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Short biography of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus

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  • frvboldewskul@aol.com
    Biography of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus was born in 1928 in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 18, 2003
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      Biography of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian
      Church Outside of Russia

      Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus was born in 1928 in Ladomirova,
      Czechoslovakia, to Mikhail Ivanovich and Elena Mikhailovna Skurla. At the age of 5, he
      began serving in the altar on feastdays at the church of the Saint Job of
      Pochaev Monastery in Ladomirova, which served as the parish church for the local
      populace. At the age of 8, the future Metropolitan Laurus asked the abbot of the
      Monastery Archimandrite Seraphim (later - Archbishop of Chicago and Detroit,
      + 1987), to accept him as a novice. His father gave him his permission and the
      young Vassily joined the monastery at age 11. After entering the Monastery,
      he continued his obligatory secondary education, traveling to and from school
      by bicycle. While attending school, he also fully participated in the life of
      the Monastery, arising everyday at 4:00 a.m. for the Midnight Office, and
      participating at the other Divine Services. Archimandrite Kyprian (Pzhov),
      iconographer at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville N.Y., played a large role in
      the future Metroplitan's education.
      In 1944, with the Red Army swiftly approaching, the Brotherhood of the
      Monastery evacuated. After Bratislava, the Brotherhood traveled on to Germany,
      and then to Switzerland. It was in Geneva that the future Metropolitan Laurus
      was, at the age of sixteen, made a novice. In 1946, the brotherhood emigrated
      to The United States, and joined the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New
      York. In March of 1948, immediately before the Presanctified Liturgy, three
      novices were tonsured as ryassophore monks - Vassily Skurla (now Metropolitan
      Laurus), Vassily Vanko (now Archimandrite Flor), and Nikolai Gamanovich (now
      Archbishop Alypy of Chicago & Detroit). In 1949 Father Laurus was tonsured to
      the small schema, in 1950 he was ordained to the deaconate, and in 1954 to the
      priesthood. In 1947, while still a novice, he graduated with the first class
      from Holy Trinity Seminary.
      In 1959 Father Laurus was elevated to Igumen, and in 1966 to
      Archimandrite. In 1967 Archimandrite Laurus was consecrated to the episcopate as Bishop of
      Manhattan, and appointed secretary of the Synod of Bishops. His consecration
      took place in the Synodal Cathedral of the Theotokos of the Sign in New York,
      and was celebrated by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, +1986), Archbishop
      Averky (Taushev, +1976), Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky, +1976), Bishop Antony
      (Medvedev, later Archbishop, +2002) and Bishop Kyrill (Yonchev).
      In 1976, upon the repose of Archbishop Averky, the Brotherhood of St. Job
      of Pochaev elected Bishop Laurus as the abbot to the Monastery. Thus, Vladika
      Laurus was appointed as Bishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity, and abbot of
      Holy Trinity Monastery. In 1981, he was elevated to rank of Archbishop. Vladyka
      Metropolitan Laurus has led many pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and has traveled
      extevsively throughout the Eastern Orthodox world (including several
      pilgrimages to Mt. Athos), and throughout the Russian Church Abroad. In 1983, he
      presided over the local glorification of Saint Paissy Velichkovsky at the Skete of
      the Holy Prophet Elias on Mount Athos. As abbot of the Monastery, Vladyka
      Laurus dedicated much time to the Monastery's publishing endeavors, fulfilling the
      Brotherhood's missionary purpose.
      In the summer of 2001, Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov) retired as First
      Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, due to his advanced age and the state of
      his health. In October of 2001, and the Council of Bishops of the Russian
      Church Abroad elected - on the first ballot - Archbishop Laurus as the new
      Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, and First Hierarch of the Russian Church
      Abroad.

      M. Woerl
      May 2002


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