Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR reposes in the Lord

New York, May 16, 2022


His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reposed in the Lord this afternoon at the age of 74, having served the Lord as a hierarch for 38 years.

Fr. Victor Potapov, rector of the St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Washingont, DC, reports:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!

Today, at 2:00 pm, our dear First Hierarch Metropolitan Hilarion passed to the Lord. Don't have any more information. Details to follow.

Please remember this remarkable hierarch in your prayers.

May God grant him life eternal!

In XC,
Fr. Victor

May Vladyka’s memory be eternal!


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The ROCOR website provides a biography of Met. Hilarion:

Metropolitan Hilarion’s parents—his father Alexei Kapral, and his mother, Euphrosynia (nee Kasyaniuk)—were from the village of Obenizha in Volyhn, Ukraine. In 1929, during the Polish occupation, the local populace was persecuted and oppressed by Poles attempting to turn Western Ukraine into a Polish province. Thus, the 19-year-old Alexei and his young wife decided to emigrate to Canada. At the time, the Canadian government afforded immigrants the opportunity to obtain large tracts of land in Western Canada; it was there that the young family settled. Upon their arrival in the province of Alberta, the Kapral family received 160 acres of untilled land, as well as $100 in cash, a hammer, and an axe, with which to build themselves a home. In the developing Spirit River region, there were some 200 Ukrainians, and in view of the oncoming cold, they quickly built themselves houses. The great economic crisis of 1929-1930 affected the settlers as well, making an already hard life even more difficult. To find work, Alexei Kapral had to travel far from home, and he earned but 25 cents per day. Nonetheless, the family grew ever larger—five boys and two girls filled the house with children’s voices, speaking Ukrainian at home. Their parents also spoke Russian and Polish. The youngest member of the family was Igor, the future Metropolitan Hilarion. He was born on January 6, 1948, in Spirit River , and spent his childhood in the country. He had to walk over 3 miles to school every day. Later he transferred to another school in Blueberry Creek, but returned to finish high school. In 1966, he found a spiritual director, Right Reverend Sava (Saracevic), Bishop of Edmonton, a Serb who greatly revered our Holy Hierarch St. John (Maximovitch, +1966).

From his youth, Igor felt drawn to the Church, and loved to read books and periodicals on religion and morals. In 1967, when Igor Kapral was 19 years old, he entered the Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in Jordanville, NY, USA. On graduating from the Seminary in 1972, Igor entered the Holy Trinity Monastery as a novice. On December 2, 1974, he was tonsured a rassaphore monk with the name Hilarion, in honor of Venerable Schema-monk Hilarion of the Kiev Caves, the famous Metropolitan of Kiev. On December 4, 1975, Archbishop Averky (Taushev, +1976), for whom the future Vladyka served as a cell-attendant, ordained him a hierodeacon. In 1976, Bishop Laurus of Manhattan ordained him a hieromonk. The same year, Fr. Hilarion received a Master’s degree in Slavic studies and Russian literature from Syracuse University. The future Vladyka worked simultaneously as editor of the English-language version of the magazine Orthodox Life, and as a typesetter for the Monastery press.

On December 10, 1984, His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, +1985) and nine other bishops officiated at the consecration of Hieromonk Hilarion to the episcopacy. As Bishop of Manhattan, Vladyka Hilarion was also responsible for the parishes of Pennsylvania, and was also appointed the Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops by the Council of Bishops. Ten years later, thanks to the archpastoral efforts of Bishop Hilarion, the number of parishes in the Eastern American Diocese grew to 64. Visiting parish after parish, Vladyka drew the love and respect of all those who met him. Holding a position of responsibility in the administrative center of the Church Abroad, Vladyka Hilaron was also an active participant in the main events of its history. In 1995, Bishop Hilarion was given the title Bishop of Washington as he continued to live in New York, but due to problems in the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand after the retirement of the ailing Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), and in recognition of his exception pastoral talents, Vladyka Hilarion was elevated to the rank of archbishop and appointed Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2003, Vladyka Hilarion was awarded the right to wear the diamond cross. During the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 2006, he was appointed First Deputy President of the Synod of Bishops. In 2008, following the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Hilarion was elected First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, a post he has filled while continuing to be Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.

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Alexandr Olegavich Saitcevsky6/24/2022 9:24 pm
Memory Eternal dear Vladika
Sir Gatanas 5/25/2022 12:16 am
@Morfomenos > Yes I can spell Greek - that was a typo, here’s the word for your feckless AB Elpidophoros & Rasputin Karloutsos : ANAXIOS!
Sister Chrissie 5/23/2022 3:25 pm
Dear Angela Kapral! Yes I’d love to hear from you — how serendipitous! Vladyka Hilarion told me about his brother as I saw their photograph together on his desk when I helped him sort out his mail one day… I remember feeling delighted just being asked to take his bundle of mail to the post office. Lol Anyway here’s my phone number, feel free to call! (212) 535-3125
Abbot Tryphon5/22/2022 6:56 pm
The loss of our beloved Metropolitan Hilarion, a beloved, kind, and humble man, is difficult for those of us who knew him. Be in our mourning, we are comforted knowing that he is now standing together with the choir of saints in heaven. Memory eternal. Christ is Risen!
Morfomenos5/20/2022 1:18 pm
@Sir Gatanas. You speak Greek, eh? You no know how to spell the Greek words properly, eh.
Angela kapral5/20/2022 3:33 am
SISTER CHRISSIE!!! this is hilarion kaprals niece in canada is there a way we can connect please
Sir Gatanas 5/18/2022 4:13 pm
Vladika Hilarion was a gift to Eastern Orthodoxy. A HUGE LOSS! I’m Greek Orthodox & I’ve friends who knew him well & I never heard the end of how loving, how humble & genuine a holy man he was. Hilarion changed lives. If only we Greeks had such a gem leading us in GOA - Instead we are held hostage by lemons & deviant reprobates like AB Elpidophoros & Rasputin Alex Karloutsos, both out to contaminate Jesus Gospel. Anoxios!
Reader Miguel Muelle5/18/2022 6:36 am
A most gentle man of God. He brought Peace with him wherever he went, and never pulled rank on anyone. A humble man. I was blessed to be tonsured by him as a Reader, and he kept in touch with me whenever I asked him about anything. Please pray for me, Vladyka.
Tony5/17/2022 9:46 pm
Christ is risen! Pray for us, Your Eminence.
Hieromonk Theophile Malu5/17/2022 4:48 pm
Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral was introduced to me by His Grace Bishop Luke Murianka, the then-Archomandrite in Jordanville. His messages to me (then-a simple lay boy) were soul-uplifting and by his words alone I was feeling like one going up there (Jerusalem which is above). Some of readings on church life he sent me by traditional mail, strengthened my determination to come to love the Orthodox Church and my desire to become something amongst the servers of the holy altar of Christ. May His memory be eternal..God granting him his potion amongst the holy ones, may he accept to intercede with Christ for our salvation!
Sister Chrissie5/17/2022 4:38 pm
Heaven has a new Saint ~ AXIOS! The beloved Vladyka Hilarion was unlike any other Hierarch and I’ve met dozens of clergymen and various spiritual masters since my teens. I chose him to be my spiritual father - my mentor - and he accepted so graciously almost 8 years ago. I had been going to a tiny Bible group in the Synod’s kitchen with Monks Foty & Zozimos & out of the blue one night, Vladyka phoned to invite all of us to his Christmas dinner - to my joy I got to sit beside him. Suffice to say, the man gave me Everything! Most of all, after I was widowed, he agreed to Tonsuring me as Small Schema Monastic Nun. (It ended up being on St. Valentine Day and yes I brought chocolates bc he adored milk chocolate!) The most memorable times spent with him was when beloved Hilarion gave me private time to sit & talk in his home over his wonderful cooked meals. I forgot I was on earth there… Not only was he a superlative spiritual father, Vladyka would’ve been a great chef too. His Eminence’s hospitality was a gift he gave to all his friends & spiritual children and will be deeply missed! Met. Hilarion had a purity about him too, in that every gesture he did, every interaction had an elegance to it - his compassion for me and my being a neophyte nun in the world was just boundless. He never demanded I join monastery, nor to be involved with his Russian church as I’m Greek Orthodox … and btw, he learned to speak excellent Greek. He never ran my life -- instead he forever stood by, like a solid big green tree to lean on; there was nothing I couldn’t cry to him about bc I always left feeling empowered. I’ll never forget noticing in his last days, and while visiting his bedside at NY Hospital - was his face: his face had an ineffable radiance, a shining, he looked absolutely angelic. I believe now, his countenance was “getting ready” for Ascension to Heaven! And our last words exchanged at NY Hospital: “I love you!” May Hilarion Be Blessed In Thy Kingdom!
Fr Peter5/17/2022 6:43 am
To know Metropolitan Hilarion was to love him. May God grant him a blessed repose. Truly, Christ is Risen!
Dionysius Redington5/17/2022 4:45 am
Memory eternal. Met. Hilarion was a holy hierarch who did his best in a series of very difficult situations. The only time I met him (he was Bishop of Sidney at the time) was in the midst of one such crisis. What struck me was his extraordinary unwillingness to think ill of anyone involved. --Dionysius Redington
fr Evangelos Pepps 5/17/2022 3:27 am
Thank You, Your Eminence for ALL the good You did thru all the years, w great sacrifice & for Christ’s glory alone. You were a friend to so Many. Pray for us
Basil Hill-Zeck5/17/2022 3:16 am
I met Metropolitan Hilarion briefly several years ago. His humility & meekness were very striking & left a deep & lasting impression on me... May God give him rest with the Saints!
Alex5/17/2022 2:25 am
Christ is risen! Memory eternal!
Rdr Daniel5/17/2022 2:02 am
Lord have mercy! Memory eternal!
Ignatius5/17/2022 12:03 am
Memory Eternal!!!
Stephen Sherokey5/16/2022 11:38 pm
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!
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