Hieromartyr Nicholas, Archbishop Of Vladimir

Archbishop Nicholas, in the world Constantine Pavlovich Dobronravov, was born on November 21, 1861 in Moscow province, in the family of a priest. He graduated from the Moscow theological seminary, and in 1885 - from the Moscow Theological Academy. On February 3 and April 18, 1886 he successfully defended his master's thesis, "The Book of the Prophet Joel" at the Academy. >From 1885 he became a teacher at the Bethany theological seminary. In 1889 he became a priest of the cathedral church of Perm, and in 1890 - professor of theology at the Alexandrovsky military school (on Znamenka) and rector of the church attached to the school. In 1892 he became a teacher of the Law of God at the 7th Moscow secondary school. At that time he was a protopriest. In 1917-18 he was a member of the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

After the death of his wife he was tonsured into monasticism and was raised to the rank of archimandrite, becoming superior of the church of All Saints on Kulizhki in Moscow on January 25, 1918. From June 12 he was also a teacher at the Orthodox People's Academy. On August 19, 1918 he was arrested but soon released.

On July 31 / August 13, 1921, he was consecrated Bishop of Zvenigorod, a vicariate of the Moscow diocese. From 1923 he was archbishop of Vladimir and Suzdal. According to one source, he was arrested in January, 1923 and was sentenced to five years exile in Siberia, which he served until 1928 in Turukhansk region. According to another source, at the end of 1924 and beginning of 1925 he was in Moscow Butyrki prison. On December 10, 1925, he was arrested and imprisoned in Butyrki prison along with a number of other bishops who were thought to be supporters of the leader of the Church, the future Hieromartyr Peter of Krutitsa. On February 1, 1926, he was nominated by Metropolitan Peter to the Temporary Church Council proposed by Archbishop Gregory of Ekaterinburg in place of three bishops whom Peter did not trust. In April, 1926 he was released from prison, and in June of that year he was exiled to Turukhansk region for three years.

Archbishop Nicholas adopted a very strong position in relation to the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927. On April 7/20, 1929 he wrote: "He [Metropolitan Sergius] has sinned against the apostolicity of the Church by introducing earthly, worldly principles into the Church, against her holiness - by blaspheming against the exploit of confession, against catholicity - by his single administration of the Church."

From April, 1929, Vladyka Nicholas was transferred to Vologda province, and later lived in retirement in Moscow. He was the author of many works on theological themes. On October 27, 1937 he was arrested in Moscow and accused of "participation in illegal counter-revolutionary agitation in an ecclesiastical-monarchist organization". On December 7 he was sentenced to be shot, and on December 10 the sentence was carried out in Butovo, Moscow district. Together with Archbishop Nicholas there suffered Bishop Arsenius (Zhadanovsky), Archimandrite Kronid (Lyubimov), the iconographer V.A. Komarovsky and the student of ancient Russian art Yu. A. Opsufyev.

(Sources: Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Kanonicheskoye polozheniye Vyschej Tserkovnoj Vlasti v SSSR i Zagranitsej, Jordanville, 1948, p. 79; M.E. Gubonin, Akty Svyateishego Patriarkha Tikhona, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1994, p. 875; Russkiye Pravoslavnye Ierarkhi, Paris: YMCA Press, 1986; Pravoslavnaya Rus', N 23 (1524), December 1/14, 1994, p. 14; Lev Regelson, Tragediya Russkoj Tserkvi, 1917-1945, Moscow: Krutitskoye patriarsheye podvorye, 1996, p. 535; Sinodik postradavshikh za vyeru i Tserkov' Khristovu v Butovo, Moscow, 1995; Ikh Stradaniyami Ochistitsa Rus', Moscow, 1996, p. 70; Bishop Ambrose (von Sievers), "Katakombnaya Tserkov': Kochuyushchij Sobor 1928 g.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 3 (7), 1997, p. 19; "Episkopat Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Katakombnoj Tserkvi 1922-1997gg.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 4(8), 1997, p. 5; I.I. Osipova, "Skvoz' Ogn' Muchenij i Vody Slyoz", Moscow: Serebryanniye Niti, 1998, p. 258; Sergius Golubtsov, Moskovskoe dukhovenstvo v predverii i nachale gonenij 1917-1922gg., Moscow, 1999, p. 6)





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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas