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Entries / St. Petersburg Eparchy

St. Petersburg Eparchy

Categories / Religion. Church/Reigious Organizations

ST. PETERSBURG EPARCHY, a territorial and administrative part of the Russian Orthodox Church. By decree of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna the St. Petersburg Eparchy was separated from the Novgorod Eparchy on 1 September 1742. The bishop of St. Petersburg and Schliesselburg, Nicodim I (Srebnitsky), was appointed the first ruling archbishop by the Synod on 13 September 1742. St. Petersburg and Vyborg provinces with a population of 127,000 people and 116 churches were included in the eparchy. From 1764, the eparchy covered St. Petersburg, Vyborg and Revel Provinces, and was headed by the archbishop of St. Petersburg and Revel. On 1 January 1775, the Novgorod eparchy joined the St. Petersburg eparchy, the archbishop of the capital became the leading member of the Synod with the title of Archbishop of Novgorod and St. Petersburg (from 1783 on he was referred to as Metropolitan). The executive organ of the eparchy was the Consistory. Under the first Metropolitan Gavriil (Petrov-Shaposhnikov) St. Petersburg became the main spiritual centre of the country, the old monasteries on the islands of Valaam and Konevets were subordinated to the eparchy. Estonia and Finland were included in the eparchy in 1803, but in 1865 Estonia, and in 1892 Finland and Novgorod Province were designated as separate eparchies. From 1892, the borders of the eparchy coincided with the borders of St. Petersburg Province. Before the Revolution of 1917, the eparchy was headed by the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Pitirim (Oknov). By 1917, there were 465 orthodox chapels in St. Petersburg and in the eparchy overall there were 790 churches with 1700 clergymen, 16 monasteries and 1629 monks. Sankt-Petersburg Dukhovny Vestnik was published from 1895 and Izvestiya Po Sankt-Peterburgskikh Eparkhii from 1902. After October 1917, many churches and monasteries were closed, all spiritual educational institutions were liquidated, several hundreds clergymen were persecuted. From the end of the 1920s, purges intensified, and by 1933, the last monastery — Alexander Nevsky Lavra was closed. In June 1941, there were 21 churches functioning in the eparchy (including eight churches in Leningrad). At the time of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, the eparchy paid over 17.4 million rubles to the defence fund, and Metropolitan Alexy (Simansky) did not leave the besieged city. In 1946, the Theological Academy and Seminary were opened again (17 Obvodny Canal Embankment). The number of parishes in the eparchy increased to 57 by 1949 (including 16 in Leningrad). In 1965 there were 47 churches with 120 priests functioning in the eparchy. The revival of the eparchy started in 1988 under Metropolitan Alexy (Ridiger) of Leningrad and Novgorod; Since 27 December 1995, the eparchy has been headed by Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotlyarov) of St. Petersburg and Ladoga. The borders of the eparchy coincide with the borders of Leningrad Region. In 2003, there were 347 churches and 109 chapels in the eparchy (including 179 churches in St. Petersburg), seven monasteries and four convents), 17 representations of monasteries, and 557 priests. The parishes are united in 20 territorial districts headed by archpriests and these are subordinated to St. Petersburg Eparchy administration (1, Monastyrka River Embankment) headed by a Metropolitan. The eparchy Council consisting of 12 persons and seven departments are subordinated to him. The editorial board publishes St. Petersburg Eparchy News and Church Messenger journals and Orthodoxy and Life newspaper. The eparchy also oversees City of St. Peter Radio. In 2001, a class of 569 students graduated from the Theological Academy and Seminary. The Rector of the Academy and Seminary is Bishop Konstantin (Goryanov) who is in charge of Tikhvin Vicary. In 2000, the Kazan Сathedral became the main cathedral of the eparchy. The eparchy hospital is dedicated to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, the eparchy alms-house is dedicated to St. Andrew of Crete. The eparchy also supports a House of Compassion Children’s Orphanage, and homeless shelters.

Reference: Очерки истории Санкт-Петербургской епархии. СПб., 1994; Шкаровский М. В. Петербургская епархия в годы гонений и утрат, 1917-1945. СПб., 1995; Справочник по Санкт-Петербургской епархии Русской православной церкви (Моск. патриархат). Б. м., 2001.

M. V. Shkarovsky.

Abaza Alexander Aggeevich
Alexy II (Ridiger Alexey Mikhailovich), Patriarch
Alexy (Sergey Vladimirovich Simansky), Metropolitan
Elizaveta Petrovna, Empress
Gavriil (Peter Petrovich Petrov-Shaposhnikov), Metropolitan
Konstantin (Oleg Alexandrovich Goryanov), Archbishop
Nikodim (Srebnitsky), Bishop
Pitirim (Oknov), Metropolitan
Vladimir (Vladimir Savvich Kotlyarov), Metropolitan
Xenia Blazhennaya (real name Petrova Xenia Grigorievna)

Monastyrka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 1
Obvodny Canal Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 17

Очерки истории Санкт-Петербургской епархии. СПб., 1994
Шкаровский М. В. Петербургская епархия в годы гонений и утрат, 917-1945. СПб., 1995
Справочник по Санкт-Петербургской епархии, Русской православной церкви (Моск. патриархат). Б.м., 2001

The subject Index
Alexander Nevsky Lavra
Theological Academy
Kazan Cathedral