Met. Nestor (Anisimov Nikolai Alexandrovich) 1884-1962
originally published in Russian at hronos.km.ru
English Translation by Igor Radev
Nestor (Anisimov Nikolai Alexandrovich)
Nestor - Anisimov Nikolai
Nestor (Anisimov Nikolai Alexandrovich) (November 9th 1884, Vyatka, -
November 4th 1962, Moscow different chronology is given in
Karaulov's article, see below). His father was a military officer
(headquarters advisor), and his mother a daughter of a protopriest.
He finished the Kazan normal school and entered as novice the Kazan
monastery of the Savior. In 1907 he was tonsured into monkhood and
then was sent in Kamchatka as missionary. He learned the Tungus and
Koryak languages and subsequently translated into them the Divine
Liturgy and the Gospel. He made a report to the State Duma about
Kamchatka region. In 1914 -1915 he volunteered to the front where he
organized a sanitary unit. In 1816 he became bishop of Kamchatka and
From August 1917-1918 he was member of the Council of the Russian
Orthodox Church. He took part in the discussion at the Council about
the gunning of the Moscow Kremlin and the damage done this way to the
Kremlin churches. As a response to the remark that Kremlin was shot at
by Bolsheviks and Yunkers as well, Bishop Nestor said: "Who can claim
whether the churches were damaged deliberately or accidentally Of
course, not our Army shot at the temples of God It is important to us
now to have every fact that can stir up among the people abhorrence
against the Bolsheviks. People know that Bolsheviks are against
religion. I suggest that immediately a short but poignant booklet is
made where the destruction will be described in detail and the
culprits for it shall be pointed. That way it will have an impact
among the people used to respect the sacred." (see Chertkov A., Krah,
M., 1968, page 38-39). Bishop Nestor wrote that booklet under the
title "The shooting Moscow Kremlin" (M., 1917), in which he wrote:
"Alas, a mindless strategy has become typical for all representatives
of the self-proclaimed government, and what they are doing to the
Kremlin are doing to all of Russia, looking for in her with their
instruments of death the enemies of their deranged utopias" (page 28).
He cooperated with A. V. Kolchak.
In 1919 Bishop Nestor returned to Kamchatka via Europe, Africa and
Asia because the normal route through Siberia was blocked due to the
civil war. After the establishment of Soviet authority in Kamchatka,
he moved to Harbin, where he set up a representation of Kamchatka
Diocese. In 1933 he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop. In 1945 he
met the Soviet armies in Harbin.
He was arrested in 1948 and was kept in prison camp in Mordovia. In
1956 he was appointed Metropolitan of Novosibirsk and Barnaul, and in
1958 of Kirovgrad and Nikolaevsk.
Materials were used from the article of M. E. Golostenov in the book:
Political activists in Russia 1917. Biographical lexicon, Moscow, 1993.
MISSIONARY TO KAMCHATKA
Metropolitan Nestor (in the world Nikolai Aleksandrovich Anisimov) was
born on November 8th (according to the old style) 1885 in the town of
Vyatka, and from his early childhood he was marked with deep
religiosity. After finishing normal school, he became novice at the
Transfiguration of Savior monastery in Kazan and then enrolled into
the missionary department of Kazan Spiritual Academy.
In 1907 after his soul's longing and by the will of God, receiving a
blessing from Holy Righteous John of Kronstad, he decides to devout
himself to missionary work.
On April 17th he was tonsured a monk receiving the name of Nestor, in
honor of St Nestor the Chronologist. On May 6th 1907 he was elevated
to the rank of hierodeacon, and three days later to the rank of
On June 2nd 1907 he left for the place of his missionary service in
During 1907-1908, Hieromonk Nestor diligently, often even risking his
own life, delivered his pastoral obligation, preaching the Word of God
and urging to faith in Christ many heathens Kamchadals. The profound
respect he had towards these people, their language and traditions,
the unceasing readiness to provide help to the sick, the frail and the
injured secured Hieromonk Nestor the deeply felt love and respect of
his flock even in the most secluded areas of the enormous Kamchatka
region. Despite this, the young Shepherd was not thoroughly satisfied
with his work. He understood that with his small strength he could not
solve all the problems of the all-forsaken Kamchatka. It was necessary
to draw the attention of the powerful of the world, of the Church
hierarchy, of the honest people who wanted to help their fellow men,
those suffering from poverty, illness, drunkenness and the autocracy
of local officials. Thus how came about the idea to form the
charitable "Kamchatkan Brotherhood".
At the beginning of 1910, after receiving a blessing from the ruling
hierarch, Fr Nestor went to St Petersburg where he faced the rigidity
and even animosity of the Synod's bureaucrats and its Ober-procurator.
But that didn't discourage the young hieromonk. At the price of
enormous efforts he succeeded to draw the attention of the broader
Orthodox public and the representatives of the State Duma to the idea
of creating a Brotherhood. Also, a decisive role in this had the
personal involvement of the Sovereign, Nikolai Alexandrovich, Empress
Alexandra Fedorovna and the widow-empress, Maria Fedorovna.
As a result of those efforts on September 14th 1910 in Vladivostok the
Charitable Kamchatkan Brotherhood was opened, and shortly after its
sections were formed in St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and other Russian
cities. The Brotherhood was substantially helped by St Nikolai Equal
to the Apostles, the Archbishop of Japan, by Holy Martyr Elizabeth -
the Grand Princess, Holy Martyr Vladimir - Metropolitan of Kiev and
Galicia. Large assistance was offered by the Royal family. The
Brotherhood was given church, liturgical utensils, money,
transportation privileges. Patron of the Brotherhood became Crowned
Prince Alexey Nikolaevich.
During 1910-1917 at the expenses of the Brotherhood in Kamchatka there
were built dozens of churches, chapels, schools, shelters, hospitals,
leprosy colonies and ambulance stations.
Having learned Tungus (Evenki) and Koryak language, Hieromonk Nestor
translated into the local languages the Divine Liturgy, partly the
Gospel and selected prayers. For that work Fr Nestor was elevated to
the rank of hegoumen in 1913.
After the beginning of the war in 1914, Fr Nestor organized and headed
the sanitary unit "First Aid under fire" and personally evacuated the
wounded from the battlefield, took care of their wounds, comforted
them and arranged their transport to field hospitals. For his
altruistic and heroic work hegoumen Nestor was awarded the prestigious
religious and military honor - the right to ware a chest cross on a St
George's ribbon, as well as number of military medals.
At the end of 1915 Fr Nestor was demobilized form the front and was
elevated to the rank of archimandrite, and finally continued his
pastoral mission in Kamchatka.
On October 16th Fr Nestor was consecrated a bishop and was appointed
the first ruling hierarch of the newly formed Kamchatka Diocese.
During 1917-1918 Bishop Nestor took part in the All-Russian Local
Church Council and the election of Patriarch Tykhon. After the October
events in Moscow 1917 he participated in the work of the commission
responsible for photographing and describing the damages done to the
Moscow Kremlin, which acted under the leadership of Holy Martyr
Veniamin, Metropolitan of St Petersburg, and with blessing of the
Council subsequently published the book "Shooting of the Moscow
Kremlin", for which he was soon arrested by the Bolsheviks, spending
more than a month in jail. After the end of the Council's work, Bishop
Nestor with great difficulties managed to return to Petropavlovsk of
Kamchatka, traveling on the way through Kiev, Odessa, Crimea, Turkey,
Syria, Egypt, India and China. There he continued his service as a
bishop. But soon enough he is expelled by the Bolsheviks from Kamchatka.
Enjoying particular trust on the side of Patriarch Tykhon, during
1919-1920 Vladika carried out number of his rulings concerning Siberia
and the Far East. In 1921 Bishop Nestor opens a representation of the
Kamchatka Diocese in the city of Harbin (Manchuria), and later Home
of mercy and diligence, which helped preserve the lives of thousands
of children and adults alike, caught in the chaos of the civil war.
Being under the auspices of the Synod Abroad, Vladika painfully went
through the turmoil of the 20-30-ies, subsequently supporting the idea
of the unity of the suffering Mother Church. During that period, the
Bishop visited many countries of Europe and Asia, meeting the
hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, the Heads of many
local Orthodox Churches and some heterodox Churches. On number of
occasions he made pilgrimages in the Holy Land. In 1938-1939 he
undertook missionary work in India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
In 1946 Bishop Nestor was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan by
Patriarch Alexy I and was appointed the ruling hierarch of Harbin and
Manchuria and Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia.
In 1948 Vladika undergoes arrest and imprisonment in prison camps. He
was sentenced because of his participation in the transfer of the
relics of Holy Martyr Elizabeth, the organizing of the Local Council
in Vladivostok 1922, the publishing of the book "Shooting of the
Moscow Kremlin", the building of a chapel dedicated to the Crowned
After his release in 1956, Vladika was appointed Metropolitan of
Novosibirsk and Barnaul, and from December 1958 Metropolitan of
Kirovgrad and Nikolaevsk.
Vladika especially had respect for the Holy Dormition Kiev and Pechora
Lavra. His first visit there in 1905 effected an unforgettable
impression on him and decided the subsequent choice of his monastic
name Nestor. In the following years (1909-1918, and after 1956)
Vladika visited the Lavra on many occasions and prayed in its Holy
precincts. In the hard times immediately preceding its closure,
Vladika several time purposely went to the Lavra in order to give
consolation to its Abbot and the brotherhood and strengthen among them
the hope in the unavoidable victory of the Faith in Christ.
During the last years of his life Vladika traveled a lot through his
Diocese, carrying out Divine Services, preaching the Word of God and
protesting the closure of churches done by the godless authorities.
Metropolitan Nestor reposed on October 22nd / November 4th 1962. He
was buried in the courtyard of the church of the Patriarchal
representation of Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Peredelkino.
May your Hierarchood be mentioned by God in His Kingdom!
The biographical article was compiled by
Alexander Kirilovich Karaulov
Basic published works of Metropolitan Nestor
* Orthodoxy in Siberia SPb., 1910.
* From the life of a Kamchatkan missionary and notes from the diary of
Hieromonk Nestor. SPb., 1912.
* The shooting of Moscow Kremlin (October 27th November 3rd 1917).
M., 1917 (2nd edition, Tokyo 1920)
* The Life of St Inokenty. Harbin, 1931.
* The role of women in the light of Christianity. Shanghai, 1932 (2nd
edition, Belgrade 1933)
* Harbin Manchuria. Belgrade, 1933.
* The Life of St Arseny. Harbin, 1934.
* Ancient Russ. Harbin, 1934.
* Egypt, Rome. Shanghai, 1934.
* Remarks about the Far East. Belgrade, 1934.
* The Holy Land. Harbin, 1935.
* Notes on Yugoslavia. Harbin, 1935.
* My Kamchatka
travel notes and remarks of Metropolitan Nestor
* Chronicle of the Kamchatkan Orthodox Brotherhood in "Eparchial News
* Kamchatkan Orthodox Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Savior.
* Personal memories of the Royal Family.
* Eusebius, Metropolitan of Vladivostok and the Maritime.
* Nikolai, Archbishop of Japan.
* Patriarch Tykhon.
* Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev.
* House of mercy.
* About the visit to colonies of lepers in Kamchatka, Yamburg county
of St Petersburg province, India and Jerusalem.
* Jerusalem Palestine
* Egypt, Rome, Bari
* Travels to India and Ceylon
8 China and Japan
* Metropolitan Nestor (obituary), "Journal of the Moscow
Patriarchate", 1962, No. 12
* Manuil [Lemesevskij], Die Russischen Orthodoxen Bischofe von 1893
bis 1965, Teil 5, Erlangen, 1967
You can read here:
* Bishop Nestor: "Shooting of the Moscow Kremlin" (document)
* Bishop Nestor: "My Kamchatka"
* Karaulov A. K., Korostelev V. V.: "Arrest of the Exarch" // Russian
Atlantis Chelyabinsk, 2003, No. 11. Page 11-26.
* A. K. Karaulov, V. V. Korostelev: "Advocate of Church unity"
(towards the 40th anniversary of the blessed repose of Metropolitan
* A. K. Karaulov, Korostelev V. V.: "Exarch of East Asia"// Russian
Atlantis Chelyabinsk, 2003, No. 9. - Page 17-24
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