Moscow, May 4, 2020
A wave of coronavirus infections and deaths continues to move through the Russian Orthodox Church, especially affecting the Moscow Diocese. Several more clerics and monastics of the Church have reposed in the Lord in recent days, including a retired hierarch.
On Radonitsa, April 28, Hierodeacon Nikifor (Ovchinnikov) of the Moscow dependency of the Solovki Monastery reposed in the Lord after a short battle with a serious illness, reports the site of the Solovki Monastery.
Fr. Nikifor moved to Solovki in 1997 and in the early 2000s was sent to the Moscow dependency, where he was tonsured as a monk on December 24, 2003. He was ordained as a hierodeacon on August 24, 2008. He is remembered as a zealous man of prayer.
After celebrating all the services of Great Lent, he fell ill after the service on Holy Saturday. On April 23, he was hospitalized with pneumonia and was transferred to the ICU on April 26. He fell asleep in the Lord two days later.
Yesterday, Sunday, May 3, Deacon Andrei Molchanov, 54, of the Church of Sts. Zosima and Savvaty of Solovki in Moscow also reposed in the Lord, reports the parish website.
Dcn. Andrei’s served for the last time on Holy Pascha. He was hospitalized in late April with pneumonia, later being placed on a ventilator. In the last few days, his condition worsened, and on the first Sunday in May, he reposed without regaining consciousness.
He is remembered as a fervent and beloved deacon, Sunday School teacher, spouse, and father.
Archpriest Evgeny Korchukov, 66, a cleric of the Holy Protection Convent near Sergiev Posad in the Moscow Province, also reposed in the Lord yesterday from coronavirus complicatins, the monastery reports.
Fr. Evgeny served the Church in holy orders for 28 years, including 22 years as a full-time priest at the convent. He leaves behind 5 children and 9 grandchildren. He was a dearly beloved pastor for the sisters and parishioners of the monastery.
Archpriest Vladimir Veriga, who served at the same convent, earlier reposed in the Lord on Bright Thursday, April 23.
And early this morning, May 4, His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah (Karpuhkin), 79, reposed in the Lord in a Moscow hospital from coronavirus-related pneumonia, according to preliminary information, reports Patriarchia.ru.
He was the rector emeritus of the Church of the Elevation of the Cross in northern Moscow.
Met. Jonah studied at the Moscow Theological Seminary and Academy, later becoming a monk of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, where he was ordained as a hierodeacon and a hieromonk in the 1960s.
He was consecrated as the Bishop of Astrakhan on October 25, 1992, becoming an Archbishop in 2002, and a Metropolitan in 2013. In 2016, he was granted retirement due to health reasons, with Moscow being designated as his place of residence.
May their memories be eternal!