Khopylevo, Yaroslavl Province, Russia, August 8, 2017
On Sunday, August 6, in the village of Khopylevo in the Yaroslavl Province, the IV All-Russian Festival of Culture and Art in the name of the holy and righteous warrior St. Theodore Ushakov was held, highlighted by the consecration of a new monument to both St. Theodore and his spiritual father St. Theodore of Synaxar, reports patriarchia.ru.
The festival began with a cross procession with an icon of the righteous warrior St. Theodore, with Bishop Benjamin of Rybinsk and Danilov, Rybinsk mayor D. V. Dobryakov, and director of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation V. V. Bushuev. Bp. Benjamin then served the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Theophany on the Island in Khopylevo, where the future admiral was baptized. The Liturgy was also served by the rector of the archdiocesan podvoriye Igumen Savvaty, as well as the clergy of the Rybinsk deanery.
Upon completion of the Divine Liturgy, Bp. Benjamin led the procession to a platform on the banks of the Volga, where the consecration and ceremonial opening of a monument to the two Sts. Theodore, created by the efforts of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation which supports notable spiritual initiatives, took place.
Foundation head V. V. Bushuev told the festival guests about the idea of creating the sculpture. It consists of two figures: a young Theodore Ushakov, holding a boat as a symbol of his chosen path in life, and his uncle and spiritual mentor St. Theodore Synaxar blessing him. The 10-ft. monument is easily seen from the Church of the Theophany and from the river. The opening of the monument was the main event of the culture and arts festival.
The festival also featured an air show, athletic performances, a festive concert, and play and interactive areas for children and adults. The festival has become a traditional event for the city of Rybinsk, with an increasing number of visitors every years traveling to Khopylevo to honor the holy warrior.
The Rybinsk administration also plans to restore the Theophany Church at some point in the future.
A monument to the famous admiral was also installed on the Greek island of Zakynthos in October, 2013. By erecting Admiral Ushakov’s statue, the islanders gave their due to the famous Russian who commanded the Russian fleet that liberated the island from French invaders in 1798, who laid foundations for an independent Greek state and who treated the people of Zakynthos with love and respect, Zakynthos’ Mayor Gelios Bozikis said at the time.
This year’s festival of Christian culture “Russia-Greece: Together Through the Ages,” being held on the island of Corfu August 10-13, will include the exhibition “The Invincible Admiral: The Holy Righteous Warrior Theodore Ushakov.” The festival is timed to the 200th anniversary of the repose of St. Theodore, who also liberated Corfu and the other Ionian Islands. The festival organizers will open an Alley of Remembrance and Friendship at the monument to St. Theodore.