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Gregory (Chukov) of Leningrad

Metropolitan Gregory (Chukov) of Leningrad and Novgorod was a hierarch of the Church of Russia in the Soviet Union during World War II and the post war era.


Metropolitan Gregory was born Nikolai Kirillovich Chukov (Николай Кириллович Чуков) in 1870. Little is known of his younger years before he entered the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. After graduating in 1895, Nikolai was given the position as the superintendent for theological schools of Olonets Eparchy near Lake Ladoga. Having entered the Holy Orders and ordained a priest, Fr. Nikolai was assigned as priest of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Petrozavodsk in 1897. In 1907, he was elevated to archpriest.

In 1911, Fr. Nikolai was assigned as rector of the Olonets Theological Seminary, a position he held until 1918 when he moved to Petrograd, the World War I name for St. Petersburg. In 1919, Fr Nikolai was assigned priest at Ss. Peter and Paul Church of Petrograd University before moving on to Kazan Cathedral in 1921. Also from 1920, Fr. Nikolai served as president of the Petrograd Theological Institute and Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the Society of Orthodox Parishes of the City of Petrograd and the Province.

As the actions of the Bolshevik government intensified after taking over the government of Russia, Fr. Nikolai was arrested in 1922 and sentenced to death by firing squad by the Petrograd Provincial Revolutionary Tribunal for his actions during the government's requisition of church valuables. However, by order of the Presidium of All-Russian Central Executive Committee the sentence for Fr. Nikolai was reduced to spending a year and a half in prison.

After his release from prison, Fr. Nikolai returned to Petrograd, now Leningrad, and in 1925, established Theological Institute and Higher Theological Courses to replace the disrupted theological school system. In 1930, Fr. Nikolai was arrested again. This time the arrest was in connection with the case of the All National Union of Struggle for the Revival of a Free Russia (the so-called Academic Platonov's Case[1]). But, he was soon released due to a lack of evidence. Also, from 1924 to 1935, Fr. Nikolai served as priest of St. Nicholas' Naval Cathedral.

In 1942, Fr. Nikolai was tonsured a monk with the name of Gregory and soon was appointed Archbishop of Saratov. In 1944, Abp. Gregory was appointed Archbishop of Pskov and temporary administrator of the Eparchy of Leningrad and Novgorod. In 1945, he was installed as Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, serving until 1955. Also, in 1945, Metr. Gregory was appointed administrator of Russian Orthodox communities and monasteries in Finland.

In 1946, Metr. Gregory was appointed president of the Educational Committee of the Holy Synod.

He died in Moscow on November 5 and was buried in Leningrad at the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Alexander Nevsky Lavra. In 1961, his relics were moved to the crypt under the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Lavra.

Succession box:
Gregory (Chukov) of Leningrad
Preceded by:
Andrew (Komarov)
Archbishop of Saratov
Succeeded by:
Paisius (Obraztsov)
Preceded by:
Theodore (Yatskovetsky)
Archbishop of Pskov
Succeeded by:
Justin (Maltsev)
Preceded by:
Alexius (Simansky)
Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod
Succeeded by:
Eleutherius (Vorontsov)
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