Nadezhda Filipchik – For OCP News Service – April 2016
Minsk- Belarus: On the 1st of April thousands of Belarusians gathered in the cathedral of St. Peter and Paul In Minsk in order to pay a last tribute to a legendary poet Nil Gilevich. The last national poet of Belarus died on the 29th of March after a grave illness. He was 84.
The funeral service in the cathedral of St. Peter and Paul was served in the Belarusian language and lasted about an hour. The ceremony also included performing famous Belarusian melodies on a cymbalo including the music for the songs written by Gilevich. Lots of poets, writers and famous people came to the church in order to voice their feelings on the death of the poet.
Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, and Metropolitan Filaret, honorable Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, expressed their condolences on the death of the national poet. The condolence of Metropolitan Filaret says: “The sincere, confessional and civil nature of the poetry of Nil Gilevich made his works the inseparable part of the Belarusian culture. The role of a true poet is close to the role of a prophet. He embraces by his soul the spirit of a people, its hopes and sufferings, shares with his people the tragedy of their fate. This was the work of Nil Gilevich. Yet he was the person keen on living even in times of the most severe hardships”.
Gilevich is said to have been a devoted Orthodox Christian believer. He didn’t manage to come to church every Sunday, but he considered himself to be a son of the Orthodox Church and used to pray in times of hardships. The poet is even believed to have helped to restore lots of Belarusian Orthodox churches after the end of the Soviet era.
Nil Gilevich was buried near his beloved wife Nina on the Calvary graveyard in Minsk.