30th anniversary of persecuted abbot of Kiev Caves Lavra

Kiev, April 2, 2024

Photo: lavra.ua Photo: lavra.ua     

March 30 marked the 30th anniversary of His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod’s abbacy over the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra.

The abbot marked the occasion with a Divine Liturgy in the house church where he celebrates the services while the state continues its persecution campaign against him. He was concelebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Andrei of Petropavlovsk and monastic brethren, the Lavra reports.

Recall that Met. Pavel is accused of inciting religious enmity and justifying the war, though the authorities have yet to supply evidence. On April 1, 2023, he was sentenced to house arrest, which was extended several times. On July 14, he was placed into custody in a pre-trial detention center. He was then released in early August and returned to house arrest.

The Lavra brotherhood published a statement congratulating their abbot on the anniversary. They stated:

The Lord has ordained for you to take on this responsible obedience during the difficult times of the revival of the holy Lavra. General neglect, and in places even ruins – this is what you accepted along with the honorable title of abbot. It was hard to imagine how much human effort and time would be needed to restore the monastery. But, as our Lord Jesus Christ teaches, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mk. 9:23).

By the grace of God through the prayers of the Theotokos and the saints of the Kiev Caves, “a miracle was worked,” the brethren write. “With your persistent labor, sacrificial devotion, and sincere love, you transformed the neglected shrine into a little corner of Paradise on earth.”

Today, during the war, prayers are offered in the Lavra for the defenders of the country, and “for all the downtrodden and orphaned.” And with Met. Pavel’s blessing, a social service operates for all those who need pastoral care and material assistance.

The brethren conclude:

May the merciful Lord grant you many good years! We believe that turbulent times will soon pass, and we will again pray together within the native walls of the Holy Kiev Caves Lavra! We ask for your holy prayers and blessings.

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