4 monastics killed, 2 injured in shelling of Svyatogorsk Lavra

Svyatogorsk, Donetsk Province, Ukraine, June 3, 2022

Archimandrite Galaktion was among those killed. Photo: news.church.ua Archimandrite Galaktion was among those killed. Photo: news.church.ua The Holy Dormition-Svyatogorsk Lavra and its sketes in the Donetsk Province in eastern Ukraine have been damaged by shelling several times since the beginning of the fratricidal war in late Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the Lavra was hit again on June 1, and for the first time, several monastics were killed and injured, in addition to a number of laypeople.

The Lavra has been home to hundreds of refugees from the fighting in eastern Ukraine for many years now.

His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol reported on Wednesday:

I am deeply saddened to inform you that on May 30, during the armed clashes, the 3rd and 4th monastic buildings of the Holy Dormition-Svyatogorsk Lavra suffered.

During the shelling, the dean of the Lavra Archimandrite Galaktion, Monk Aristokly, and Nun Barbara were killed.

Hieromonks Joasaph and Amphilochy and Hierodeacon Alypy were injured.

The number of dead and injured laypeople is currently unknown.

I ask for your holy prayers for the repose of those killed and for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

According to an update yesterday, Hieromonk Joasaph later died from his wounds, while Hieromonk Amphilochy remains in critical condition, and doctors were forced to amputate Hierodeacon Alypy’s leg.

Additionally, the oldest protodeacon of the Donetsk Diocese, Alexander Tkachenko, was also killed in shelling elsewhere in Donetsk on May 30.

May God make the memory of Fathers Galaktion, Aristokly, and Joasaph, and Mother Barbara to be eternal!


On Saturday, March 12, several buildings at the Lavra were damaged, including the Holy Dormition Cathedral. The bridge connecting the monastery to the city of Svyatogorsk was also damaged.

Two explosions occurred at the Lavra again on May 4, breaking the windows and doors of the monastery churches. Two refugees were also wounded and had to undergo surgery. However, the Divine services continue at the Lavra as usual, and the brotherhood continues to take in refugees.

On May 6, the Holy Protection Church at the Lavra’s St. George Skete in the village of Dolina was completely destroyed by shelling.

On May 10, the Lavra’s St. John (Maximovitch) Skete in Adamovka suffered from shelling. The roofs of several buildings were destroyed, windows were broken, and flower beds planted by the nuns were destroyed.

On May 19, the church at the Skete of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Bogorodichne, was destroyed.

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Midwest6/6/2022 2:26 am
Juan, my orientation is probably not what you think. My orientation is in line with of the meeting of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis in Cuba on February 12, 2006. That is to say in the spiritual tradition of the first Christian millennium shared by the Orthodox and the Catholics in spite of their differences. That is to say, in the hope that this historic meeting in Cuba has contributed to the realization of the unity desired by Christ our Savior. Juan, take the time to read the writings of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis on this occasion. In particular, Kirill and Francis had stated together that "the two Churches can cooperate in defending Christians throughout the world, working together so that there is no war, so that human life is respected and morality is strengthened at all levels of society". Juan, you are not unaware that Patriarch Kirill has great respect for the Catholic Church. The recent conversation of March 16, 2022 between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis is rich in lessons and continues to show it. They both believe that the language of politics should not be used, but that of Jesus Christ. They said together: "We are pastors of the same holy people, who believe in God, in the Holy Trinity, in the Mother of God. That is why we must seek the way of peace, be united in the aspiration to contribute to peace, support those who suffer, stop the fire of weapons." In conclusion, yes, it is quite obvious that the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church continue to work on common projects at the highest level, and even exchange at different levels (and on a daily basis) information about what is happening in the four corners of the world and including the province of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine. Juan, please feel free to bring a positive and constructive comment to this conversation. Thank you.
Juan6/5/2022 12:45 pm
Midwest: So, you consider that Vatican News is reliable because it Catholics had an ecumenical meeting with Greeks. Your orientation is clear.
Midwest6/5/2022 4:23 am
Juan, it is important to respect the VaticanNews site because it is in fact much better informed than you may think and the seriousness of its information, whether you like it or not, is not less than that of the site of the Moscow Patriarchate. In this regard, you could certainly find good inspiration and learning by reading the reports of the recent Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church which met from 16-20 May 2022 in Rethymno (Greece). Glory to God for the good channels of communication between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church! Last, but not least, let us not forget that we are all children of the Mother Church of Constantinople. May God grant that the memory of the dean of the Lavra Archimandrite Galaktion, Hieromonk Joasaph, Monk Aristokly, and Nun Barbara be eternal!
Juan6/4/2022 11:54 pm
Midwest: So you can't tell the difference between VaticanNews and the information site of the Moscow Patriarchate?
Midwest6/4/2022 10:28 pm
Doug, the page below from the vaticannews site reported this information on June 2nd. Here is a translation into English: ------ The historic Orthodox monastery of the "Holy Dormition" in the town of Svyatogorsk, Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, was destroyed by Russian bombing on May 30. The news was made public by the information website of the Moscow Patriarchate, which quotes a statement by Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol: "It is with deep sadness that I inform you that on May 30, during the clashes, the 3rd and 4th monastic buildings of the Holy Dormition Lavra in Svyatogorsk were damaged." -------- Source: https://www.vaticannews.va/fr/eglise/news/2022-06/ukraine-donetsk-monastere-orthodoxe-eglise-guerre-detruit.html ------- After additional research today, I learned that the svoboda.org site is more nuanced. So, would we ever know? See the following page: ----- https://www.svoboda.org/a/vsehsvyatskiy-skit-svyatogorskoy-lavry-sgorel-iz-za-obstrelov/31883341.html -----
Doug Carlson6/4/2022 8:56 am
Midwest, where are you seeing that? The MP report: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5932792.html says nothing about who fired.
m. Cornelia6/4/2022 7:52 am
The Sviatogorsk Lavra is located in an area that is in danger of shelling from both sides. There is fierce fighting going on in the area. About 20,000 more civilians were evacuated this week from the Donbas region to Russia to keep them safe. But the monks do not abandon their monasteries. These monks are martyrs.
Midwest 6/3/2022 11:58 pm
This time the bombing is from the Russian army. The origin of this bombing was announced by the Patriarchate of Moscow directly. So everyone please don't tell us this time the bombing was from the Ukrainians. Thank you so very much. This is war crime clearly from the Russian. Nothing justified to have started this war. Really nothing because war is a grave sin. Sins against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Ioann6/3/2022 11:21 pm
Who fired the shells that killed these monks?
Bishop Albert Odul Nyanje 6/3/2022 6:15 pm
It's very sad. I wonder why Christians should kill each other like beasts even some non Christians are better. Above above all these are Orthodox Christans. It is extremely informative and sad.
Archimandrite Gregory6/3/2022 5:40 pm
This breaks my heart. May God save and protect
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