Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias (1929-2008), at the Reunion Liturgy of the MP and ROCOR on 17 May 2007 at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Truly, blessed unity in action!
Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the Patriarchal Locum Tenens, said that the late Patriarch Aleksei asked us to “to take a special care for the unity of the Church”. In keeping with this, Vladyki Kirill said that the attempts by some to introduce discord into church life on the eve of the election of a new First Hierarch were sinful and fruitless. “We pray for the unity of the Church, especially now, on the eve of the Local Council, as some factions and elements attempt to bend people to their opinions. All of this is nothing but sin, emptiness, and froth, which the Lord shall blow away with one puff of His breath”, Metropolitan Kirill said on Sunday at the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow after the conclusion of a festal Divine Liturgy dedicated to the memory of Hieromartyr Hilarion Troitsky.
St Hilarion Troitsky (1886-1929), one of the leading figures in the restoration of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all Russia in 1917, was an outstanding theologian, a champion of church unity, and close colleague of Patriarch St Tikhon Bellavin (1865-1925, ruled 1917-25). He was one of the thousands of Orthodox faithful who suffered for the faith during the Bolshevik repressions in Russia. His motto was, “We should not sit behind the walls of our monasteries and seminaries”, so, he conducted active missionary work, including amongst the Bolsheviks, engaging them in debates on religion in the polytechnic museum, in the process, skilfully refuting the arguments of the atheists. In the end, St Hilarion was imprisoned on Solovki in the Russian North in the White Sea, then, he was sent into exile, where he died.
In the opinion of Metropolitan Kirill, the faithful of the MP are called to pray so that the Lord would send us a First Hierarch “who has a pure Faith, who would accept martyrdom, if such were to be his lot. We believe that not only our human decision, but, the Will of God, shall be accomplished at the forthcoming election of our new First Hierarch, so, we ask that the prayers of St Hilarion be with us, as they were with Patriarch St Tikhon”.
29 December 2008
I found a major lacunae in Orthodox Wiki as I was researching some of the details in this post (dates and whatnot), and I was shocked to find that “Mother” Maria Skobtsova, the questionable (at best… she is the darling of the Renovationist heretics) figure from Paris, was included in “Russian saints”, but, St Hilarion Troitsky, a MUCH more substantial and holy figure was omitted. This is shameful. It makes one wonder. Shall someone remedy this lack?