Filofei Uspenskyi (secular name – Tymofii Hryhorovych Uspenskyi)

Filofei Uspenskyi (secular name – Tymofii Hryhorovych Uspenskyi)

Filofei Uspenskyi (secular name – Tymofii Hryhorovych Uspenskyi) was born on January 15 (27) 1808 in the family of a village deacon in the Zakobyakyne village, Lyubym district, Kostroma province.

He was educated at the Yaroslavl Theological Seminary (1828) and the Moscow Theological Academy (1832). On November 13, 1832, he was ordained a monk named Filofei. As the best graduate, he was left at the academy with a bachelor’s degree in church literature, and a year later he was appointed a teacher of hermeneutics and biblical history. He received the title of hieromonk in 1833.

In 1838 he was transferred to the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, where he taught moral and pastoral theology. A year later he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite. He was rector of the Kharkiv (1842) and Vifanska (1842–1847) theological seminaries, and from March 14, 1847, of the Moscow seminary, with the appointment of the abbot of the Moscow Vysokopetrovskyi Monastery. In 1849 he was ordained bishop Dmitrivskyi, vicar of the Moscow metropolitanate. During 1853–1857 he headed the Kostroma department. Together with other hierarchs in 1856 he took part in the coronation of Emperor Olexander Mykolaiovych and Empress Maria Olexandrivna.

In 1857 he was transferred to the bishop of the Tver Diocese, which he headed until 1876. At the same time, in 1859 he was summoned to St. Petersburg to participate in the Holy Synod, where he was until 1868, except for a few summer months when he was released to settle the affairs of the diocese. On April 23, 1861, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

In May 1876, for high personal archpastoral merits and strict ascetic life, he was elevated to the rank of metropolitan of Kyiv and Halych with the title of Holy archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Metropolitan Filofei was elected an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy.

His Grace Filofei was a man of high intelligence and broad education. As an absolute ascetic in life, he did not oblige others to the same strict rules and believed that it was purely voluntary. Bishop Filofei was always focused and closed in on himself, at the same time – available to all who sought his blessing or his help in a particular matter. Despite the fact that the bishop is a man endowed with power, Filofei never had to wait for himself if he was informed about the arrival of a visitor. His face never showed irritation or anger, on the contrary – always a calm look and a willingness to serve others.

He did not like to talk much and, moreover, “speak in print” so he did not publish his sermons. Above all, he adhered to a holy life: everywhere and always he lived in a cell and in isolation, in prayerful deeds, inner self-trial and spiritual improvement.

He died on January 29, 1882 as a result of a deep shock at the news of the assassination of Tsar Olexander II Mykolaiovych (March 1, 1881). He was buried in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holt Cross of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in the crypt in front of the Our Lady of Kazan Holy Icon.