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Met. Nestor (Anisimov Nikolai Alexandrovich) 1884-1962

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  • Nelson Mitrophan Chin
    http://orthodox.cn/history/metnestor/index_en.html originally published in Russian at hronos.km.ru BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX English Translation by Igor Radev Nestor
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2005
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      originally published in Russian at hronos.km.ru


      English Translation by Igor Radev

      Nestor (Anisimov Nikolai Alexandrovich)

      Nestor - Anisimov Nikolai
      Aleksandrovich 1956
      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.


      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
      Martyrs etcetera.

      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

      Unpublished memoirs,
      travel notes and remarks of Metropolitan Nestor

      * Chronicle of the Kamchatkan Orthodox Brotherhood in "Eparchial News
      of Vladivostok".
      * Kamchatkan Orthodox Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Savior.
      Kamchatka region
      * 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
      * Yugoslavia
      * 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

      Project Hronos exists from January 20th 2000
      at two domains - www.hrono.ru and www.hronos.km.ru,
      Editor: Vyacheslav Rumyancev
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