Silvester (Kulyabka) of St. Petersburg

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Archbishop Silvester (Kulyabka) of St. Petersburg and Schliesselburg was the ruling hierarch of the Eparchy of St. Petersburg of the Church of Russia from 1750 to 1761. He was noted for placing special emphasis on the education of the clergy within the eparchy.


The year of the birth of Semen Petrovich Kulyabka is disputed, being either 1701 or 1704. Little is known of his early life. He attended the Kiev Theological Academy, graduating in 1726. After graduating he stayed at the academy teaching and was appointed to the position of director of the academy in 1738. In 1740, he was made the president of the academy.

In 1727, Semen Petrovich took a monastic tonsure with the name Silvester and was subsequently ordained to the Holy Orders. In 1743, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and was appointed head of the Bratsky Monastery of Kiev.

In 1744, Archim. Silvester was sent to St. Petersburg to convey congratulations to Grand Prince Peter Fedorovich and Grand Princess Catherine Alexeevna on their marriage. The Empress Elizabeth Petrovna heard Archim. Silvester's sermons while he was in St. Petersburg, liked them, and thus extended his stay in St. Petersburg. His stay soon led to his election and consecration, in 1745, as Bishop of Kostroma. In 1750, Bp. Silvester was appointed the Bishop of St. Petersburg and abbot of Alexander Nevsky Monastery.

During the time Bp. Silvester was the ruling hierarch of the Eparchy of St. Petersburg, he placed an emphasis on the education of his clergy. He also initiated church building projects that resulted, in 1753, in the building of St. Nicholas’ Naval Cathedral (formally St. Nicholas Cathedral of Epiphany) and the Holy Assumption Church (also known as the Church of Our Saviour on Sennaya Square) in St. Petersburg. (The latter church was demolished in 1961 during the Soviet times.) He also authored of a number of works in theology.

Bp. Silvester reposed in St. Petersburg during 1761 and was buried in the Church of the Annunciation at Alexander Nevsky Monastery.

Succession box:
Silvester (Kulyabka) of St. Petersburg
Preceded by:
Bishop of Kostroma
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Theodosius (Yankovsy)
Archbishop of St.Petersburg and Schliesselburg
Succeeded by:
Benjamin (Putsek-Grigorovich)
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