesser Ravines, surrounded by a forest” belonging to the Monastery. The Monastery also owned a mill and meadow lands on the river. All the monastery buildings were constructed of wood.
In 1700 and 1719, fires destroyed all the monastery buildings, and by 1726, the brotherhood of some 30 monks had moved temporarily to the Saint Nicholas Monastery in Belgorod, due to yet another catastrophic fire.
The Oboyan Monastery soon was reconstructed, and by 1730 had two stone churches, the Church of the Kursk Icon of the Sign, and a church dedicated to Saint John the Forerunner. Saint Ioasaph (Gorlenko, 1705-1754) of Belgorod , who, as Bishop of Belgorod and Oboyan was Abbot of the Monastery, visited there several times. His nephew, Archimandrite Narkiss (Kvetka), was Abbot in the mid-18th century. The Oboyan Theological Seminary was founded at the Monastery in 1793. Construction projects and land grants of the 19th century brought the Monastery to its appearance familiar in the early 20th century. From 1908 to 1911, the Rector of the Seminary was Hieromonk Damian (Voskresensky, 1873-date of death unknown, sometime after 1932), ascetic and future Archbishop of Kursk and New Hieromartyr of Russia. From 1911 to 1915, the Rector was Archimandrite German (Kosolapov, shot in 1919), who, like his predecessor, went on to become a Bishop (of Volsk, Vicar of the Saratov Diocese) and was martyred by the Bolsheviks.
In June 1915, Hieromonk Feodosy (Pavel Samoilovich, 1884-1968), ROCOR’s future Archbishop of Sao Paulo & Brazil, was assigned as Assistant Rector of the Oboyan Seminary. The Seminary was closed in 1918; Hieromonk Feodosy remained in the brotherhood of the Oboyan Monastery until 1919, when he became a chaplain in the Volunteer (White) Army. The sources on the life of Bishop Nikolai (Karpov), after the mention of the assignment at the Oboyan Seminary and Monastery, only state that, “after the Revolution,” he left Russia left Russia and went to Serbia. oboyan-znamenie.ortox.ru/istorija_monastyrjawww.old.kurskcity.ru/events/tok110522.htmlwww.tiwy.com/nashi/feodosiy/drevo-info.ru/articles/17997.htmlru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9D%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B9_(%D0%9A%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2) ; drevo-info.ru/articles/17619.html ; zarubezhje.narod.ru/mp/n_020.htm ; … Continue reading
There are two distinct possibilities regarding his path out of Russia. He could have left Oboyan with Hieromonk Feodosy (Samoilovich) when the latter became a chaplain with the Volunteer Army in 1919. By 1920, Hieromonk Feodosy had been elevated to Archimandrite, and was at the Grigoriev Bizyukov Monastery in Kherson, along with Archimandrite (later ROCOR’s Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Argentina) Ioasaph (Skorodoumov, +1955). Vladyka Ioasaph left fairly complete memoirs of that period, however, and there was no mention of the future Bishop Nikolai. Of course, they could have went separate ways prior to Hieromonk Feodosy’s arrival in Kherson, or Vladyka Ioasaph could have simply not mentioned him in his memoirs.Michael Woerl Biography of Archbishop Ioasaph (Skorodoumov) of Buenos Aires & Argentina. www. rocorstudies.org/test
The more likely possibility is that the future Bishop Nikolai left the Oboyan Monastery accompanying the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. In October 1919, Bishop Feofan (Gavrilov,1872-1943) of Kursk & Oboyan left Kursk with the Kursk Icon to safeguard the Icon from the Bolsheviks. He was accompanied by Archimandrite Ieronim (Chernov, later ROCOR’s Archbishop of Detroit & Flint, 1878-1957).
Vladyka Feofan stopped at the Oboyan Monastery to allow the brotherhood to venerate the Icon. When Vladyka Feofan was warned that the Red Army was approaching Oboyan, he and Archimandrite Ieronim left for Belgorod, accompanied by several of the brotherhood of the Oboyan Monastery-Archimandrite Varnava, the monks Aristarkh, Smaragd, Herman, Germogen, Eleazar, Mikhail, Avgustin, Archdeacon Ioanniky, and four hierodeacons.
As none of the sources specify any dates of ordination to the diaconate or priesthood for Bishop Nikolai, he could possibly have been one of those four hierodeacons. The fact that Vladyka Feofan travelled to London with the Kursk Icon for Bishop Nikolai’s consecration to the Episcopate was, perhaps, due to the fact that Vladyka Feofan was well acquainted with Bishop Nikolai since those days which marked the beginning of the exodus of the Kursk Icon from Russia … Seraphim (Ivanov), Archbishop “Odigitria Russkago Zarubezhya” Mahopac,N.Y., 1955 p. 53ibid.1
After arriving in Yugoslavia (at the time the official name was “The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes), the future Bishop Nikolai was assigned to serve in various Serbian Orthodox parishes. Obviously, by that time he must have been ordained to the priesthood. As things sometimes go, the tragedy of Russia had in a way been a blessing for Serbia. During World War I, a large number of Serbian clergy were killed, and the Russian clergy who emigrated to Serbia after the Russian Civil War and subsequent establishment of “Soviet power” greatly assisted the Serbian Church by serving its widowed parishes. Russian monastics also helped revitalize Serbian monasticism, both male and female.
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes had been proclaimed on 01 Dec 1918. The Kingdom had sent representatives to the Paris Peace Conference that brought about the end of World War I. Although the Kingdom had drawn its own borders at the time of its establishment, the final map of Yugoslavia was agreed upon in Paris, with some later alterations. One of the territories gained for the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was Vardar Macedonia.
The area known as Macedonia, and inhabited by those who identified themselves as Macedonians, had been split by the Bucharest Treaty of 1913 that ended the Balkan Wars, and the Parish Peace Conference basically went along with the partition, with a few small alterations. Vardar Macedonia went to Yugoslavia; Aegean Macedonia was awarded to Greece, and Pirin Macedonia to Bulgaria. “The three partitioning states denied the existence of a distinct Macedonian identity — ethnic, political, or territorial. Serbia proclaimed Vardar Macedonia to be South Serbia and its inhabitants South Serbs; for Greece, Aegean Macedonia became simply northern Greece, and its residents Greeks, or at best ‘Slavophone’ Greeks.” The Pirin Macedonians “became” Bulgarians. “Hence the Macedonians in all three areas constituted unrecognized and repressed minorities. They found themselves in much more oppressive circumstances after their ‘liberation’ from Ottoman rule.” As has happened so often in history, such situations cause many future problems; some of the problems engendered by this situation are still going on today.
After serving various parishes of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the future Bishop Nikolai, then an Archimandrite, was assigned to teach at the Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Bitola. Bitola was an ancient city, named “Heraclea” by its founder, Philip II of Macedonia, in the 4th century B.C. During Byzantine times, the city was known as “Monastir,” for the Monastery located there. The name “Bitola” comes from the Slavic word “Obitel,” meaning “monastery” or “hermitage.” The city was known as “Obitel” after the arrival of Slavs to the area during the seventh and eighth centuries. The “O” was dropped later, when the meaning of the word had been forgotten. Bitola was located in Vardar Macedonia.
The Vardar Macedonians who were Orthodox, prior to the Balkan Wars, had lived under the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Those in the Ottoman Empire had been under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; those who had lived within Bulgaria were under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. In Yugoslavia, they were known as the “Patriarchists” and the “Exarchists” respectively. Neither group desired a change in their Church jurisdictional situation.
The Serbian Orthodox Church regained its unity and re-established its Patriarchate in 1920. Dimitri (Pavlovich, +1930), the Metropolitan Archbishop of Belgrade and Serbia, was elected as the first Patriarch on 12 Nov 1920. In 1921, Patriarch Dimitri established a new Seminary in Bitola, Macedonia. The Seminary in Bitola was founded to educate clergy to assist in the transition of the Macedonians into the Serbian Orthodox Church. At the same time, Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) was assigned as the ruling Bishop for this new Diocese of the Serbian Church. Archimandrite Nikolai (Karpov) was in good company, as three of his fellow instructors were to be glorified as Saints of the Holy Church; these three Saints all held strictly to traditional Orthodoxy, and could rightly be designated as 20th Century “Pillars of Orthodoxy.” They shared many of the same views as Archbishop Feodor (Pozdeyevsky), Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy while Archimandrite Nikolai attended, who had tonsured him a monk. They are guides for the Orthodox today: Saint Nikolai (Velimirovich) of Zhicha, Saint John (Maximovich) of Shanghai & San Francisco, and Saint Justin (Popovich) of Chelie.
Just like his three fellow instructors, Archimandrite Nikolai was well known for his great care for his students, and was greatly beloved by them. During his tenure at the Bitola Seminary, “he enjoyed the greatest respect of the staff and student body.” www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?id=g9780631232032_chunk_g978063123203218ss1-16en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_of_Yugoslaviaen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Yugoslaviawww.massviolence.org/Massacres-in-Dismembered-Yugoslavia-1941-1945?artpage=2media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/Macedonia_and_the_Macedonians_Andrew_Rossos_131.pdfwww.unet.com.mk/mian/shs.htmwww.rastko.org.rs/istorija/srbi-balkan/sterzic-macedonian.htmlwww.orthodox.cn/saints/placeoflivesofsaints/3en.htmwww.stsavanyc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9&Itemid=20&lang=enwww.svetosavlje.org/biblioteka/Istorija/PSC/PSC86.htmwww.bogoslovija.me/?page_id=17en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitola
During the time that Archimandrite Nikolai was teaching at the Seminary in Bitola, Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky, 1868-1946) headed the Western European Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. During the 1924 meetings of the Hierarchical Council, questions came up in relation to the wide autonomy enjoyed by the Western European Diocese. Metropolitan Evlogy “immediately became angered and threatened to leave” the Council. “Such behavior was soon to become his trademark.”Holy Transfiguration Monastery, A History of the Russian Church Abroad, 1917-1971, (Seattle, 1972) p. 29 Metropolitan Evlogy had been one of the founding Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He had acknowledged the Council of Bishops as the highest administrative authority over the Russian Church abroad. Many in his entourage, however, were not kindly disposed towards Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), nor were they kindly disposed to any sort of hierarchical authority over their activities. Their “activities,” in essence, involved the “theological and spiritual modernism which had begun to undermine the life of the Western European diocese.”ibid., p. 31
The members of Metropolitan Evlogy’s entourage who feared hierarchical oversight were involved with the Russian Christian Student Movement, the YMCA, and the Saint Sergius Institute. Nikolai Berdyaev, was one of the Russian “philosophers” who had been forced to leave the Soviet Union on the “Philosopher’s Ship” – an incident in 1922, when members of the Russian intelligentsia had been exiled by the Soviet government at the behest of Lenin. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophers“_ships They were deemed to be “opponents” of Soviet power. Many of those exiled who claimed to be Orthodox held a variety of diverse opinions that, to be kind, can be said to have been outside the realm of traditional Orthodoxy. While “opponents of Soviet power” were being slaughtered en masse by the Bolsheviks, these particular “opponents” were sent abroad, and paid a stipend by the Soviet government to assist with living expenses. Rodzianko, M.The Truth About the Russian Church Abroad, Jordanville, N.Y., 1975 pp. 13-14
While the Soviets feared a cohesive opposition movement abroad, especially one organized by prominent émigrés allied with the Church, the idea that high Soviet officialdom reasoned that these particular “opponents” of Soviet power might pose a stumbling block to the unity of émigré Church formations is worthy of investigation. Berdyaev was also counted among the entourage of Metropolitan Evlogy; speaking against any hierarchical oversight of the RCSM, he stated that “One must distinguish between two conceptions of the Church: one, that of the visible Church, i.e., the material temples, the parishes, the hierarchy, and hierarchical dependence; and second, that of the invisible Church, the mystical body of Christ. The [RCS] Movement is a movement belonging to the invisible Church. It is thus autonomous in regard to episcopal directives and the Orthodox hierarchy.” op. cit. 42, p. 32 That’s certainly a hole big enough to walk through … Berdyaev must have felt that the Saint Sergius Institute was another “movement belonging to the invisible Church,” as he and his cohorts were just as distrustful of “episcopal directives and the Orthodox hierarchy” intruding there …
At the 1926 Hierarchical Council, it was revealed that Metropolitan Evlogy had been involved in intrigue against the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He had asked Patriarch Tikhon to extend his jurisdiction over the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, as well as urging the Patriarch to do away with the Council and Synod of Bishops Outside of Russia. Patriarch Tikhon refrained from approving either of these requests. Michel D”Herbigny and Alexandre Deubner, “Les Eveques Russes en Exile” Rome 1932 p. 95
The Council refused to approve the Russian Student Christian Movement to act officially in the Church Outside of Russia. They also asked Metropolitan Evlogy why he had gone ahead with opening the Saint Sergius Institute without the approval of the Council of Bishops, and why he had refused to provide the Council with a breakdown of the curriculum there, as well a list of faculty, as had been requested. Metropolitan Evlogy continued to refuse cooperation on the matter of the Saint Sergius Institute; the Council’s demand that the Institute be placed under the direct supervision of the Synod of Bishops was refused. It must also be noted that the Council of Bishops of the Church Abroad did not hold the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in high regard. They had, time and again, warned Metropolitan Evlogy to “steer clear” of the YMCA. By that time, he could not, as the YMCA was the principal financier of the Saint Sergius Institute. op.cit. 45, p. 14 As a result of Metropolitan Evlogy’s continued refusals to cooperate with the Council of Bishops, he was suspended in January 1927. ibid., p. 154
On 1 Feb 1927, Metropolitan Evlogy announced that his suspension was “anticanonical,” and that, in the future, he would govern his diocese “independently.” His entourage fully supported this break with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Nikolai Berdyaev gushed ecstatically, “Metropolitan Evlogy is the man charged by Providence with renewing the Church on the conciliar principle of the free accord of believers with the episcopate.” op. cit., 42, p. 34 This “independent” course did not last long. In September 1927, Metropolitan Evlogy joined himself and his diocese to the Moscow Patriarchate by signing the following declaration: “I, the undersigned, promise that, in view of my actual dependence on Moscow, I will not permit myself either in my social activity or, above all, in my work for the Church, any action of which could be suspected of showing a lack of loyalty towards the Soviet regime.” He sent copies to his vicar bishops and all the other clergy in his diocese along with a directive to sign the declaration. It is interesting to note that in June 1928, Metropolitan Evlogy, as the Moscow Patriarchate’s representative abroad, invited the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to submit to the Moscow Patriarchate, with this warning: “It is impossible to be in union with the Universal Church if one disobeys a legitimate authority.” op. cit. 42, p. 43
The Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was the “legitimate authority” recognized by Metropolitan Evlogy when he disobeyed multiple requests to furnish information concerning the Saint Sergius Institute. In 1930, Metropolitan Evlogy disobeyed the Moscow Patriarchate, as well as reneging on his loyalty oath, by publicly joining in prayers for believers persecuted by the “impious” Soviet government, in answer to a call from Pope Pius XI. As a result, he was relieved of his position as head of his diocese. He subsequently requested to join, and was received into, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, along with his clergy and diocese. The Patriarchate of Constantinople dubbed its new acquisition as the Russian Exarchate of Western Europe. Metropolitan Evlogy’s submission to the Patriarchate of Constantinople lasted until 1945, when, impressed by Soviet victory over the Nazis, he decided to rejoin the Moscow Patriarchate. The day after announcing his reunion with Moscow, Metropolitan Evlogy sent a telegram to the Patriarch in Istanbul asking for a blessing to leave his jurisdiction … he directed that he was to be commemorated as the Exarch of both Moscow and Constantinople until he received word from the Patriarchate of Constantinople concerning the release of himself and his diocese from Constantinople’s jurisdiction. Thus, he served as Exarch of the Patriarchates of Moscow and Constantinople simultaneously until his death on 08 Aug 1946. op. cit. 42, pp.25-58
Not all of Metropolitan Evlogy’s parishes followed his meanderings. For Russian émigrés, apparently, an “independent” diocese, and a diocese under the Moscow Patriarchate were not the same thing; some of the parishes returned to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia when Metropolitan Evlogy joined the Moscow Patriarchate. A few also left when Metropolitan Evlogy joined the Patriarchate of Constantinople – some staying under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, a few returning to the Church Abroad. When Metropolitan Evlogy re-joined the Moscow Patriarchate in 1945, he brought 75 parishes with him. Counting the parishes that left his jurisdiction, and considering the establishment of new parishes in the interim, it is probable that when Metropolitan Evlogy originally left the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, he took around 75 parishes with him. Less than half that number of parishes – roughly around 30 – stayed with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia when Metropolitan Evlogy left. www.romanitas.ru/eng/NEW%20ZION%20IN%20BABYLON%20-%20ch.%204.htm
Metropolitan Evlogy had four Vicar Bishops when he left the Church Abroad. Bishop Veniamin (Fedchenko, 1880-1961) was in Paris, involved with the Saint Sergius Institute; Bishop Vladimir (Tikhonitsky, +1959, Evlogy’s successor as Metropolitan of Constantinople’s Russian Exarchate in Western Europe) of Nice, France; Bishop Sergey (Korolev, 1881-1952, later Metropolitan of Kazan) of Prague; and Archbishop Seraphim (Lukianov, 1879-1959), who, as retired first hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Finland was of higher rank than Metropolitan Evlogy, had humbly agreed to serve as his Vicar in overseeing the parishes in England. He also served as rector of the parish in London. Of these four Vicars, only Archbishop Seraphim remained with the Church Abroad. When Metropolitan Evlogy left the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Bishop Veniamin stayed with the Moscow Patriarchate; Bishop Sergey joined the Moscow Patriarchate at the end of World War II. www.romanitas.ru/eng/NEW%20ZION%20IN%20BABYLON%20-%20ch.%203.htm#_ftn71
After Metropolitan Evlogy’s departure from the Church Abroad, Archbishop Seraphim wrote (in Tserkovni Vedomosti, Number 5-6, 1927): “… If relations with Russia are impossible, then the dioceses abroad are canonically bound to have a temporary ecclesiastical authority, which was indicated by the Synod and Patriarch of Moscow in 1920 [in Ukaz № 362]. In addition, I cannot understand why Metropolitan Evlogy, alone of all the diocesan hierarchs abroad, should continually have bad relations with the [ROCOR] Synod and threatens to make a schism (he has written about this to me many times). All the other hierarchs – of Japan, of China and of Harbin, and I, who ruled the Finnish Church, have all voluntarily and peacefully submitted to the Councils and the Synod, although I, for example, was not bound to do this. After all, Metropolitan Evlogy is the same as all the other diocesan hierarchs, and the whole of the Church Abroad has never been subject to him. He was given to rule only the abroad part of the Petrograd diocese, and nothing more [Russian parishes in Western Europe had always been under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Petrograd; effectively, the hierarch of the Western European parishes was a Vicar of the Petrograd Diocese], and he can in no way be considered the head of the Church Abroad. I, for example, have occupied a more lofty see than all the other hierarchs, but I have never striven towards disunity or disobedience to the Synod … ” op. cit. 42, pp.25-58 On 08 Sep 1927, a Tribunal of twelve hierarchs judged the case of Metropolitan Evlogy. Their Act of Sentence read, in part, that “Every liturgical function performed by him is devoid of grace, the Mysteries administered by him are not Mysteries, and the ordinations he performs are anti-canonical.” Archbishop Seraphim (Lukianov), appointed by the Council of Bishops to head the Church Abroad’s Diocese of Paris and Western Europe, instructed the faithful that: “it is absolutely forbidden, under pain of excommunication for schism, to remain in prayerful communion with Metropolitan Evlogy, Archbishop Vladimir, Bishop Sergey and their clergy, since the Mysteries administered by them are devoid of benefit.” ibid.
The situation in London was rather unique. As far back as the early eighteenth century, Orthodox services had been served in London, when an embassy church was instituted, which had a long and colorful history. The advent of Soviet power changed all this, as it did everywhere in the world where there were Russian churches. With no more government support, the faithful had to become responsible for their own parish churches. In 1919, the parish of the Dormition of the Mother of God was established, with nearly 400 members. This parish was not only comprised of Russian emigres – quite a few were British, descendants of mixed marriages, those who had lived in Russia and returned home to England with wives and children. (By law, all children of mixed marriages in Russia were to be raised in the Orthodox Faith.) Beginning in 1921, services were held in the former Anglican church of Saint Philip the Apostle. The Church had been consecrated in the name of the Dormition, but, was known familiarly as “Apostle Philip’s.” zarubezhje.narod.ru/texts/sarni02a.htm
By 1926, Archbishop Seraphim (Lukianov) was the Rector of the parish. Archbishop Seraphim had been appointed as ruling bishop of the Diocese of Finland in 1917. A brief Civil War in Finland brought about the triumph of the “Whites,” and a Finnish republic was proclaimed. A period of severe Russophobia set in; the Church in Finland was given autonomous status by Patriarch Tikhon in 1921, but this was not acceptable to the Finns. They arranged autonomous status from the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1923. Immediately, not only the new calendar, but also the western Paschalion was established.
In 1924, the Patriarchate of Constantinople retired Archbishop Seraphim to the Konevitsa Monastery. He arrived in Western Europe in 1926, and agreed to serve as Metropolitan Evlogy’s Vicar in London. As a result of Metropolitan Evlogys’s schism, Archbishop Seraphim was appointed to head the Church Abroad’s Western European Diocese, and he moved to Paris. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Orthodox_Churchorthodox-world.pblogs.gr/2008/03/history-of-the-orthodox-church-in-finland.htmlorthodoxwiki.org/Church_of_FinlandAntoine Niver, Pravoslavni svyashchennosluzhitelii, bogoslvii, i tserkovnie deyateli russkoi emigratsi v zapadnoi i tsentralnoi evrope 1920-1955 (Moscow, Paris 2007), p. 425
The Dormition parish in London was divided nearly down the middle, much along political lines: monarchists adhered to the Church Abroad (also called the “foreign” Church) and “liberals” adhered to the “Evlogian” church, as they called it (the parishioners themselves did not refer to “the Patriarchal Church,” although it was under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate). Since some “political differences” existed within families, this also somewhat softened this division. The two groups agreed to use the church on alternate weeks. Archimandrite Nikolai (Karpov) was appointed in 1928 to serve for the Church Abroad faction.
After Nikolai had become Bishop of London, property was found for his residence. It was known as the Hierarchical Podvorye. Classes were held there for the children of the parish, with Vladyka Nikolai teaching the Law of God. Three monks – Hieromonks Zosima and Kallistos, and Monk Valdimir – were brought from Milkovo Monastery in Serbia to assist Vladyka Nikolai. Weekdays and Sundays when the “Evlogians” were holding services at Saint Philip’s, services were conducted at the Podvorye. A small wonderworking icon of the Greatmartyr Panteleimon from Mount Athos was a great consolation to the faithful. op.cit. 56www.russianchurchlondon.org/En/History.html & op. cit. 1
Archimandrite Nikolai possessed a rare combination of personal qualities that helped him achieve success in making peace in the London parish. His evident and true piety helped to win the sympathy of the parishioners in London. He was always cheerful, energetic, and sociable. When he went into the altar to serve, it seemed he was transformed. He served with great reverence, and his reading of the Gospel was filled with and begot understanding and compassion. The Easter Liturgy was especially memorable, and attracted many to the church, not only the Orthodox but the non-Orthodox as well and even some Jews attended.
Archimandrite Nikolai’s influence brought enough calm to achieve cooperation in fundraising activities. Both sides participated in the annual charity bazaar. Though there were technically two parishes, there was one choir. drevo-info.ru/articles/17619.htmlop. cit. 56
Having achieved popularity, respect and love from the Orthodox and the notice and respect of the non-Orthodox, it was with great joy that the announcement that Archimandrite Nikolai was to be consecrated as Bishop of London. The consecration took place on 30 June 1929, and was remarkable on many accounts. Bishop Nikolai was given the title “of London.” This was in violation of a British law that forbade any church from using a title that was used by the Church of England, however, the Orthodox community in England was unaware of this law at that time. op. cit. 1Orthodox News of the St. George Orthodox Information Service Summer/Autumn 2012 “Memory Eternal: 80th Anniversary of the Repose of Vladika Nikolai (Karpov), Bishop of London” … Continue reading
Archimandrite Nikolai was to be the first Orthodox Bishop of London in the nearly nine centuries since the Great Schism of 1054, when Rome broke from the Church of Christ. Four hierarchs were to concelebrate the consecration: Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; Archbishop Seraphim (Lukianov) of Paris & Western Europe, and formerly First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Finland; Archbishop Feofan (Gavrilov) of Kursk and Oboyansk, caretaker of the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon; and Bishop Tikhon (Lyashchenko, 1875-1945) of Berlin and Germany. Also to be concelebrating at the consecration were Archimandrite Feodosy (Melnik), Metropolitan Antony’s cell-attendant; Mitred Protopresbyter Vasily Vinogradov from Brussels; Father V. Timofeyev from Paris; Hierodeacon Ioanniky from Bulgaria, famous as a great example of the Russian deacon’s bass voice; and, “from Imperial Russia,” psalomshchik Foka Feodorovich Volkovsky. Orthodox News of the St. George Orthodox Information Service Summer/Autumn 2012 “Memory Eternal: 80th Anniversary of the Repose of Vladika Nikolai (Karpov), Bishop of London” … Continue reading It can be said with confidence that London had never before seen such a distinguished assemblage of Russian Orthodox clergy. The Grand Duchess Ksenia Alexandrovna, elder sister of the Tsar Martyr Nikolai II was also in attendance. op.cit. 1
London had also never been visited by a Wonderworking Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God. Archbishop Feofan brought the Kursk Icon with him to London, as it had been instituted early as a tradition in the Church Abroad that this Holy Icon, the Directress of the Church Abroad, be present, if at all possible, for the consecration of a new Bishop. The presence of the Kursk Icon, as true holiness always does, attracted many to come to the consecration services – Orthodox, Anglicans, and others as well. op.cit. 1
Bishop Nikolai served in London for only three years. He travelled to Belgrade, Yugoslavia in August 1932 to take part in meetings of the Church Abroad’s Hierarchical Council. At the conclusion of the Council, “he fell ill with appendicitis. By some oversight or inadvertence, he was not operated on in time, and in the night of 28 Sep/11 Oct, he died. His last words were, “put a candle in my hand, I want to go to heaven.” Having grasped the candle, Bishop Nikolai quietly departed into eternity.” op. cit. 66
The funeral was served the next day, 29 Sep/12 Oct, in the Iveron Chapel located in the New Belgrade Cemetery. Vladyka Nikolai was buried under the Icon of his heavenly patron, Saint Nicholas of Myra, which was placed on the outer wall of the Iveron chapel. op. cit. 66 The Iveron Chapel in the New Belgrade Cemetery was a replica of the Iveron Chapel in Moscow, built after the Bolsheviks destroyed the chapel of that name in Moscow in 1929. The Iveron Chapel in Moscow had been located in the 17th century Resurrection Gate to Red Square. Construction had been completed in 1931, and the chapel was consecrated by Patriarch Varnava (Rosich, 1880-1937) and Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky) on 5 July of that year.
Two large icons had been placed in niches on the outside walls – one of Saint Nicholas of Myra in honor of the Tsar Martyr Nikolai II, and one of Saint Alexei in honor of the Royal Martyr Tsarevich Alexei. The chapel at times was used as ROCOR’s second parish in Belgrade. On 10 August 1936, Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky) was buried in a tomb in the chapel. Another replica of the Iveron Chapel was located in Harbin, Manchuria. Shkarovsky, Mikhail “Russian Church emigration in Yugoslavia” @ … Continue readingDeacon Nikita Chakirov, Editor Jerusalem-Holy Land-Mount Athos: 50th Anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia” 1970, Mahopac,N.Y. pages not numbered
Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), Archbishop Feofan (Gavrilov), and Archbishop Germogen (Maximov, 1861-1945, later Metropolitan of Zagreb of the “Croatian Orthodox Church”) concelebrated at the service, along with thirteen Russian and Serbian priests, and three deacons. “The funeral service was touching and spiritually edifying, and Vladyka Antony could not refrain from crying. Archbishop Feofan preached a sermon about the deceased, and Vladyka Antony said in conclusion, “In the name of the deceased I thank you Russian and Serbian clergy who have accompanied Bishop Nikolai on his journey beyond the grave. I thank you also, laymen, for your ardent prayers. In the course of burying people throughout my life I have noticed that the Lord grants a quiet and peaceful death and an edifying funeral to those who have remembered the dead in their prayers. Death comes to all of us, and sooner or later we all must go. People have gathered at this funeral, not out of a sense of duty, but out of sincere affection, and this gives it spiritual beauty.”” op. cit. 66
Unless otherwise specified, all information concerning surnames, birth and death dates, and the sees of Bishops mentioned in the biography of Bishop Nikolai (Karpov) were found on: www.ortho-rus.ru
I was very moved by the account of Bishop Nikolai’s life: thank you for publishing it (and thanks to the author).
There was only one sentence which jarred: Archimandrite Nikolai (Karpov) was appointed in 1928 to serve for the Church Abroad faction. The word faction is somewhat pejorative and sits oddly in a ROCOR website. If it’s not too late, perhaps could it be changed to ‘group.’?
However, this does not mar what is a wonderful piece of research. Thank you.
Thank you, Nicolas! If I remember correctly, ‘faction’ was the word used in the source … but I completely understand what you mean! The reserach seems to be my ‘reward’-I learn so much researching these biogrpahies!