Нis Eminence Pavel, Metropolitan of Manila and Hanoi (Fokin Pavel Semenovich)
Date of Birth: January 9, 1956
Date of Ordination: June 12, 2011
Date of Tonsure: October 8, 1996
Khanty-Mansy Metropolia (Head of the Metropolia)
Khanty-Mansy Diocese (Ruling bishop)
Philippine-Vietnam Diocese (Ruling bishop)
Born on January 9, 1956 in the village Kucherovka (Glukhov district, Sumy region, Ukraine).
Served in the Soviet Army in 1974-1976.
Since 1981 served as a chorister of children’s and teachers’ choir of a secondary school.
Moved to Leningrad in 1985. Carried the obedience of the reader and the psalmist at the Cathedral of Transfiguration.
In 1989 entered the Leningrad Spiritual Seminary on recommendations of the dean of the Cathedral of Transfiguration, the professor of the Leningrad Spiritual Seminary Archpriest Nikolay Gundyaev.
After graduating the Seminary entered the Leningrad Spiritual Academy in 1992. In 1996 has defended a PHD thesis on “The Order of Malta and its history”.
On September 21, 1996 ordained by the Archbisop of the Kostroma and Galich to a deacon, on September 27, 1996 to a presbyter.
On October 8, 1996 took the monastic vows with the name of Pavel in honor of Venerable Pavel, the Miracle-worker of Obnorsk and Komelsk.
On October 31, 1996 appointed as the Abbot of the Holy Trinity Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma.
On October 17, 1997 dignified as hegumen, on May 21, 1998 dignified as archmandrite.
Took obedience as a member of diocesan council, the dean of Kostroma churches, head of diocesan court, and lecturer in Kostroma Ecclesiastical Academy during his service in the Kostroma diocese. Simultaneously served as the Abbot of St. John the Evangelist church in Kostroma and supervised completion of construction of the Saint Elijah church in Ilinskoe village of Kostroma region.
From October 16, 2002 to January 15, 2003 took obedience as assistant to the head of the Russian Orthodox Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem in addition to managing the monastery.
According to the resolution of Patriarch Alexis II and the Holy Synod as of December 26, 2003 dismissed from the post of the Abbot of the Holy Trinity Ipatiev Monastery and appointed as the Archbishop of the St. Nicholas Cathedral in San Francisco (USA).
According to the resolution of the Holy Synod as of August 21, 2007 (journal #65) dismissed from the post of the Archbishop of the St. Nicholas Cathedral in San Francisco and appointed as the Abbott of St. Nicholas Stavropegial parish in Rome.
According to the resolution of the Holy Synod as of May 30, 2011 (journal #31) selected as a Ruling bishop of the newly established Khanty-Mansy diocese.
On June 11, 2011 in the Throne Room of the Patriarchal private rooms in the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra named and on June 12 during the Divine liturgy held at the Dormition Cathedral of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra consecrated to bishop of Khanty-Mansiysk and Surgut. The liturgy was headed by His Holiness the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
According to the resolution of the Holy Synod as of December 25, 2014 (journal #120) appointed as a head of Khanty-Mansiysk metropolis.
On February 1, 2015 dignified as a metropolitan by His Holiness the Patriarch Kirill during the Divine liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
According to the resolution of the Holy Synod as of August 30, 2019 (journal #97) in addition to the current obedience His Grace metropolitan of Khanty-Mansiysk and Surgut Pavel was put in charge of the Philippines-Vietnam diocese of Patriarchal exarchate of South-East Asia titled as “Manila and Hanoi” within the borders of the named eparchy.
1992 — Leningrad Spiritual Seminary.
1996 — Leningrad Spiritual Academy.
Scientific work, publications:
• “The Order of Malta and its history” (Phd).
• Pamphlet of the Ipatiev monastery. 1999.
• St. Nicholas Cathedral, San Francisco, USA. 2005.
• Life journey, memoirs and correspondence of Archbishop of Washington and Alaska Antonina (Pokrovskiy). 2006.
• By Imperial order of Alexander I // Russian cenobite. 2010 (July – September).
• Speech by archmandrite Pavel (Fokin) at nomination to bishop of Khanty-Mansiysk and Surgut.
• 2006 — order of St. Innocent of Moscow 3 class.
• 2009 — order of Pochaev icon of the Mother of God UOC
• 2016 — order of St. Innocent of Moscow 2 class.
• 2018 — An honored citizen of Nizhnevartovsk region.
• 2019 — Certificate of Appreciation from Khanty-Mansiysk region Council.
Orthodoxy: From Jerusalem to Manila
Orthodoxy (derived from Greek. ὀρθοδοξία – correct teaching, correct faith and glorification of God) – the original traditional Christianity, founded by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Palestine was spread throughout the world by his Closest disciples – the apostles, together with their successors – the bishops.
This is the creed and the corresponding way of life of the Orthodox Church, which is understood as a community of independent (Autocephalous) local Churches United by Eucharistic communion.
The Orthodox people profess the true, Apostolic faith, embodied in Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, expressed in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed (symbol of faith) and other decrees adopted by the seven Ecumenical councils.
The Foundation of the Orthodox Church is the God-man Jesus Christ, the redeeming feat of his earthly life, preaching, death on the cross and resurrection in the first third of the first century.
After the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, they dispersed to preach the Gospel of Christ throughout the world. Until the end of the first century they were able to spread Christianity in all the known countries of the Ancient world, founding there many Christian communities.
After the death of the apostles, their work was continued by their ordained bishops, who affirmed and spread the Christian faith in the lands entrusted to them.
Gradually, the Church hierarchy and the organizational structure of the satchel of the Church are formed, Its most important administrative centers – Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, etc.
From the I to the IV century the Church suffered both from state persecution from the outside and from heresies and schisms from within. Both threatened Its very existence. Christianity was condemned and outlawed. The defense of the Church was led by apologists, justifying and defending Christian doctrine and way of life from hostile attacks. Many Christians testified their loyalty to Christ by deeds of confession and martyrdom.
In the early fourth century the persecution ends with the victory of Christianity. At first, under Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337), it was equalized in rights with other religions and even gained a privileged position, being able to preach freely. Then, Emperor Theodosius I the Great (346-395) proclaimed Christianity the only state religion of the Roman Empire.
Time from IV to VIII century in Church history is called the period of the Ecumenical councils. To clarify and protect the purity of the Orthodox creed from various heretical errors (arianism, nestorianism, monophysitism, monophelitism, iconoclasm) and establish a single canonical order with the active support of the imperial authorities gathered representatives of the entire Christian Church, which confirmed the faith in the Holy Trinity, the God-manhood of Christ, the dignity of the Virgin, icon worship, etc.
In IV century monasticism emerged and was flourishing, which since then becomes an essential part of Orthodoxy. The leading centers of monastic life were Egypt, Syria and Palestine. The founders of monasticism are considered to be the venerable Anthony the Great, Macarius of Egypt, Pachomius the Great, Hilarion the Great, James of Nisibia and others. The Monastic desire to embody the ascetic Evangelical ideal in earthly life resisted the worldliness of the Church, protected It from worldly temptations.
In V century pentarchy is formed – arrangement of United Universal Church from five Patriarchates (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem), primacy honor in which was given the Roman pulpit.
In VII century the homeland of Christianity – Palestine together with the most ancient Christian lands (Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor) were captured by Muslim troops.
As a result of a number of socio-political, cultural and doctrinal differences between the Eastern and Western parts of Christendom in 1054, the Roman pulpit fell away from unity with the Eastern (Byzantine) Church. This tragic event, called the Great schism of the Church, was finally aggravated by the Crusades in 11-13 centuries. and to this day is an unhealed wound on the body of the Church.
The Russian Orthodox Church has more than a thousand years of history. According to legend, the Holy Apostle Andrew the first-called in the I century. preached the Gospel in the future Russian lands. The spread of Christianity in Russia was facilitated by its proximity to such Christian countries as the Byzantine Empire and Bulgaria.
In the IX century the South of Russia was consecrated by the activity of the Holy equal-to-the-apostles brothers Cyril and Methodius-the enlighteners of the Slavs, the creators of the Slavic alphabet and translators of Scripture and Worship texts into the Slavic language.
In 860, under the Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Photius, the Kievan princes Askold and Dir were baptized. This was the first attempt to baptize Russia at the state level, unfortunately, ended in failure and pagan reaction.
In 954, Princess Olga of Kiev, the first Christian ruler of the Rurik dynasty, was baptized.
In 988, her grandson, Prince Vladimir makes the final decision and performs the Baptism of Rus. The newly formed Russian Church becomes one of the metropolitans of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which it remained for five centuries. The Metropolitan of Kiev was appointed by the Patriarch of Constantinople from the Greeks. In 1051, the Russian Metropolitan Hilarion, the most educated man of his time, a remarkable Church writer, was first placed on the primatial throne.
Orthodoxy had a powerful influence on the development and flowering of Russian statehood, education, culture and spiritual life of the nation. Magnificent temples are erected, monasteries are founded, school education is developed, uniform legislation is created, literature and other arts flourish, social dispositions are softened.
The founders of monasticism in Russia are the venerable Anthony and Theodosius of Pechersk, who initiated the famous Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The outstanding writers of the Russian Church were Metropolitan Hilarion of Kiev, Reverend Nestor the Chronicler and others.
In the XII century the Russian Church was the only force that resisted feudal fragmentation, denounced princely feuds and urged to preserve fraternal unity for the sake of preserving the country and the people.
Russian Church was not broken by the Tatar-Mongol invasion, as a result of which the Russian lands were under the rule of the Golden Horde. It not only survived, but also became the Consoler for the people, its spiritual inspirer for the reconstruction of the political unity of Russia. Spiritually, materially and morally it contributed to the future victory over the enslavers.
Russian Russian prelates were the spiritual leaders and assistants of the Moscow princes in the unification of the scattered Russian principalities around Moscow. Metropolitan Alexy (1354-1378) raised the Holy Prince Dimitri of Don. He, as later Prelate Metropolitan Jonah (1448-1471), using the force of his authority helped Moscow Prince in ending the feudal turmoil and preserving the state unity. The great ascetic, the monk Sergius of Radonezh gave his blessing to Dimitri Donskoy for the greatest feat of arms-the battle of Kulikovo, which served as the beginning of Russia liberation from the Mongol yoke.
Monasteries stood as the guard over the Orthodox faith, Russian identity and culture from foreign Western influence. Only from the XIV to mid-XV century in Russia was founded around 180 new monasteries. The main monastic centers were the Pochaev Lavra founded by the monk Iov in the West and the Trinity-Sergius Lavra founded by the monk Sergius of Radonezh in the East. In this prosperous monastery flourished the marvelous talent of the icon painter St. Andrei Rublev.
In 1448 the Russian Church became independent from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Metropolitan Jonah, appointed by the Council of Russian bishops, received the title of Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia.
In 1589 Metropolitan Iov of Moscow became the first Russian Patriarch. The Eastern patriarchs recognized the Russian Patriarch as the fifth in honor.
In the Troubled times of the early XVII century the Russian Church helped to overcome the trials befell on the state and the nation – the civil war, the Polish and Swedish intervention. The ardent patriot Patriarch Ermogen (1606-1612) was the spiritual leader of the militia of Minin and Pozharsky. It is impossible not to recall the heroic defense of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders in 1608-1610. It is significant that the first king of the new dynasty became the son of Patriarch Filaret (1619-1634) Mikhail Romanov.
As a result of Peter I reforms, the Patriarchal administration was abolished and the Church became governed by the Holy Governing Synod, a collegial body consisting of the Church and the state representatives headed by the Tsar.
The Synodal period lasted nearly two hundred years. At that time, the Russian Church paid special attention to the development of spiritual education and missionary work on the outskirts of the country and beyond. Restoration of old and construction of new temples was conducted.
The XIX century was marked by the activity of remarkable theologians, Church historians, philologists, Orientalists; gave great examples of Russian Holiness: outstanding saints Filaret Drozdov, Innokenty of Kherson, Ignatius Bryanchaninov, Theophan the Recluse, St. Seraphim of Sarov, old monks of Optina and Glinskaya monasteries.
In 1917, immediately after the February revolution, the all-Russian Church Council (1917-1918) was convened, the main act of which was the restoration of the Patriarchal administration of the Russian Church. Metropolitan Tikhon of Moscow was elected Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia (1917-1925) at this Council.
Under his leadership, the Church tried to heal the revolutionary turmoil, to calm the destructive passions and stop fratricidal strife. However, the Bolsheviks who came to power professed atheism and looked at the Church as their enemy. Therefore, they launched against the Curch the largest-scale persecution in the history of Christianity. Their goal was the complete the destruction of the faith and the Church in the USSR. Bishops, priests, monks, laity were subjected to all kinds of repression: ridicules, mockeries, tortures, executions, imprisonments and camps. Throughout the country, churches, monasteries, religious schools were closed; there was a company of mockery over the Orthodox faith and Church shrines.
By the beginning of the great Patriotic war, the organizational structure of the Russian Church was almost completely eliminated. Only a few bishops remained free in the country, only a few hundred temples were opened, and most of the surviving clergy were in camps.
The disastrous outbreak of war with Nazi Germany prompted the Soviet leadership to seek help from the Church. Churches were opened for worship, religious educational institutions, bishops and other clergy were released from the camps. During the war, the Russian Church has traditionally provided not only spiritual but also material support to the warring people in the defense for the Fatherland.
From this historic moment began a partial warming in the relations of the Church with the state, but it was constantly under state control and restrictions of its activities.
The so-called “Khrushchev thaw” turned into new persecutions for the Church, when thousands of churches were forcibly closed throughout the Soviet Union.
At the local Council of 1971 there was a reconciliation with the old believers who broke away from the Church as a result of rejection of the reforms of Patriarch Nikon (1652-1666). The decline of the state-atheistic system was marked by the celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia in 1988. The Beginning of Perestroika gave a new impetus in Church-State relations. The dialogue between the authorities and the Church began on the basis of recognition of the huge historical role of Orthodoxy in the fate of the country, its invaluable contribution to the formation of morality and culture of the nation
The revival of the Russian Orthodox Church began, which is continuing till today. People reached out to Christ and his Holy Church. Archpastors, pastors, laymen began to work zealously to recreate the full-blooded Church life. Thousands of temples and hundreds of monasteries are being built and restored from the ruins. The education, enlightenment, charity, missionary work and public services of the Church are steadily expanding. At the same time, believers have to resist all sorts of attempts to shake, split the Church both from the outside and from within, to subordinate It to worldly interests.
His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II (1990-2008) led the Church revival in the difficult conditions of the collapse of the USSR. Russian Orthodox Church abroad, which was formed as a result of the revolutionary turmoil and the Russian emigration caused by it, reunited with the Russian Orthodox Church in 2007.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill is continuing the work of reviving the Russian Church. Russian Orthodox Archdiocese in 2019, the last part of Russian Orthodoxy abroad – the Archdiocese of Western European parishes of the Russian tradition – joined the Moscow Patriarchate.
The majority of Orthodox believers living in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova belong to the Russian Orthodox Church today. Orthodoxy also prevails in the countries of the Balkan Peninsula (Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro), in Georgia and Cyprus.
In addition to these countries, the Orthodox live in other countries where other religions prevail. One such countries is the Philippines.
Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippines
The first Russian priests visited the Philippines more than 150 years ago. In times of great research trips the Russian Empire did not remain aloof. And, of course, each expedition was accompanied by an Orthodox regimental priest. So, count E.V. Putyatin during the diplomatic mission to Japan on the frigate “Pallada” visited the Philippines on his way. This journey was documented in detail by Goncharov in the novel with the same name “Pallada”. From there we know that on this trip they were accompanied by the famous missionary and orientalist Archimandrite Habakkuk (Honest). In 1854, the “Pallada” arrived to Manila and, of course, on Sundays the Orthodox Liturgy was served there .
The next important milestone in the activity of the Orthodox Church in the Philippines was 1934, when on the basis of the appeal of the Russian Diaspora in Manila made by Bishop Victor of China and Beijing (Svyatin) was established a parish in honor of the Iver icon of the Mother of God, which operated until its destruction by an American shell during the war in 1945 .
Four years later, in 1949, after the Communists came to power, about 6 thousand Russian refugees left Shanghai. From all the countries in the world, only the Republic of the Philippines has agreed to accept them. The Russians were encamped on the small island of Tubabao. And the first arranged buildings were two churches: in honor of the Archangel Michael and in honor of Seraphim of Sarov. And also from the former American marching Church was arranged Holy Mother of God Cathedral.
It is particularly noteworthy that St. John (Maksimovich) arrived to the island together with the refugees. The Filipinos who saw him on the island of Tubabao are still alive. Also alive is the legend that while St. John was in the Philippines, not a single Typhoon reached the Islands.
St. John (Maximovich) is on the Philippines.
The Russians were going to stay on the island for only 2 months, but in the end they stayed there for more than two years. St. John periodically traveled from the Philippines to other countries, primarily to the United States, to organize the immigration of refugees there. And it happened, in 1953, when the last Russian refugee left the Philippines.
The next Liturgy was served on Tubabao only 62 years later in 2013, when the ROCA (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) clergy: priest Seraphim Bell, together with deacon Siluan Thompson, visited the Philippines and including the island Tubabao. During preparation for this trip, the monk Philip Balingit with the help of Russia built a chapel in the same place where the Russian temple was located.
Unfortunately, the built chapel on the island of Tubabao, like many other buildings were destroyed by Typhoon “Yolanda”, one of the mightiest in the history of observation. Kirill Shkarbul, the priest, who serves in the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Taiwan, flew to the island to help the victims, including Orthodox Christians.
At the same time, a large group of aglipay priests from the island of Mindanao, followers of the teachings of Gregory Aglipay, who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church more than 100 years ago, began to be interested in the history of Christianity and, as a consequence, Orthodoxy. And having learned that a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church was visiting the Philippines on a humanitarian mission, the aglipay communities, including several bishops and many priests, asked father Kirill to visit them with a lecture on Orthodoxy. Thus began the long journey of these communities to the Orthodox Church. And after a long teaching the catechism and the basics of Orthodox every life and servicing, in 2015 a number of mass baptisms were performed in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, when thousands of people were joined to the Orthodox Church.
Of course, the priesthood could not ignore the Orthodox communities in the Philippines and other countries of Southeast Asia and in 2018, the decision of the Holy Synod was formed Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia, in which 4 dioceses were created: Korean, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.
In the following year, by the decision of the Holy Synod, his Eminence Paul was entrusted to be the ruling Bishop of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese with the title of Metropolitan of Manila and Hanoi. At the same time, several Filipino senior men of parishes were ordained to the priesthood.
At the moment, there are 30 parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippines. All of them are made up of locals. Parishes exist in different parts of the country on the Islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Cebu and Leyte. These parishes are supported by 8 priests, among whom there are Filipinos, Russians, Americans. Services are held in the Tagalog and Cebuano languages, into which translations of the main liturgical texts have already been made.
Orthodox priests incessantly pray God for the living and the deceased, visit the sick and weak people, they say parting words and wishes to the dying people, sanctify their homes, fields, and motorbikes of Filipinos.
Settlements with Orthodox communities are also being transformed. With help from Russia, beautiful churches are being built there, which are often among the most beautiful buildings in the district. It is no secret that any Roman Catholic Church in the architectural style of Spanish times becomes not only a religious object, but also a tourist attraction. But Russian Orthodox architecture is often much older than Spanish architecture and, of course, is not worse the Spanish one in appearance.
Remembering the words of the Apostle James “faith without good actions is dead”, the Russian Orthodox Church organized a social service. In almost every parish of the Church, Orthodox volunteers regularly feed the starving Filipino children. Also, volunteers of the Orthodox Church travel to poor areas of the island holding talks and practical classes on the rules of hygiene and healthy eating. The Church also helps people who find themselves in a difficult life situation related to illness or frauds, not only with advice, but often financially.
The Orthodox Church did not stand aside during natural disasters. During Typhoon Yolanda and during mighty earthquakes, priests and volunteers traveled to the destroyed areas, helping with water, food and even with the rebuilding ruined homes. So in the North of Cebu, more than 100 houses were built on the funds of the Church for the victims of the Typhoon.
The Russian Orthodox Church gives Filipinos the opportunity to receive a qualitative education both in the Philippines at the training center in Davao city and in spiritual academies in Russia. The talented boys and girls from towns and villages are annually sent to St. Petersburg to get a high-grade education.
The Church also plays an important role as a mediator for strengthening friendship and cultural exchange between Russia and the Philippines. Russian priests, in cooperation with the administration of educational institutions and settlements, participate in folk festivals and conduct cultural lectures. Professional singers from Russia also regularly come to the Philippines, holding charity concerts and introducing the locals to the rich Russian culture.
The Church pays special attention to work with the youth. Unfortunately, it is no secret that young people due to the lack of worldly experience often find themselves in difficult situations associated with drugs, excessive alcohol consumption and crime. Therefore, it is especially important to educate them. In addition to lectures, the Orthodox Church regularly holds youth camps, where young people learn more about their culture, learn to get joy and pleasure from creative activities.
In conclusion, we can add that the Lord himself especially glorified the Orthodox icon of the Mother of God “Holy Virgin” icon connected with the last week before the Easter Day or “Perpetual health” in the Philippines. This icon was taken (and according to some reports was stolen) from the Orthodox monastery of Keras in Cyprus earlier than the 15th century by a Venetian merchant, from the Chronicles we know that since 1499 it was already in the Church of St. Matthew in Rome. A copy of this icon was brought to the Philippines in 1906. At the moment, this icon is located in the temple of Baklaran, near it there is always a lot of praying, masses are served every hour, miracles are performed. The iconography itself contains Greek letters-titles, an angel in his hands holds an Orthodox eight-pointed cross, and the image of the iconography itself is very familiar to any Orthodox person.
The icon of the Mother of God “Perpetual health”, venerated in the Philippines (on the left), clearly visible Greek letters, which indicates the Greek origin of the icon, and “Holy Virgin” icon connected with the last week before the Easter Day, venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church (on the right)
So the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippines is lasting more than 150 years and there are no black pages in this history. According to Metropolitan Sergius of Singapore and Southeast Asia, the head of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia: “we welcome President Duterte’s call to expand the Russian Church presence in the Philippines, and we hope that we will be able to justify the high trust, and we believe that this will benefit the Philippine people … We pray that God will send peace and prosperity to the Philippine land”.