Elabuga, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, March 4, 2019
Four new saints have been added to the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church. On February 27, the 101st anniversary of the martyrdom of Archpriest Paul Dernov and his sons Boris, Gregory, and Simeon, the holy family was liturgically glorified among as saints among the Synaxis of Russian New Martyrs and Confessors, reports the Information Department of the Tatarstan Metropolia.
The Divine Liturgy and glorification were celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Theophan of Kazan and Tatarstan with His Grace Bishop Methodius of Almetyevsk and Bugulma, His Grace Bishop Parmen of Chistopol and Nizhnekamsk, and a number of local clergy, in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Elabuga, Tatarstan.
New Martyr Paul delivered his final sermon in the Elabuga cathedral, for which he and his three sons were shot a few days later.
Among those present for the glorification were Fr. Paul’s granddaughter Anna Filippova, clergy and monastics of the metropolia, students of the Kazan Seminary, and numerous faithful.
Before the Liturgy, the final memorial litiya was served for Fr. Paul and his sons Boris, Gregory and Simeon. During the Small Entrance in the Divine Liturgy, the rite of glorification was celebrated, with the resolution of the Russian Holy Synod of October 15 on their glorification being read out from the ambo. Their day of commemoration is set as February 14/27, the day of their martyrdom.
An icon of the newly-glorified saints was carried out to the center of the cathedral, and Met. Theophan blessed all the faithful with the icon during the singing of their troparion and kontakion. The life of the new saints was read before Communion.
At the end of the Liturgy, the clergy and faithful sang the glorification to Sts. Paul, Boris, Gregory, and Simeon in the middle of the church before their holy icon.
Met. Theophan then addressed the gathered faithful with a homily, calling on them to ever honor the memory of the newly-glorified saints, turning to them in prayer, and passing on their memory to future generations.
“I believe that this is the mercy of God, sent down to the city of Elabuga, to our Tatarstan land and to the whole Russian land, for the New Martyrs are our glory and our hope. We are weak in faith, weak in piety, but through the prayers of the New Martyrs the Lord will certainly strengthen us,” Met. Theophan preached.
A moleben was then celebrated at the graves of Hieromartyr Paul and his sons, after which all those present again sang the glorification.
Paul Alexandrovich Dernov was born on January 12, 1870 in the family of a local priest in the Vyatka Governate. He graduated from the Kazan Theological Academy as a kandidat of theology at the age of 24.
He was ordained as a priest in 1894 and appointed rector of the Nativity of the Theotokos Church in Elabuga. Fr. Paul served his entire ministry there, working to cultivate the principles of Christian morality in the educational institutions entrusted to him.
Fr. Paul’s sons were all born and raised and educated in Elabuga. The communist terror began in the city in 1918. After delivering striking homilies, reading the epistles of Patriarch Tikhon in church, and denouncing those who profane the church, Fr. Paul was denounced as the main organizer of an uprising in Elabuga. Fr. Paul was arrested on February 12. Drunk soldiers led him onto the ice of the Toima River and shot him on the night of February 13-14.
The next morning, before news of his death reached his family, his sons Boris, Gregory, and Simeon went in search of their father and were arrested by soldiers. Eyewitnesses testify that the brothers publicly professed the Orthodox faith while in the soldiers’ custody. They were taken to the city dam and shot with rifles. The soldiers then finished them off with bayonets.
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