Gabriel Hieroconfessor Of Akkerman

Bishop Gabriel (Chepura) was consecrated Bishop of Akkerman (Belgorod on the Dniester) on November 22 / December 5, 1911. In 1918 he was also Bishop of Chelyabinsk. Nothing more is known about him from official records.

The following story, concerning a Catacomb Bishop Gabriel living after the war, may or may not refer to him:

"Once Fr. Philip went to Bishop Gabriel in Syzran and commemorated him. This bishop did not belong to the patriarchate, but Patriarch Alexis knew him. Being in exile, Bishop Gabriel sat at home repairing shoes. He did not go to the church. Alexis sent for him to serve with him, but he replied:

"'I will not sign the declaration.'

"After this Bishop Gabriel was imprisoned in the Pskov Caves monastery, but he was forbidden to talk to anyone, and nobody was allowed to meet him."

We have a letter dating to the early 1930s from the Catacomb Bishops Peter (Ladygin) and Bishop Rufinus to Bishop Gabriel, asking for a litre or half a litre of holy chrism because they had neither pure oil nor anything to boil the chrism in.

According to one catacomb source, Bishop Gabriel consented to the consecration of Bishop Gennadius (Sekach) in 1971. According to another (dubious) source, a certain Bishop Gabriel, consecrated by Metropolitan Joseph in Chimkent in about 1932, took part in the Catacomb Nikolsky Council in 1961 and died in the middle of the 1970s.

(Sources: Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', N 1 (565), January, 1997, p. 12; Gubonin, Akty Svyateishago Patriarkha Tikhona, Moscow, p. 968; Bishop I.; Vestnik Russkogo Khristianskogo Dvizheniya, no. 128, p. 225, no. 150, pp. 249-50; Bishop Ambrose (von Sievers), "Episkopat Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Katakombnoj Tserkvi 1922-1997gg.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 4 (8), 1997, pp. 14-15)

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