First hierarch of ROCOR: Our prayers are with UOC and His Beatitude Onuphry

Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York. Photo from open sources

The address of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern American and New York was read at the opening of the international scientific-theological conference in Odessa.

On July 20, 2019, the International Conference “Athonite Heritage and Hesychasm Traditions in the History and Culture of Ukraine” began its work in Odessa, dedicated to the 170th anniversary of the birth and the 25th anniversary of the glorification of Rev. Gabriel the Wonderworker of Athos and Odessa. At the opening, the welcoming speech of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion, was read out, the full text of which was published on the website of the International Institute of Athonite Heritage.

In his greeting, the First Hierarch of the ROCOR emphasized that Monk Gabriel of Athos and the Odessa “had always been venerated by the archpastors, clergy and laity of the Russian Church Outside Russia thanks to the former Odessa residents in its depths and St. Elias Skete on Mount Athos”.

“One of these admirers was Archimandrite Nectarios (Chernobyl; +2000), the spiritual child of Rev. Barsanuphius, a new holy confessor of Kherson and a former Solovki prisoner, who in the mid-40s of the last century together with the typographical brotherhood of Rev. Job, hegumen and wonderworker of Pochaev, turned up at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville (New York). In the 1960s, Father Archimandrite Nectarios was temporarily sent to St. Elias Skete to assist the elder – Archimandrite Nicholas (Piven + 1973), the last Russian hegumen of this hermitage. Here he daily performed a daily circle of services and planted a vegetable garden, feeding not only the skete brotherhood, but also other monks and pilgrims who would visit the Holy Mountain. These days, they will especially warmly remember and commemorate the departed émigrés, such as Father Nectarios, who preserved their love for Odessa, the Russian Athos and their devotees,” wrote Metropolitan Hilarion in his greeting.

He wished all the participants solemn divine services and jubilee events to be held in Odessa on the day of remembrance of Rev. Gabriel, "to be worthy of renewing the internal forces and many graces of the Lord to carry out worthy ministry to God and people in these difficult times".

"Our thoughts and earnest prayers are with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, with you, Your Eminence (Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail – Ed), and with the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the only Church of Christ in Ukraine!"

Recall the international conference on the theme “The Athos Heritage and Hesychasm Traditions in the History and Culture of Ukraine” took place on the territory of the former Athos monastery of St. Elias (now Odessa-based St. Elias monastery) at 79 Pushkinskaya St., dedicated to the jubilee Day of Memory of the Venerable Gabriel the Wonderworker of Athos and Odessa, and a festive service was held on July 21-22 at St. Elias Monastery, where the relics of Rev. Gabriel are kept. Within the framework of the conference, the exhibition “Odessa and Athos: Spiritual Ties” was opened.

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