Sergiev Posad, August 10, 2020
On August 8, 2020, the feast of the Venerable Moses the Hungarian of the Kiev Caves, it was reported that Archimandrite German (Chesnokov), one of the fathers from Holy Trinity Saint Sergius Lavra has reposed in the Lord. Father German was particularly well known as an exorcist.
His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ extended his condolences to the brothers of the Lavra, noting that for many years he served God with “reverence and zeal”, and that he received with love all who came to him for advice, support, and consolation.
Archimandrite German was born on August 30, 1941, in the city of Labinsk in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia into a large family. After finishing school in 1961, he served in the military. In 1973 he finished Moscow Theological Seminary in Sergius Trinity Lavra and was tonsured as a monk there in 1976. He was ordained as a priest in 1977, the same year he finished Moscow Theological Academy as a doctoral candidate of Theology. In 1988 he was named the rector of Holy Trinity Metochion, the representation church of Trinity Lavra; he oversaw the total restoration of the church, having served there for thirty years, and instituted Sunday school and catechism classes for adults.
In 1982, the Spiritual Council of the Trinity Lavra blessed Father German to conduct exorcism rites. Thus, Father German became the successor to the Lavra tradition of performing this rite, which requires a very special spiritual strength and wisdom. For many years these exorcisms were performed in the Lavra gatehouse church in honor of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, but since 2014, due to his deteriorating health, the exorcisms began to be performed at the Holy Resurrection Metochion. He was one of the very few priests in recent decades to be specialized in and officially blessed to preform exorcisms in Russia. For his life-long service he received many ecclesiastical awards.
Father German suffered from Covid-19 prior to his death; he was one of the many Lavra monks who was infected with the coronavirus as it ripped through the Lavra during Holy Week, when the abbot chose not to close the monastery to the faithful. The grieving brotherhood has asked for prayers for the repose of Archimandrite German.