MOSCOW: February 5, 2016
Saints Canonized by the Russian Church Abroad Have Been Recognized by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
The Holy Council of the Russian Orthodox Church which convened on June 24-29, 2008, the first Council which included the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, instructed the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate to “adopt a decision on matters pertaining to the glorification of saints by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia during the period of division” (based on a report by the Chairman of the Synodal Commission on the Canonization of Saints).
Work on the matter was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomensk and a working committee on examining the question of the veneration of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in the 20th century canonized by the Church Abroad during the period of division. The body was formed by the Holy Synod on October 6, 2008 (Journal No. 73). Since 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk headed the committee with participation by the calendar experts of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad, formed with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
On October 7, 2015, a regular meeting of the commission was held, chaired by His Holiness and by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of ROCOR. The participants reported on the study of the podvigi [spiritual feats] of those venerated by the Russian diaspora. It was decided that the following individuals, already canonized by ROCOR, were worthy of Church-wide glorification:
Passion-bearer Evgeny the Physician (Botkin), who was martyred together with the Royal Family in Ipatiev House (+1918, feast day: July 4/17);
Saint Jonah of Hankow, who performed his archpastoral ministry in Manchuria from 1922 until his death (+1925, feast day: October 7/20);
Holy Martyr Presbyter Mitrofan and the many martyred with him in Peking in 1900 (feast day: June 11/24);
The commission’s work is continuing. Under study now are materials on other servants of the Royal Family who accompanied them to Ekaterinburg: Countesses AV Genrikova, IM Kharitonova, and AS Demidova, as well as Dukes Ioann, Konstantin and Igor Konstantinovich, who were martyred with Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Varvara in Alapaevsk. The biographies and deaths of others venerated by the Russian Church Abroad are also being examined.