Construction begins on Japan’s first Orthodox monastery in honor of St. Nicholas of Japan

The holy Equal-to-the-Apostles St. Nicholas of Japan brought the holy Orthodox faith to Japan as a missionary in 1861. Now work on the nation’s first Orthodox monastery to be consecrated in his honor is underway, reports the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monasticism of the Russian Orthodox Church. At its July 16, 2005 session, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church heard a report on His Eminence Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan’s request for assistance in the revival of monastic life in the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church. 

Stamp in honor of centenary of Royal Martyrs released in Russia

A stamp was released in Russia yesterday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the brutal murder of the last Russian Royal Family, Interfax-Religion reports. The stamp features a picture of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg that was built on the former site of the Ipatiev House, where Tsar Nicholas II and his family and loyal servants were brutally slain on July 17, 1918.

The stamp has a value of 27 rubles ($.43) and a print run of 270,000. A stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Russian patriarchate featuring an image of St. Tikhon of Moscow was also issued in late November.

Schismatic Ukrainian villagers return to Orthodox Church

Residents of the village of Kropivnya in the northwestern Zhytomyr Oblast of Ukraine returned to the Orthodox Church of Christ on Thursday, having left the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” reports the site of the Diocese of Ovruch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A letter of application for acceptance into the Ovruch Diocese was signed by 37 believers. Addressing His Eminence Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovruch and Korosten, the villagers expressed their conviction that schismatic “priests” are not genuine priests. They also noted that for the residents of the village and for the entire region, the clergy of the Ovruch Diocese do many notable works for the good of the holy Church. 

Patriarch Ilia of Georgia baptizes 600+ children in 54th mass ceremony

His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II of Georgia, the most beloved and trusted man in the nation, has celebrated his 54th mass Baptism ceremony at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, the site of the Georgian Orthodox Church reports. More than 600 children became the patriarch’s Godchildren this time around at the mass ceremony celebrated on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on July 12. His Holiness now has just over 36,000 Godchildren. The previous mass Baptism was held in the same cathedral on April 22, with over 1,000 children being baptized.

Patriarchal service for Royal Martyrs to be aired live on site of Russian Church

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will lead the services in Ekaterinburg tonight in honor of the centenary of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his holy family. With the support of the Orthodox TV station “Union,” the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy will be broadcast on the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church. The broadcast begins at 10:00 PM Moscow time (3:00 PM Eastern). The services will begin with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Pat. Kirill on the square in front of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, after which he will lead the procession from the church to the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers at Ganina Yama, on the site where the Royal Martyrs’ bodies were disposed of. Upon arrival at the monastery, a moleben to the Royal Martyrs will be celebrated.