Tula Province, July 28, 2021
Construction is well underway on the future Church of St. Gabriel (Urgebadze), the Fool-for-Christ of Samtavro Monastery in the Tula Province, just south of Moscow.
The church is the first in Russia to be dedicated to the great 20th-century Georgian saint. St. Gabriel reposed in 1995 and was canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2012. He is highly venerated in Russia today.
The church is a project of the Archangel Michael Fund and Fr. Feodor Konyukhov, who is well known in Russia as a traveler and adventurer. He has vowed to build a church upon return from each trip, and the future Church of St. Gabriel is the fruit of his sailing adventure from New Zealand to Cape Horn in 2018-2019.
The 154-day, 7,160-mile journey across the South Pacific took place under harsh conditions. During one of the serious storms, Fr. Feodor prayed to St. Gabriel and felt his prayerful support. Thus, he resolved to build a church in his honor in his village in the Tula Province.
Construction on the church began in 2019. It was originally planned to be a small chapel, but it was soon clear that it was necessary to build a full-fledged church with an altar in honor of the holy Georgian monk.
Thus far, $10,640 (784,000 rubles) of the necessary $40,000 (2,950,000 rubles) have been raised. Those interested can offer a donation towards the construction at the site of the Archangel Michael Fund.