Annual St. Anna Day Solemnities in San Francisco

ROCOR- March 2015

On Sunday, 15 February 2015, in San Francisco, California at Holy Resurrection Church-patronal church of the Order of St. Anna, the annual Divine Liturgy in honour of St. Anna the Prophetess was held. In attendance were Cavaliers and Bearers of the Orders of the Russian Imperial House. This year marks the 280th anniversary of the founding of the Imperial Order of St. Anna

A brief history of the Imperial Order of St Anna:

• Established on February 14, 1735, by Duke Karl Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp (Herzog of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormar and Ditmar, Count of Oldenburg and Delmen, Titular Heir of the Throne of Norway), in memory of his spouse, Tsarevna Anna Petrovna, on the tenth anniversary of their nuptials.
• Established in the Russian Empire in 1742 by their son, the Heir, Grand Duke Peter Feodorovich (later Emperor Peter III).
• Added by Emperor Paul I as a Russian medal on April 5, 1797, with four orders.
• Members of the Russian Imperial Dynasty are hereditary Knights of this order and receive a symbol of the First Order of St Andrew the First-Called: Grand Dukes upon their baptism, Princes of Imperial Blood upon their dynastic adulthood.
• The slogan is: “Amantibus Justitiam, Pietatem, Fidem” –“To Those Who Love Truth, Piety, Devotion.”
• The holiday of the Order is February 3/16.
• The medal’s symbols are the golden Cross, a crimson ribbon with a yellow border and an eight-pointed star.

At the Liturgy Cavaliers of the Order of St. Anna and Bearers of the Medal of the Order of St. Anna gathered from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Sacramento and Moscow. This year, Count Andrei Tolstoy-Miloslavsky of Moscow was in attendance. Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America. Priest Sergei Kiryukhin and Hierodeacon Peter (Karakozoff) also served.

The celebrations continued at the Society of Cadets and Veterans of World War I in San Francisco. Ten Cavaliers of the Order of St. Anna and ten bearers of the medal of the Order of St. Anna were in attendance from both Northern and Southern California. Upon the arrival of all the Ladies and Cavaliers of St Anna, a memorial litiya was served. Commemorated were reposed Cavaliers and Bearers of the Medal, including the Emperors of All Russia, Cavaliers of the Order of Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Afterwards, a moleben was served, during which prayers were said for the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H the Pious Sovereign Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and the Heir Tsarevich Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and the Cavaliers of the Order of St. Anna and Bearers of the Medal of the Order of St Anna.

Then Archbishop Kyrill, together with George Vasilievich Kumansky – Cavalier of the Order of St Anna 1st Class, in accordance with a decree of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and thus instructed by the Cavalier Duma, bestowed awards and decrees of the Order of St Anna and the Order of St. Stanislaw to the following persons:

Svyatoslav Vladimirovich Danich: the Order of St Anna, Third Degree;
Priest Sergy Kiryukhin and Natalia Georgievna Sabelnik: the Medal of the Order of St Anna;
George Vladimirovich Schiller and Konstantin Ivanovich Kolobov: the Order of St Stanislav, Third Degree;
George Vasilievich Kumansky, the Monogram of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, First Degree.

Notably, Ataman of the Cossack’s People Union, Stanislav Albertovich Kholodkov was bestowed the Order of St Anna, Third Degree, and Nikolai Andreevich Loukianoff was bestowed with the Order of St Stanislav, Third Degree. Unfortunately, neither could attend the ceremonies.

Konstantin Konstantinovich Baranov was bestowed the Medal of the Order of St. Anna, in January of this year.

After the official ceremonies, the Cavaliers of the Order and Bearers of the Medal of St. Anna gathered for a formal dinner, during which His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill shared with the participants the decision of the meeting of the Cavalier Duma held in Moscow in January, 2015, were it was proposed that all members ponder philanthropic activities. It was proposed that a charity committee be established in San Francisco dedicated to the Order of St Anna.

The United States is the home of 50 Cavaliers and Bearers of the Medal Order of St Anna.

Ivan Podvalov

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