Seraphim (Lukyanov) of Western Europe

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His Eminence, the Most Reverend Archbishop Seraphim (Lukjanov) was the Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Finland from 1921 to 1923. He was the last Russian to lead the Orthodox faithful in Finland.


Archbishop Seraphim was born Alexander Ionnovitch Lukjanov in Saratov, Russia on August 23, 1879. He was from a peasant family. After completing a seminary education Alexander entered the Kazan Theological Academy to continue his education. In 1902, while at the academy, he was tonsured a monk with the name Seraphim and, at the age of 23, was ordained a deacon. In 1903, he was ordained a hieromonk. He graduated from the Kazan Academy in 1904 with a degree in theology.

After his graduation, Fr. Seraphim taught at a seminary, then was advanced to a position as inspector. After being elevated to the rank of archimandrite, Archim. Seraphim was appointed the rector of the Saratov Seminary.

From 1914 to 1917, Archim. Seraphim, having been consecrated to the episcopate, was the Bishop of Sortavala in Karelia. After the declaration of Finnish national independence in late 1917, following the October Revolution and the declaration of autonomy by the Orthodox Church in Finland, Bp. Seraphim continued as the Finnish bishop of Sortavala from 1918 to 1920. Then, from 1921 to 1923, Abp. Seraphim was the archbishop of the autonomous Church of Finland as the Archbishop of Vyborg, the last Russian to head the church in Finland.

The years after the abdication of NIcholas II were difficult as the position of the remnants of Russian Orthodox Church in an independent Finland was in a state of reconciliation with the Finnish culture and government. The Finnish government recognized the Orthodox Church of Finland. In 1923, after a request by the Finnish Church, it was recognized as a autonomous church and came under the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople. In 1925, Abp. Herman (Aav) was enthroned by the Constantinople Patriarchate as the ruling hierarch of the Church of Finland as the Archbishop of Karelia, replacing Abp. Seraphim.

In 1926, Abp. Seraphim left Finland and joined the Russian emigrants in Western Europe, first to London and then to Paris. In 1937, he was appointed Metropolitan and Exarch of the Church of Russia representing the Moscow Patriarchate, a position from which he resigned in 1949. In 1954, Abp. Seraphim returned to the Soviet Union, to a monastery in Moldova where he reposed in 1959, at the age of 79.

Succession box:
Seraphim (Lukyanov) of Western Europe
Preceded by:
Bishop of Sortavala
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Serguis (Stragorodsky)
Archbishop of Finland
Succeeded by:
Herman (Aav)
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