Kozelsk, Russia, January 11, 2018
Archimandrite Melchizedek (Aryutkhin), the abbot of the Optina Podvoriye in Moscow, has posted a note on his Facebook page, requesting prayers for Archimandrite Benedict (Penkov), the abbot of Optina Monastery in Kozelsk, Russia, who has recently undergone a serious amputation surgery.
Fr. Melchizedek wrote last night:
“Friends, yesterday the abbot of Optina Monastery, Archimandrite Benedict, had an operation in which his leg was amputated above the knee. He is in serious condition. The operation was successful, and he has come out of the anesthesia, but there is a high risk of complications. I ask everyone to pray for the health of Archimandrite Benedict!”
Archimandrite Benedict (Vladimir Andreevich in the world) was born on June 24, 1939. He graduated from the Moscow Theological Seminary, and from the Theological Academy in 1973 with a candidate degree in theology. In the 1970s, he was a monk of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra where he was tonsured and given the name Benedict in honor of St. Benedict of Nursia.
He was appointed as abbot of Optina Monastery in 1990 and was elevated to the dignity of archimandrite.