Skete of St. John (Maximovitch) consecrated in Ukraine

Skete of St. John (Maximovitch) consecrated in Ukraine
Skete of St. John (Maximovitch) consecrated in Ukraine
Skete of St. John (Maximovitch) consecrated in Ukraine
Skete of St. John (Maximovitch) consecrated in Ukraine

A skete named for St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, a dependency of the Holy Dormition-SvyatogorskLavra, has been consecrated in his hometown of Adamovka in in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine.    

The Great Consecration and Divine Liturgy were celebrated on Wednesday by Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol and Metropolitan Arseny of Svyatogorsk, the abbot of the SvyatogorskLavra and vicar of the Donetsk Diocese, with a number of visiting abbots and clergy concelebrating, reports the Lavra’s website.

It is fitting that the event took place on the day of the opening of the relics of and canonization of St. Seraphim of Sarov, as St. Seraphim and St. John are two of the greatest Russian saints and are beloved throughout the entire Orthodox world.

St. John grew up on his family estate in Adamovka and spent a great deal of time at the SvyatogorskLavra, being spiritually nourished by the fathers there. The family estate no longer exists, but the skete now stands on the same spot.

The foundation of the two-story church was laid on October 21, 2007. The upper church is dedicated to St. John, with the lower church being dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel—St. John’s patron in Baptism. The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the church on September 12, 2009, while still under construction. Services are currently held in the skete on Saturdays and feast days.

The feast of St. John on July 2 has been celebrated with a cross procession to the skete for the past three years. An icon of the great wonderworker began to stream myrrh during the 2017 celebrations.

The skete already has an entire complex, with a residential building, a refectory, and a guest house for 150 pilgrims.     

During the formal consecration of the church and its altar, a reliquary with relics of the Equal-tothe-Apostles Thecla of Iconium, Martyr Alexander of Rome, Martyr Anastasia of Sirmium, Martyr Vincent the Deacon of Augustopolis, and Martyr Felicity was placed in the altar during the consecration.

About 1,500 pilgrims joined in the services to honor the great universal God-pleaser St. John (Maximovitch) and celebrate the opening of the skete in his honor in his home village.

Met. Arseny delivered a homily before Communion, focusing on the great grace of the sacred act of consecrating a new altar and temple, calling all to remember and cherish it: “And we, brothers and sisters, should cherish such moments… This is God’s trust in us.”

At the kissing of the cross after the Liturgy, all present were given a small icon of St. John and then invited to a festive meal.