Volodymyr Bohoiavlenskyi (secular name – Vasylii Nykyforovych Bohoiavlenskyi)

Volodymyr Bohoiavlenskyi (secular name – Vasylii Nykyforovych Bohoiavlenskyi)

Volodymyr Bohoiavlenskyi (secular name – Vasylii Nykyforovych Bohoiavlenskyi) was born on January 1, 1848 in the Mala Morshka village, Tambov province, in the family of a priest. He was left an orphan at an early age. After graduating from the Tambov Theological Seminary, he studied at the Kyiv Theological Academy, which he graduated with honors in 1874.

He returned to his homeland and taught homiletics, liturgics, pastoral theology and German at the Tambov Seminary. At the same time, he lectured on geography and literature at the women’s diocesan school and gymnasium. After seven years of pedagogical activity, Vasylii Bohoiavlenskyi received the sacred rank. After the death of his wife and son, Vasylii became a monk named Volodymyr and soon became abbot of the Trinity Monastery in Kozlov.

In 1888, Volodymyr was ordained Old Rus’ bishop, vicar of the Novgorod Diocese. In 1891 he headed the episcopal chair in Samara, where he had to face the famine caused by the crop failure and the cholera epidemic that later broke out. The bishop organized a committee of mutual aid, collected donations for victims of cholera and famine, arranged charitable canteens, hospitals, personally participated in the burial of the dead from the epidemic, in funeral services in cemeteries. Volodymyr called on everyone to come to the aid of those who are starving. According to contemporaries, his “voice did not fall silent until the storm of people’s disaster subsided.”

In 1892 he was appointed Exarch of Georgia, a member of the Holy Synod. During his ministry, more than a hundred churches were built, and more than three hundred church and parish schools were opened. In 1898, Volodymyr became Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomenske, Holy Archimandrite of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. He continued his educational activities – in his diocesan building lectures, readings, talks were held, there was a library with a reading room for everyone.

In 1912, Volodymyr headed the St. Petersburg cathedra, and in 1915 he was appointed to the Kyiv Metropolitan cathedra; received a doctorate in theology the same year. In Kyiv, Metropolitan Volodymyr followed an ascetic life and continued his archpastoral activity – he conducted services, wrote educational works, and founded the Bohoiavlenske fraternity at the Kyiv Theological Academy for needy students. In 1917 he opposed the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In the evening of January 25 (February 6), 1918, unknown armed assailants led the bishop out of the house through the Economic Gate of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery, and in the morning of January 26 (February 7), his body was found near the fortifications. According to F. Titov, before his death he prayed and blessed his killers.

Metropolitan Volodymyr was buried in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the Near Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. In 1992, the relics of the holy martyr Volodymyr were transferred to the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin in the Far Caves; at the same time he was glorified in the sainthood.