Jordanville, New York, March 16, 2023
A special moleben for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and the whole of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was served at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on Tuesday.
The moleben to the Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, the abbot of the monastery.
As is commonly known among Orthodox Christians, of late the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been undergoing increasing persecution in Ukraine. And now it has been announced by the regime in Kiev, that the monks of the Kiev Caves Monastery, the holiest site of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, and the birthplace of Russian Orthodoxy, have to leave their home. The Church has announced that they do not recognize this as legal and intend to remain.
We the monks of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville as well as the seminarians and our faithful feel it our brotherly duty to pray for our brethren in the faith, asking God to preserve canonical Orthodoxy in the homeland and in general, to preserve the Church throughout the world in truth, against its enemies, seen and unseen.
Many regard the troubles in Ukraine as a war against Orthodoxy. May people come to their senses and cease to wage battle against the Church and its children.
Today, after lunch, His Grace Bishop Luke presided at a moleben of intercession to the Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves, of whom the monastery is blessed to have a reliquary in our basement church of St. Job, brought out of Kiev during World War II just before the destruction of the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kiev Caves Monastery.
Through the prayers of our venerable fathers in Christ, may our brethren in the monastery, along with Vladyka Onuphry and his fellow bishops, be kept safe and be able to withstand this terrible temptation.
The ROCOR Synod and individual hierarchs have expressed their concern for the persecuted Ukrainian Church several times in recent months.
On December 8, the Synod of Bishops
expressed its alarm over the aggression and violence directed against the life of the canonical Church on the territory of Ukraine, calling upon all those in positions of authority not to close their eyes but to lift their voices and insist on the reestablishment and observance of the elementary rights and religious freedoms of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, the archpastors, pastors and many millions who constitute the flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Later in December, His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin issued a statement to the German public, calling for increased prayers for the persecuted UOC.
In early January, the First Hierarch of ROCOR, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas sent a message of love, support, and prayers to His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, the abbot of the persecuted Kiev Caves Lavra, and last month, he made a specific call for the clergy and faithful of his diocese to increase their prayers for the UOC.