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On the anniversary of the birthday of me…

On the anniversary of the birthday of metropolitan Philaret (Vakhromeyev) the memorial study of the ever-memorable archpastor is opened in Minsk

On 21 st March 2021, on the anniversary of the birthday of metropolitan Philaret
(Vakhromeyev), the first Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, there took place the
opening of the memorial study of the ever-memorable archpastor. Exhibits were
displayed taken the collections of the Ecclesiastical and Historical Museum of the
Belorussian Orthodox Church in the city of Minsk.

The solemn ceremony of the opening of the study began in the Church of St. Cyril
of Turov at the Minsk Theological Academy with a short service of
commemoration for the departed archpastor celebrated by the metropolitan of
Minsk and Zaslawye Benjamin, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus.
Concelebrating were the rector of the Church of St. Cyril of Turov, the first deputy
rector of the Minsk Theological Academy archpriest Vladimir Dolgopolov and the
cleric of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit priest Dimitry Netsvetaev.

Among the guests of honour were the bishop of Slutsk and Soligorsk Anthony, the
plenipotentiary for religious affairs and nationalities of Belarus Alexander Rumak
and the general director of National Museum of Arts Vladimir Prokoptsov.

“Previously, we would gather on this day to congratulate the Exarch on his
birthday. Today we have come here to pray for the repose of his soul and to open
the memorial study which replicates the environment in which the late
metropolitan accomplished great deeds,” noted the Primate of the Belorussian
Orthodox Church in addressing those present.

“If we are to characterize metropolitan Philaret’s ministry, then it would be right to
recall the words which he once uttered to the students of the Minsk Theological
Seminary: ‘One simply has to live actively and labour actively.’ These words were
words of exhortation and encouragement to the upcoming generation, the future
generation of priests. At the same time, it was the principle which the late Exarch
lived by,” said metropolitan Benjamin.

“With gratitude we recall his labours and pray for the repose of his soul in the
mansions of the righteous. Let us endeavour to keep his memory in the land of
Belarus so that the word of God, sowed with such love by the metropolitan, may
bring further fruit,” the Patriarchal Exarch appealed to those present.
Those who attended this event then proceeded to the memorial study in the
museum buildings located on 27, Zybitskaya St.

The children’s choir of the Church of St. Cyril of Turov performed songs in
Belorussian dedicated to Zhirovichi monastery.

The museum archivist Maria Netsvetaeva acquainted the guests with the newly-
opened exhibition consisting of personal effects and awards which metropolitan
Philaret had personally handed over to the museum such as guest books signed by
guests of honour, manuscripts, vestments, icons and items of decorative and
applied art from the metropolitan’s collection. The visitors also viewed one of the
late Exarch’s favourite icons before which he often prayed – the image of St.
Philaret the Merciful, taken from the domestic chapel in honour of the Synaxis of
the Saints of Belarus at the Minsk diocesan administration.

Metropolitan Benjamin brought to the attention of those present the simple
everyday circumstances in which the late metropolitan achieved great things for
the good of the homeland and the Mother Church. These achievements were
rewarded by the rank of Hero of Belarus and numerous ecclesiastical awards. “But
above all they were rewarded by the love of not only the Belorussian flock, but
also by all those who knew and had the opportunity to converse with the Exarch
beyond the confines of our country,” said metropolitan Benjamin.

Metropolitan Philaret (Vakhromeyev) was the chairman of the Department of
External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate from 1981 to 1989.

 ***
The Ecclesiastical and Historical Museum of the Belorussian Orthodox Church
was established in 2013 with the blessing of the metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk
Philaret, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, on the basis of his collection of
church antiquities. The museum collection, exhibited in three halls, relates the
history of the Orthodox Church in the lands of Belarus. At the opening of the
museum there was also set up an exhibition dedicated to metropolitan Philaret. Its
reconstruction was begun in 2020 with the blessing of the metropolitan of Minsk
and Slutsk Paul, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Russia. The exhibition was enlarged
by the acquisitions of the table and armchair at which the late metropolitan Philaret
worked in his rooms, as well as furniture from his work study.
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