Vorob'ev Vladimir, archpriest

«My Dear Abba!» Letters of St. Martyr Metropolitan Cyril (Smirnov) to St. Martyr Archimandrite Neophyte (Osipov) 1933–1934

Vorob'ev Vladimir, Mazyrin Aleksandr, Shchelkachev Aleksandr, Khailova Ol'ga, Kazakov Ivan, , , , (2014) "«My Dear Abba!» Letters of St. Martyr Metropolitan Cyril (Smirnov) to St. Martyr Archimandrite Neophyte (Osipov) 1933–1934 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2014, vol. 57, pp. 117-142 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201457.117-142


This is the first publication of letters of st. martyr metropolitan Cyril (Smirnov), the first candidate for the post of the Patriarchal locum tenens, to st. martyr archimandrite Neophyte (Osipov) since August, 1933 till March, 1934. Archimandrite Neophyte was the personal secretary of St. Patriarch Tikhon. These letters were found in the PSTGU archive among other documents of the archive of martyr Seraphim (Samoylovich) which has been kept by his spiritual daughter st. confessor Iraida Tikhonova. The major questions of the church life in the end of 1920th — the first half of 1930th have been mentioned in published letters. Particularly this is the questions connecting with the relation to the Moscow Patriarchy which has been heading by metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky). Many outstanding figures of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1920th–1930th, including who were canonized nowadays, were mentioned in letters, such as st. martyrs Seraphim (Samoylovich), Damascene (Zedrik) and Joasaph (Udalov), st. confessors Athanasius (Sakharov) and Basil (Preobrazhenskiy). A special interest is the detailed description by metropolitan Cyril of his meeting with metropolitan Sergius which has occurred in Moscow in December, 1933. This meeting has not been described in details somewhere before. Letters reveal ecclesiological views of st. martyr Cyril, clarify the essence of his disagreement with supporters of centralization of the church power on terms of the soviet governments. At the same time the letters characterize expressively the position of metropolitan Sergius, which was expressed by him in the conversation with metropolitan Cyril. According letters, metropolitan Sergius promised, in case of death of Patriarchal locum tenens metropolitan Peter (Poljansky), to pass a higher church power to metropolitan Arsenius (Stadnitsky).


New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, persecution against the Russian Orthodox Church, succession of supreme church power, the “right” opposition to the Moscow Patriarchate, ecclesiology, church archives, st. martyr Cyril (Smirnov), st. martyr Neophyte (

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Vorob'ev Vladimir, archpriest