Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias (1929-2008)
Orthodox bloggers on the internet showed their grief over the death of Patriarch Aleksei, and they said that his patriarchal tenure was of universal stature. Philosopher Arkady Maler wrote in his internet-diary, “I am convinced that, de facto, Patriarch Aleksei had consequence for all of us. With his tenure, the Moscow Patriarchate began to play a universal role”. He went on to say, “There is a deep providential meaning in the fact that the last liturgy that the patriarch served was on the feastday of the Presentation of the Mother of God in the Temple, for it was precisely in his time that millions of Russians first went to church”. Science-fiction writer Dmitri Volodikhin noted in his blog, “I sorrow over the death of our patriarch. May God grant the successors of Aleksei the same skill that he had to steer the Church between the rock of Scylla and the whirlpool of Charybdis, not getting Her sucked into the vortex”.
Publicist Egor Kholmogorov in his post on his internet-diary thought that “the true crown of the archpastoral service of His Holiness Aleksei was the reunification of the Russian Church in 2007. Not long before his death, in the summer of 2008, even though he was weakened by infirmity, he was the agent of a totally-surprising miracle in the Ukraine. The Orange régime tried desperately to split the Orthodox away from the MP, inviting Patriarch Bartholomew of the EP for this purpose. The Ukrainian media loudly advertised the visit of the prelate from Istanbul, whilst it was forbidden to even to mention the fact of Patriarch Aleksei’s arrival. Numerous obstacles were placed in his way. This makes all the more striking the fact that crowds of people greeted His Holiness wherever he went”, Mr Kholmogorov emphasised.
Zakhar Mukhin, who is well-known for his stories about run-down Russian villages on “Live-Journal”, wrote, “Those whose eyes were not filled with tears, who accepted the news of the death of the patriarch apathetically, without even mentioning those who maliciously rejoiced at the news… they are not Russians. They may say that they are Russians, but, they are not. Once, my wife and I met the patriarch. In August 2005, we took a drive out to Maloyaroslavets in order to go hiking. We clambered around the slope of a desolate ravine, then, we saw the walls of the St Nicholas Chernoostrozhskoi Monastery. We saw that it had come back to life and it was alive again. I saw some policemen there. In jest, I asked one of the cops if they were waiting for the patriarch. Well… it turned out that they were! Soon, the car with His Holiness drove up. He blessed the people gathered there and went into the monastery to pray. My wife and I were shaken by this totally-unexpected and far-from-coincidental encounter”.
6 December 2008