Michael Pomazansky

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Protopresbyter Michael Ivanovich Pomazansky (Russian: Михаил Иванович Помазанский; November 7, 1888 – November 4, 1988) was a Russian theologian, teacher, and Pastor.

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Biography

He was born in the village of Korist, in the governorate of Volhynia. His father was Archpriest Ioann Pomazansky who was the son of Father Ioann Ambrosievich. Fr. Michael's mother, Vera Grigorievna, was the daughter of a protodeacon and later priest in the city of Zhitomir.

Upon completing secondary school, Fr. Michael entered the Volhynia seminary where he attracted the particular attention of Bishop (later Metropolitan) Anthony Khrapovitsky, who left in his heart traces of his broad social, intellectual and moral influence.

When, after graduating from seminary Fr. Michael left Volhynia, he continued to maintain contact with Vladika Anthony through correspondence. It was with Vladika Anthony's help that in 1914 Fr. Michael received a position as a teacher of Church Slavonic in the Kaluga Seminary.

From 1908 to 1912 Fr. Michael taught in the Kiev Theological Academy. There in Kiev he took graduate pedagogical courses. In 1913 he married Vera Feodorovna Shumsky, the daughter of a priest, who became his faithful and inseparable companion on their long path together in life. After a brief stint on the missionary field combating sectarianism - through which he formed a life-long attachment to the study of the New Testament - Fr. Michael taught in the Kaluga Theological Academy; his time there coincided with the First World War. The Revolution and the consequent closing of ecclesiastical institutions obliged him to return to his native Volhynia.

From 1920 until 1934 Fr. Michael taught Russian philology, literature, philosophical dialectics and Latin at the Russian Lycée in Rivne.

In 1936 Fr. Michael was ordained a priest and moved to Warsaw where he was the first assistant to the rector of cathedral, a position he held until June, 1944.

Upon his arrival in America in 1949, Fr. Michael was appointed by Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) as an instructor at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York. After the death of his wife, he moved into the monastery, where he remained until his death on November 4, 1988.

Fr. Michael passed away on Friday November 4, 1988, at 6:30 in the morning, the feast day of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Archbishop Laurus (Škurla) performed the funeral service on November 9. Present at the service were Fr. Michael's former students - Fr. George Larin, Fr. Vsevolod Drobot, Fr. Gregory Kotliarov, Fr. Ioasaph Yaroshchuk, Fr. Victor Lokhmatov and Fr. Deacon Andrei Papkov.

Legacy

Father Michael Pomazansky was known for his adherence to the teaching of dogmatic theology as a way to maintain understanding and unity within the various Eastern Orthodox communities. The work that he is most remember for is indeed named after this precept: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology.

Bibliography

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