Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York
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George Nicholaevich Voznesensky was born on March 22, 1903 in Kursk, Russia into a family of a priest, Father Nicholas Voznesensky and his wife Lydia Vasilievna. In 1909, his family moved to Blagoveschensk on the Amur River in Siberia. In 1920, George graduated from the local gymnasium. Later in 1920 in the midst of the Russian Civil War, his family moved to Harbin, Manchuria. In 1921, his mother died, and his father accepted tonsure as a monk with the name Dimitri. Dimitri later became Archbishop of Hailar. He died in 1947 shortly after he repatriated to the Soviet Union.
Living in Harbin, George entered the Russo-Chinese Polytechnic Institute from which he graduated in 1927 as an electromechanical engineer. He then began studies in pastoral theology in what became the Theology Department of the University of St. Vladimir. In 1930, George was ordained a deacon. In 1931, George graduated from St. Vladimir University. Also in 1931, he was tonsured a monk with the name Philaret. In 1932, he was ordained a Hieromonk. In 1937, he was elevated to Igumen and to the rank of archimandrite. During this period he was also a professor of New Testament, Pastoral Theology, and Homiletics at St. Vladimir University.
In mid 1945, after the Communist Chinese and Soviet forces took over Manchuria at the end of World War II, Archim. Philaret remained with the Orthodox believers in Manchuria, but he firmly rejected all attempts to get him to accept a soviet passport. Further, he fearlessly denounced the atheistic communists. His overt position against the soviets placed him in great personal danger. Their hatred of him resulted in an attempt to burn him alive in his monastic cell. He escaped, but suffered severe burns.
In 1962, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was able to acquire a exit visa for Archim. Philaret that allowed him to reach Hong Kong. From there Archim. Philaret quickly traveled to Brisbane, Australia where many of his former flock in Manchuria had settled. After his arrival in Brisbane, his followers petition the Synod of ROCOR to appoint him their bishop. With the active support of the ailing Abp. Sava of Sydney, Archim. Philaret became Bishop of Brisbane, vicar of the Australian diocese. Archim. Philaret was consecrated by Abp. Sava and Bp. Anthony of Melbourne on May 26, 1963.
In 1964, Bp. Philaret represented Abp. Sava at a meeting of the Council of Bishops of ROCOR in which the first hierarch Metr. Anastassy announced his resignation. As the youngest bishop among those at the council, the Council elected Bp. Philaret the successor to Metr. Anastassy. Metr. Philaret was enthroned first hierarch of ROCOR on May 14, 1964.
Metr. Philaret served as the first hierarch of ROCOR for twenty one years. He reposed on November 21, 1985 and was buried in the cemetery of the Church of Dormition. In November 1998, the Synod decided to transfer Metr. Philaret's relics to to a new vault under the altar of Holy Trinity Cathedral at Jordanville, New York. When his tomb was opened, his relics were found to be incorrupt.
On October 23, 2009 Metropolitan Philaret was glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad at Holy Transfiguration Skete. This was previously done by the True Orthodox Church of Greece on May 19 – 20, 2001. These glorifications have not been recognized by other Orthodox groups, however.
TROPARION, Tone 4:
As one equal to the Apostles. and enthroned among the hierarchs of Russia O Godly-wise cultivator of the Russian diaspora, zealot of Orthodoxy, confessor of Christ's love, O hierarch father Philaret pray to Christ God, to establish unity of mind in the Church of our fathers, and to save our souls.
KONTAKION, Tone 4:
The hierarchs of Christ today stand in the assembly of the saints, and with the angelic choirs pray to God for us; together with them also the hierarch of the Lord Philaret, a canon of faith and icon of meekness, who appeared to his flock as a teacher of continence, having acquired by humility things lofty and by poverty riches, he intercedeth for our souls.
Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York
|Bishop of Brisbane (ROCOR)
|First Hierarch of the ROCOR
- Biography of Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky)
- Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of New York, the New Confessor
- Metropolitan St. Philaret of New York (+1985)
- The Early Years of Our First Hierarch Metropolitan Philaret by Archbishop Nafanail (Lvov)
- The Main Goal of Man is to Save his Soul for Eternity by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky)
- The Free Part of the Russian Church, interview of Metr Philaret given to the West German Catholic weekly Publik
- The Vestments and Staff of His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret Are Given to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy