Rogovskaya, Russia, May 14, 2019
A new saint of the Orthodox Church was glorified on Sunday in the Kuban Metropolia of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Hieromartyr Gregory Nikolsky’s name was added to the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church by decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its session on April 4, and this glorification was liturgically celebrated on Sunday by His Eminence Metropolitan Isidor of Ekaterinodar and Kuban at the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene in the village of Rogovskaya, 60 miles north of Krasnodar, reports the press service of the Kuban Metropolia.
Met. Isidor was concelebrated by His Grace Bishop German of Sochi and Tuapse and His Grace Bishop Paul of Yeisk and Timashevsk and local clergy. The service was sung by the choir of the Ekaterinodar Theological Seminary and was attended by pilgrims from all over Kuban. The service was broadcast on a large screen due to the large number of faithful who came for the celebration.
The rite of glorification of Hieromartyr Gregory Nikolsky was celebrated during the Divine Liturgy. The festive service ended with a Paschal procession throughout the territory of the convent.
Met. Isidor addressed all those gathered with an archpastoral homily, saying: “The glorification among the saints of the priest Gregory Nikolsky has a special significance for Kuban. The name of the podvizhnik, forgotten in the era of persecution, has returned for popular veneration with the help of the clergy and authorities. The memory of the best of its sons is returning to the Cossack region to serve as an example to imitate in the fulfillment of Christian teaching, which modern society is so in need of.”
Following the service, the pilgrims received an icon of the newly-glorified Hieromartyr Gregory Nikolsky, had a festive meal, and visited the site of St. Gregory’s martyric repose at the monastery’s dependency in the village of Dimitrova.
St. Gregory was born in 1854 and was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1883, serving in various localities in the Astrakhan Diocese, taking an active part in the local branch of the missionary society. He often visited a local monastery to enjoy time in solitary prayer, and from 1915 until his repose he served at the St. Mary Magdalene Hermitage in the Kuban Governorate, heading the school of the women’s department of the Kuban correctional shelter that operated there. He also cared for the wounded soldiers at the monastery’s hospital.
He was known as a zealous pastor, teacher, and church builder. He was awarded by diocesan authorities many times.
Kuban was captured by the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1918. They carried out regular massacres of the clergy, and on June 27, they came to the monastery and arrested Fr. Gregory, who had just finished serving the Divine Liturgy. They severely beat him, and when he tried to cross himself they struck his hands and then shot him in the mouth with a revolver.
The memory of Fr. Gregory is especially remembered at the restored St. Mary Magdalene’s Monastery where they regularly serve panikhidas for him.
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