Kiev, February 14, 2018
During the jubilee event, an international academic conference was held at the Kiev Caves Lavra from February 7 to 8, entitled “Metropolitan of Kiev Hieromartyr Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) and the beginning of the persecution against the Orthodox Church in the 20th century.”
The conference included the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Vladimir of Kiev and Galicia in the refectory of the Lavra’s Sts. Anthony and Theodosius Church. The exhibition is divided into several themes, one being dedicated to the connections between the holy hieromartyr and Mt. Athos.
In particular, the exhibition presents for the first time previously unknown letters of St. Vladimir to Mt. Athos when he held the position of Primate of the Holy Governing Synod. Among the letters is a Synodal gramota signed by St. Vladimir on September 30, 1914, awarded to Archimandrite Maxim (+ June 11, 1919), the abbot of the St. Elias Skete on Mt. Athos.
A letter from St. Vladimir to Schema-Archimandrite Misail (Sapegin, 1852-1940), the abbot of the Russian St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt. Athos, was also presented during the conference as part of the exhibition.
According to the director of the International Institute of Athonite Heritage Sergei Shumilo, these letters have never before been published, and serve as a valuable testimony to the hieromartyr’s connections with the Russian monastic dwellings on Mt. Athos. The exhibition also includes a rare photo of a Monk Seraphim from St. Panteleimon’s writing a response to St. Vladimir on a typewriter, with the aforementioned Synodal gramota visible in the photo on the table in front of him.
In all, more than 40 researchers and specialists from 11 countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Serbia, France, Great Britain, and the USA, among others, took part in the conference which was organized by the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves Lavra, the National Kiev Caves Historical-Cultural Reserve, and the International Institute of Athonite Heritage. New information on the life and martyrdom of St. Vladimir was discussed during the conference, as well as the facts of the history of the persecution against the Church in the USSR.