Moscow, December 17, 2019
The Holy Transfiguration-Valaam Monastery is one of the most important and historic in the Russian Orthodox Church, and in the Orthodox Church as a whole. Founded in the 10th century by Sts. Sergius and Herman, it flowered as a spiritual oasis until 1940, when it was evacuated by the godless Soviet authorities, with the island later serving as a Soviet military base.
However, since the monastery was returned to the Russian Church in 1989, it has undergone significant reconstruction and a miraculous rebirth.
On Friday, December 13, His Grace Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk, the abbot of Valaam, was awarded for the 30-year revival of the monastery at the 27th annual “Faith and Fidelity” award ceremony of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation at the State Kremlin Palace, reports the monastery website.
It is notable that the bishop received the award “for ascetic works on the revival of the Valaam Monastery” on the very day of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the revival of the monastic life there. The first 6 inhabitants of the reopened monastery arrived on December 13, 1989.
“I believe that in my person, the entire Valaam Monastery, all the brethren, all those many people who worked during these 30 years and prayed that the monastery would rise from the ashes, are receiving this reward. The monastery lives and grows and I also hope that the spiritual life to which every monk is called will increase,” the bishop said before the ceremony.
Much has been accomplished over the past 30 years: the Transfiguration Cathedral and other buildings have been restored, new chapels were built, and old sketes were re-acquired and revived. The Divine services are now celebrated in all of the churches. The island is supplied with electricity and water. From just a handful of people in 1989, the monastery has grown to one of the largest in Russia today.