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Basil (Rodzianko) of San Francisco

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==Life==
Born Vladimir Rodzianko on [[May 22]], 1915, Bp. Basil was from a prominent Russian family. He was born on the family estate in Ekaterinoslav in what is now Ukraine. His grandfather, Michael Mikhail Rodzianko, was the president of the Russian Imperial Duma during the reign of Tsar [[Nicholas IIof Russia|Nicholas II]]. In 1919, following the Bolshevik coup, his family emigrated to Serbia in Yugoslavia to escape the communist regime. There, the young Vladimir attended Russian schools. His two interests, as he grew up, were the priesthood [[priest]]hood and the new technology of radio. He continued his education with a coarse course of study in theology at the University of Belgrade from which he graduated in 1937. Also, in 1937 he married Mary Marya Kolubayev. He then continued post-graduate studies at the University of London.
Returning to Yugoslavia, he was [[ordination|ordained ]] a [[deacon]] and then a [[priest]] in Serbia in March 1941. Fr. Vladimir served as a priest in a number of villages in northern Yugoslavia until 1949 enduring first the Nazi occupation and then that of the communists. His life was more difficult under the communists and, for preaching about the ungodly government, he was arrested. The charge against him was the crime of promulgating illegal religious propaganda. Sentenced to eight years hard labor, Fr. Vladimir was stripped of his cassock and cross and shared the hard prison life with his fellow prisoners, enduring with them a plague of fleas. While forbidden to perform any divine services but , with the help of even the non-Orthodox prisoners, he was able to fulfill the requests of the Orthodox prisoners in “blessing "blessing of the waters" on Theophany. In 1949, with a change in policies by the Tito government and with the intercession of the [[Archbishop]] of Canterbury, Fr. Vladimir was released from prison and reunited with his wife, Marya, and their two sons, Vladimir and Michael. After his release they first traveled to France and then on to England where the family settled. Again functioning as a priest, Fr. Vladimir entered into his passion with radio when he was offered a position broadcasting on BBC services. With the BBC, and other radio facilities, he produced for the next forty years religious programs that were broadcast to the Soviet Union. He also lectured widely on Orthodoxy and was active with the [[Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius]]. The effectiveness of his broadcasts made him a target of the Soviet KGB. This attention would bring tragedy to the family when his teenage grandson was killed in an assassination attempt upon Fr. Vladimir's life. This tragedy was followed by the death of his wife, Mary, in 1978.  Following the death of his wife, Fr. Vladimir was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] in 1979, taking the name Basil. After taking his vows in England, [[Hieromonk]] Basil was received by the [[Orthodox Church in America]] from the Moscow Patriarchate. Then, on [[January 12]], 1980, after his arrival in the United States, Hieromonk Basil was [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated]] Bishop of Washington as [[auxiliary bishop|auxiliary]] to Metropolitan Theodosius, the primate of the OCA. In November 1980, Bishop Basil became [[bishop]] of the [[Diocese of the West (OCA)|Diocese of San Francisco and West]]. He served the San Francisco [[diocese]] until his retirement on [[April 25]], 1984. After his retirement Bp. Basil returned to Washington, DC where he again began his religious broadcasts to the Soviet Union. As conditions changed in Russia with the fall of the Bolshevik government Bp. Basil was able to present his broadcasts directly over the Russian radio and television facilities. Then, in May 1991, Patriarch Aleksei asked Bp. Basil to lead a [[pilgrimage]] to the [[Holy Land]] to bring back to Russia for a celebration commemorating Ss. [[Cyril and Methodius]] the holy fire from the tomb of [[Christ]] that miraculously ignites each [[Pascha]]. Bp. Basil and his pilgrims returned, first stopping in Constantinople for the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch, then traveling through the countries of southeastern Europe where SS Cyril and Methodius preached arriving at the Uspensky Sobor ([[Dormition Cathedral (Moscow Kremlin)|Dormition Cathedral]]) in the Kremlin. After the [[Divine Liturgy|Liturgy]], the [[Patriarch]] with Bp. Basil led through the streets of Moscow a procession that had not been seen in Moscow for over seventy years. Bp. Basil remained active among the Orthodox of Washington DC, especially among the new Russian immigrants, until his death on [[September 17]], 1999. He was 84 years old. He was buried with other members of his family at the Novo-Diveeo [[Monastery]] Cemetery in Spring Valley, New York. ==External links==* [http://www.jacwell.org/Fall_Winter99/bishop_basil_rodzian.htm Remembering Bishop Basil Rodzianko]* [http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/resources/hierarchs/oca/former_hierarchs.htm#basil_rodzianko_bishop His Grace Basil, Bishop of San Francisco and the West]  {{start box}}{{succession|before=[[Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas|Dmitri (Royster)]]|title=Bishop of Washington, D.C.|years=1980|after=[[Theodosius (Lazor) of Washington|Theodosius (Lazor)]]}}{{succession|before=[[John (Shahovskoy) of San Francisco|John (Shahovskoy)]]|title=Bishop of San Francisco|years=1980-1984|after=[[Tikhon (Fitzgerald) of San Francisco and Los Angeles|Tikhon (Fitzgerald)]]}}{{end box}}  [[Category:Bishops]][[Category:20th-century bishops]][[Category:Bishops of San Francisco]][[Category:Bishops of Washington]]
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