First monument to Fr. Pavel Florensky opened in Sergiev Posad

Sergiev Posad, Russia, July 19, 2019     

A series of new monuments was opened in Sergiev Posad on July 18, including Russia’s first monument to the outstanding scientist and thinker Fr. Pavel Florensky.

Busts of Monk-Martyr Kronid (Lyubimov) and St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess and New Martyr, spiritual companions of Florensky, with whom he shared part of his life and death, were also opened on the territory of the memorial complex “To All Victims in the Years of Persecution and Repression,” reports

The complex includes a stone cross with a crown of thorns, an eternal lampadas, a Solovki stone, and the three monuments. Fr. Pavel taught at the Moscow Theological Academy at the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad, Monk-Martyr Kronid served as its last abbot before its closure in 1921 and was shot at the Butovo firing range in 1937, and St. Elizabeth founded the Monastery of the Sisters of Mercy in Sergiev Posad, where Fr. Pavel served as confessor. Fr. Pavel was also a unique example of an outstanding philosopher and theologian, scientists and engineer-inventor, philologist and mathematician, encyclopedist and art theorist. Contemporaries called him Russia’s da Vinci and Pascal.

He spent the last years of his life in correctional camps. On November 25, 1937 he was sentenced to death by the Special Troika of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the Leningrad Region, and was executed on December 8, 1937.

The memorial complex was created at the initiative of the Pavel Florensky Foundation for Science and Orthodox Culture and was consecrated by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The Russian primate read a prayer to the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church and served a memorial litia with a special petition for the repose of the soul of Fr. Pavel and of all who suffered for the faith.

Pat. Kirill then doused the monuments with holy water with the words: “This memorial sign is consecrated to those who suffered for faith in Christ during the persecution of the 20th century by the sprinkling of holy water and the grace of the Holy Spirit.” The ceremony was attended by a number of Church and state officials.     

The monument of Fr. Pavel is 8 ft. high and depicts him standing on Golgotha in front of the Cross as one of the hundreds of thousands innocent imprisoned martyrs who suffered for their faith during the years of persecution. In his hand is a folder with the manuscripts of the theological and philosophical work The Pillar and Ground of Truth.

The opening of the Museum Center of Pavel Florensky, which presents an exhibition on his associates and New Martyrs in Sergiev Posad, was also timed to this event.

A commemorative plaque to Fr. Pavel Florensky was opened at the All-Russian Electrical Engineering Institute in Moscow in 2017.

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