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NEW YORK: January 22, 2009
Bishop John of Caracas To Visit Mikhailovskaya Sloboda 

On January 23-24, 2009, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsk and Kolomensk, His Grace Bishop John of Caracas will perform divine services at Holy Archangel Michael Church in Mikhailovskaya Sloboda in Moscow. 

This church was founded by Tsar Fedor Alekseevich in 1689 in memory of the enthronement to the Tsarist throne of a Romanov boyar, Mikhail Fedorovich. A stone church now stands in place of the original wooden church, which suffered the ravages of time. The Streltsy [Muscovite riflemen], as the local residents, wished to have services conducted here in the ancient rite, with singing by the old znamenny chant and according to books published by His Holiness Patriarch Philaret. The government and Church authorities granted their wish, and divine services have been conducted that way ever since. Long before the official recognition of the Old Ritualists [Yedinoverie] in 1911, the church already belonged to the group of Old Believers who remained in the bosom of the Orthodox Church. Their descendants remained true to the faith of their forefathers, and in 1817, the church received official “Old Rite status.” In the mid-19th century, with the blessing of Holy Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov), a “Jerusalem” Icon of the Mother of God was painted, which began to work miracles of healing, and does to this day. The church also contains an icon of Holy Duchess Anna Kashinskaya, which was blessed on the relics of the saint on the day of her glorification in 1909, incidentally in the presence of the Great Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth.