VLADIVOSTOK: November 15, 2013
A Delegation of the Russian Church Abroad Visits the Primorie region
On November 14, 2013, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia brought the ancient Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" to Far East Federal University and St Seraphim Monastery in the Primorie region.
The visit began with a visit to the school, where they were welcomed by Professor of Philosophy Anna Vladimirovna Zdor, head of the Theology and Religion Department, who gave them a tour of the campus. The modest buildings differ from other campuses in that icons adorn its walls. Professor Zdor discussed the department’s work and its students and answered questions. Exchange programs were proposed for students and teachers from the United States. His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America blessed the students and teachers, giving them paper icon copies of the Kursk-Root Icon, which were blessed on the icon itself. The delegation then continued its excursion on the school grounds, led by Kirill Konyshev, a senior theology student.
The ROCOR delegation then headed to St Seraphim Monastery. Hegumen Kliment (Krivonosov), the abbot of the monastery, showed the visitors St Seraphim Church, told of its pre-Revolutionary history and its post-Soviet restoration. Near the church is a sculpture of St Seraphim, before which a lampada perpetually burns, near an improvised bell tower. Fr Kliment told the visitors about these bells: the largest one, bearing images of saints, served as a fire alarm in a military camp for many years before being returned to the monastery after a great deal of effort. Another smaller bell was found at the bottom of the bay by divers and given to the monastery. A large crack in the bell was repaired, and the visitors heard it ring, summoning the monks for prayer.
The monastery’s economic activity drew great interest, which includes Australian cows, calves, chickens, bee-keeping, a pilgrim house. Alexander, an icon-painter, showed his work in progress. He invited the delegation to the church, where he showed them the mosaic images he created on the outer walls; the exterior of the apse shows St Seraphim, the western side has an image of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands. The eastern side, under the monastic residence, has the cross of Constantine, which glistened in the morning light. .
The delegates and monks then performed a joint moleben in the church to St Seraphim and venerated the church’s relics.
Afterwards, they all shared a trapeza, discussing monastic life in the Russian Church Abroad and in Russia. Fr Kliment explained that his monastery follows the Mt Athos system.
Each visitor was then given a jar of the monastery’s honey.
The ROCOR delegation plans to visit Marfo-Mariinsky Convent, the Orthodox High School, the monument to Count Muraviev-Amursky, as well as St Nicholas and Uspensky cathedrals in Vladivostok.