First Liturgy in a century celebrated in monastery in Vologda Province

Veliky Ustyug, Russia, August 10, 2018

An ancient, 13th century Russian monastery has seen its first signs of spiritual life in 100 years. The Divine Liturgy was recently celebrated in the Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Veliky Ustyug in the Vologda Province, founded in 1212 and closed in 1918 by the godless communists, for the first time in a century, reports the Information Agency of the Vologda Region.

Unique buildings of the 17th-18th century from the monastery, situated 560 miles northeast of Moscow, have been preserved, including the five-domed St. Michael Cathedral with a roofed bell tower, the Entrance Church with a refectory, the VladimirI Icon Gate Church, the Memorial Mid-Pentecost Church, and the abbot’s and brothers’ cells. The monastery territory is surrounded by low stone walls with gates. The monastery was once home to a religious school and later a seminary.

The monastery was closed in 1918 and its churches were transferred to a local parish community, though it too was soon abolished. Two of the churches were assigned to a provincial museum in 1924.

The monastery territory housed an investigative department and prison until 1941, and an infantry school during World War 2.

The architectural ensemble of the monastery was placed under state protection as a monument of history and culture of federal significance in 1960. All of the buildings belonged to a local technical institute and the Veliky Ustyug State Museum. After the creation of the hierarchical dependency of the “Archangel Michael Monastery,” the churches were transferred to the Veliky Ustyug Diocese.

The first Divine Liturgy since the dissolution of the monastery was celebrated in the Church of the Archangel Michael by His Grace Tarasius of Veliky Ustyug and Totma.

Similarly, the patronal feast of the Church of St. Elias in the village of Sobolekovo in the Nizhnekamsk Region of the Tatarstan Republic was celebrated for the first time in nearly 80 years on August 2.

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