With great sorrow, the inhabitants of the monasteries and members of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem received the sad news of the death of the First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Hilarion. Many of those living in the Holy Land were closely acquainted with Vladyka and remember him as a young hieromonk whom in 1979 the Holy Synod of ROCOR sent to serve in Jerusalem. The late Vladyka fell in love with the Holy Land for the rest of his life and subsequently often visited Jerusalem in the person of the bishop and first hierarch. Many sisters of Russian monasteries in Jerusalem and residents of the RDM came to him for spiritual advice and consolation, for everyone he was like a native.

On the morning of May 17, when the sad news reached the Mount of Olives, the monastery bell rang a funeral peal before the morning service. The head of the REM, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), served Liturgy, after which a memorial service was served, where the newly-departed Vladyka Hilarion was commemorated along with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy and Metropolitan Laurus. It is providential that on this day 15 years ago, May 17, they were together in Moscow in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior at the signing of an act of canonical communion between the two parts of the Russian Church. Now they stand together before the Lord in heavenly Jerusalem and pray for our long-suffering church. In his sermon after the memorial service, Archimandrite Roman said that “those who knew Vladyka closely would agree that the gospel saying about “an Israelite in whom there is no guile” can be safely attributed to our deceased Vladyka. He was a pure man, and to a pure man everything is pure. During the 50 years of knowing Vladyka, I have never heard that he would condemn or insult someone. He was a very gentle and kind person. When the helmsman leaves the spiritual ship, there comes a time of uncertainty, somehow scary and exciting, but we must not forget that our church is in the hands of God and He will give us a worthy successor.

The photo album contains photographs from different years, capturing the moments of observation of Metropolitan Hilarion in the Holy Land.


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