Filaret Amfiteatrov (secular name – Fedir Georgiiovych Amfiteatrov)

Filaret Amfiteatrov (secular name – Fedir Georgiiovych Amfiteatrov)

Filaret Amfiteatrov (secular name – Fedir Georgiiovych Amfiteatrov) was born on April 17, 1779 in the Vysoke village, Kromskyi district, Orel province in the family of a priest. He studied at the Orel Theological Seminary (1789–1795) and the Sevsk Theological Seminary (1795–1797).

On November 7, 1798, he was ordained a monk named Filaret, and on November 9, he was ordained a hierodeacon. In 1799–1802 he became an inspector of the Orel Theological Seminary, and later its rector, and was elevated to the rank of abbot of the Yevsky Monastery. In 1803 he received the rank of archimandrite. In 1804–1810 he was the rector of the Orenburg Theological Seminary and the governor of the Ufa Holy Dormition Monastery, and for the next three years he was the rector of the Tobolsk Theological Seminary and the governor of the Tobolsk Znamenskyi Monastery. He worked as an inspector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy (from February 15, 1814), the Moscow Theological Academy (1814-1816). From 1816 to 1819 he was the rector of this academy.

He headed the Dioceses of Kaluga (1819–1825), Ryazan (1825–1828), Kazan (1828–1836), and Yaroslavl (1836–1837).

In 1837 he was appointed to the Kyiv cathedra with the elevation to the rank of metropolitan. During his 20 years of service, he proved to be a good pastor who combined Christian virtues and strictly adhered to the monastic statute. In 1841 he secretly took monastic vows under the name Theodosius in the Church of the Conception of St. Anne in the Far Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. He lived intermittently in the Kyiv-Sophia Metropolitan House or in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

Under his leadership, St. Pokrovskyi monastery was revived, which became his summer residence; the bishop donated a lot of his own money for this. He participated in the construction of the Kyiv Volodymyrskyi Cathedral, the restoration of paintings in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The first major restoration work on the clearing of ancient frescoes in St. Sophia Cathedral under the direction of Academician Fedir Solntsev was carried out by bishops’ care and supervision in 1843–1853.

A special place in the archpastoral activity of bishop Filaret was occupied by the guardianship of spiritual and secular educational institutions. In 1839 he opened a theological school (bursa) for orphans in the former cells of the Sophia Monastery at his own expense. The bishop paid attention to the improvement of the educational process in theological seminaries and academies, provided assistance to needy pupils and students. He donated his own library to the seminary.

He was vice-president of the Kyiv Guardianship of Prisons (since 1838), a member of the Kyiv Society for the Assistance of the Needy (since 1840), and an honorary member of the guardianship of children’s shelters; during his ministry in Kyiv he allocated about 43 thousand rubles for orphans. He gave all his monetary pay from the Lavra to the poor. He distinguished himself as a preacher, published a number of theological works.

In the last years of his life he lived in the Lavra Archimandrite’s House, where in 1856 he was visited by Grand Duke Mykhailo Mykolaiovych, and in October 1857 by the Russian Emperor Olexander II and his wife Maria Olexandrivna.

He died in 1857 and was buried in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the Near Caves. In 1994, the relics of bishop Filaret were transferred to the Far Caves, to St. Theodosius Pecherskyi Church.