St. Petersburg, December 19, 2017
The celebration of the rite of the consecration of the foundation stone of a future church in honor of St. Eugene Botkin took place yesterday at the multidisciplinary clinic at the St. Petersburg Military-Medical Academy, from which the saintly doctor himself graduated.
As previously reported, the initiative for building the church came from colleagues of the academy itself.
The rite was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga on the day of the 219th anniversary of the founding of the academy. His Eminence was assisted by Archpriest Michael Pogiblov, the assistant head of the academy’s work with religious servicemen, and several other priests. The ceremony was attended by various public officials and representatives of the academy, reports the site of the St. Petersburg Diocese.
The bishop addressed those gathered with an archpastoral word, saying, “We know that there were doctors among the disciples of the apostle Paul, we know the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, the Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian, and many other saints who were professional doctors. Our Church has recently canonized the doctor Eugene Botkin, and one of the monuments to the graduate of this great institution will be a church in his name.”
The righteous doctor was canonized along with the Royal Martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981, though he was not canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate when they glorified the family in 2000. He was eventually glorified by Moscow on February 7, 2016.
“You have to show your contemporaries an example—how in modern times you can become a saint. It’s better to look for saints not somewhere else, but near you, within our walls. The graduate and teacher of this academy was able to complete the earthly path of martyrdom and become a saint,” the metropolitan added.
“May the Lord strengthen the faculty, students, and military physicians of this academy by his prayers. I wish you God’s help in the labors you bear,” Met. Barsanuphius concluded.
St. Eugene Botkin was the court physician for Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra and sometimes treated the hemophiliac Tsarevich Alexei while in exile with the family. He remained loyal to the Royal Family to the end and was martyred with them on July 17, 1918.
The St. Petersburg Military-Medical Academy is going through a stage of revival. The faithful members of the academy see the providence of God in the coinciding of the building of the multidisciplinary clinic with the canonization of St. Eugene by the Moscow Patriarchate. They thus decided to build a church in his honor, and a foundation in honor of the holy righteous doctor was founded, with Met. Barsanuphius as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.