of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus to the Parishes of Brazil and
On Saturday, November 20, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Laurus, arrived in Sao Paolo
with the Miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the
Protectress of the Russian diaspora.
Metropolitan Laurus was to visit the South American Diocese along
with His Grace Bishop Alexander, its ruling bishop. Unfortunately,
it was recently learned that Vladyka Alexander was too ill to travel
to South America, and instead went to San Francisco in order to
receive the rite of holy unction at the crypt of St John of Shanghai
At the airport, His Eminence was greeted by a group of clergymen.
Everyone headed for the oldest Russian Orthodox church in Brazil—the
Church of the Most-Holy Trinity, where Vladyka Laurus was greeted
by the ringing of bells and the traditional bread and salt. The
rector of the church, Protopriest George Petrenko, officiated at
a moleben in a church full of worshipers before the miraculous Icon,
raising thanks to God for His Eminence's safe voyage.
After a brief rest, all-night vigil began. The choir, under the
direction of Elena Georgievna Petrenko, sang beautifully, The polyeleos
was led by the First Hierarch himself. The magnification of the
Mother of God, Archangel Michael and the other Heavenly Bodiless
Powers was splendidly conducted.
On Sunday, November 21, in an overfilled church, the First Hierarch
officiated at divine liturgy. The son of the rector, Priest Vladimir
Petrenko, canceled the service in his Church of St Sergius of Radonezh,
where he is rector, in order to attend the hierarchal service. Among
the worshipers there were a number of native Brazilians who had
converted to Orthodoxy. For this reason, His Eminence's sermon was
concurrently translated into Portuguese.
At the end of liturgy, a moleben to the Most-Holy Mother of God
and Archangel Michael was served. Priest Contantino Bussyguin arrived
in time for the moleben. It was heartwarming to see all the priests
of Sao Paolo: Protopriest George Petrenko, Priest Constantino Bussyguin,
Priest Vladimir Petrenko and the archpastor who ordained them.
After liturgy, all the worshipers were invited to the large parish
hall, where the sisterhood prepared a magnificent trapeza feast.
At the end, Vladyka Laurus, at the request of the parishioners,
briefly talked about his official trip to Moscow and of the results
of the meetings with representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The talk was listened to attentively, after which questions were
posed. Many parishioners are worried about the possibility of communion
with the Moscow Patriarchate, since the effects of ecumenism are
still fresh. Vladyka explained that this matter is still not resolved,
and that if it is not resolved in a satisfactory manner in the spirit
of the principles of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
then there will be no communion with the Moscow Patriarchate. We
hope, as all the hierarchs and fathers of the Church Abroad have
always hoped and prayed, that after the fall of militantly-atheist
bolshevism, we could once again heal the wounds of the Russian church,
without ignoring at the same time those canonical principles concerning
joint ecumenical prayers with the heterodox.
On Tuesday, November 23, Metropolitan Laurus served all-night vigil
at the Church of St Sergius of Radonezh, whose rector is Priest
On the feast day of the Iveron-Montreal Icon of the Mother of God,
the First Hierarch officiated at liturgy. After the lunch offered
at the parish hall, Metropolitan Laurus met with the three parish
rectors of Sao Paolo for a discussion.
Then, Priest Konstantin Bussygin and Protopriest Yaroslav Belikow
took the Protectress of the Russian diaspora to the nursing home
ministered by Fr Constantino. The home is in magnificent condition.
Its residents were spiritually consoled by their prayers before
the miracle-working Icon.
That evening, an akathist to the Mother of God in Holy Trinity Church
was held, with a service of supplication and for those who travel.
The Metropolitan thanked the clergy and worshipers for their spiritual
support and warm reception, and also asked that they pray for the
Church, for himself and for the entire flock.
On Thursday, November 25, Metropolitan Laurus departed from Chile.
That day he arrived in the Chilean capital, Santiago, along with
the Kursk-Root Icon. The delegation was met by Archimandrite Benjamin
and Priest Alexei Vilugron. There is only one parish of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Santiago, that of the Most-Holy
Trinity, and also a convent on the picturesque eastern side of the
city, with a small orphanage for girls. Vladyka, along with the
clergy accompanying him, were provided accommodations at the orphanage.
That evening, Vladyka Metropolitan went to Santiago to meet with
a group of Chileans studying theology with Priest Alexei Vilugron.
First, His Eminence visited a nursing home, also located near Holy
Trinity Church, and consoled its residents with prayers before the
Then Vladyka went to the parish hall. Some in the audience were
Catholics who were profoundly interested in Orthodoxy. His Eminence
told those in attendance about the history of the Icon. Protopriest
Yaroslav Belikow translated. The Chileans saw the First Hierarch
for the first time, and posed a wide variety of questions. They
thanked him graciously for not forgetting such remote corners of
the Russian Orthodox diaspora.
After the meeting, Fr Alexei spoke to Metropolitan Laurus at length
on the possibilities of nurturing Orthodoxy in this southern land.
On Friday, November 26, the First Hierarch traveled to the Russian
cemetery on the southern outskirts of Santiago, where he served
a pannikhida at the grave of His Eminence Archbishop Leontii (Filipiev,
+1971), a long-time servant in the spiritual harvest-fields of Chile.
That evening, a moleben and akathist were served before the Kursk-Root
Early morning on November 27, His Eminence departed for the capital
of Argentina, Buenos Aires.
Protopriest Yaroslav Beliko, clergyman of the Cathedral of the
Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" in San Francisco.