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27 August 2017

The Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia makes a working visit to the Archangelsk Region, August 24-27, 2017.

On August 24-27, 2017, Alexander N. Zakatov, the Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, made a working visit to the Archangelsk Region.

On August 24, Alexander Zakatov participated in the celebration of the 77th anniversary of the Archangelsk Pulp and Paper Plant and, on the instructions of Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, awarded a number of Imperial medals to several outstanding employees at the Plant, who had been nominated by the plant management. After the ceremony, the Director of the Chancellery met with the Governor of the Archangelsk Region, I. A. Orlov; the Mayor of the city of Novodvinsk, S. F. Andreev; the General Director of Archangelsk Pulp and Paper Plant, D. I. Zylev; other officials of the Archangelsk Region; and other guests attending these ceremonies. On August 24 and 25, Alexander Zakatov and the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation “Emperor,” V. I. Stanulevich, met with several philanthropists in Archangelsk and discussed with them various ideas for collaborating on projects aimed at helping to preserve the historical and cultural legacy of the Russian North, particularly the study of local saints’ relics and the burial places of prominent figures from the Archangelsk Region, and the restoration work now being done at the Antonievo-Siisky monastery in preparation for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of its founding.

On August 25-25, Alexander Zakatov and V. I. Stanulevich visited the Artemievo-Verkolsky Monastery and the village of Sura, the birthplace of St. John of Kronstadt.

In the evening of August 25, upon arrival, Alexander Zakatov met with the abbot of the Artemievo-Verkolsky Monastery, Archimandrite Iosif (Volkov). Also attending this meeting were V. I. Stanulevich and A. P. Rogalev and his wife, G. I. Rogaleva, who had come from St. Petersburg.

On August 26, after Matins and the Divine Liturgy in the Church of Our Lady of Kazan at the Artemievo-Verkolsky Monastery, the Director of the Chancellery conveyed to the brethren of the monastery the greetings of the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and the Tsesarevich George of Russia, and awarded the abbot, Archimandrite Iosif (Volkov), the Imperial medal “Anniversary of the Nation’s Victory,” as well as a copy of a photograph of St. John of Kronstadt with the saint’s own inscription to Alexander Zakatov’s ancestors, Mitred Archpriest Sergei Ioannovich Strakhov and his wife, Evdokia Filippovna.

Over the course of the day, Archimandrite Iosif (Voklov) personally took his guests around the monastery and to the many holy sites and shrines of Verkola—the church built on the very place where St. Artemii Verkolsky was struck by lightning and killed, and the churches of the monastery and other nearby shrines. The group also visited the family museum of the famous Russian writer Fedor Alexandrovich Abramov, where the writer’s nephew, Vladimir Abramov, and his wife, Anisia Abramova, led them on a tour and arranged a friendly meal for them.

Later, Alexander Zakatov and Archimandrite Iosif (Volkov), A. P. and G. I. Rogalev, V. I. Stanulevich and his son Misha, all went on pilgrimage to the village of Sura, the birthplace of St. John of Kronstadt. They met with the abbess of the Sursky-Ioannovsky Convent, Abbess Mitrofania (Mikolko), prayed in the Church of St. Nicholas, and venerated the relics there. They also met with Mother Mitrofania for tea, visited the house where St. John of Kronstadt’s sister, D. I. Malkina and her husband S. Pl Malkin, once lived; and the home of Fr. Georgii Makkaveev, where St. John of Kronstadt once lived and from which he oversaw the construction of the Church in the Ioannovsky Convent, which he founded. Alexander Zakatov presented to Abbess Mitrofania a copy of the photograph of St. John of Kronstadt, which had been preserved in his family, and a book on the Imperial House of Russia.

Archimandrite Iosif and the others in the group returned to the Artemievo-Verkolsky Monastery in time to attend the All-Night Vigil service on Saturday night.

On August 27, after the Divine Liturgy, a farewell meal was arranged for the Director of the Chancellery, during which the conversation dwelt on ways local church and civic leaders and the Chancellery might work together in the future on educational and philanthropic projects. Archimandrite Iosif asked Alexander Zakatov to convey the blessing of the brethren of the Artemievo-Verkolsky Monastery to Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and her son and heir, Grand Duke George of Russia, and presented to all the guests a number of gifts, including icons of St. Artemii Verkolsky and books about the monastery.

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