Odessa, Ukraine, June 23, 2022
The grave of Archimandrite Theodoret (Krestonikov; 1822-1887), who labored as abbot of St. Andrew’s Skete on Mt. Athos for 25 years, was accidentally discovered in Odessa.
The grave was discovered in the city’s Second Christian Cemetery by a local woman named Svetlana while cleaning near the grave of her relative. Fr. Theodoret’s grave had unfortunately been covered over with refuse, reports od-news.com.
Having read the epitaph, Svetlana realized it was the grave of an Orthodox priest, and she cleared away the garbage. She then set up a perimeter of stones around the grave and beautified it with flowers.
A picture of the tombstone was posted online, and various Orthodox historians helped fill in the gaps about Fr. Theodoret’s biography.
According to Orthodox Life, the future abbot was born on February 7, 1822, in the Simbirsk Province, and at the age of 20, he went to Mt. Athos and became a disciple of the first abbot of the St. Andrew’s Skete, Hieroschemamonk Vissarion (Tolmachev). After the repose of his elder in 1862, Fr. Theodoret became the abbot.
He headed the monastery for 25 years, and it was under that St. Andrew’s Cathedral and other buildings were built, and several dependencies of the monastery, including in Odessa, were opened.
In April 1887, Fr. Theodoret retired due to illness. He went to Odessa to inspect the Skete’s dependency there and undergo treatment, and there he reposed on August 10, 1887.