Archimandrite Eleutherius (Didenko) May 2016

The funeral service for Archimandrite Eleutherius (Didenko), former Abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra, was celebrated on May 7 at the Iveron Convent in the Russian city of Samara. Archimandrites Polikarp and Nifont from the Lavra participated in the memorial service, reports

The memorial Divine Liturgy along with the funeral service over the newly departed were headed by Bishops Alexis of Buzuluk and Sorochinsk and Thomas of Zhigulevsk. The archimandrite was buried on the territory of the Iveron Convent.

The future Archimandrite Eleutherius (Didenko) was born on November 4, 1940. In 1972, together with Fr. Georgy Glazunov he secretly uncovered the relics of St. Theophan the Recluse and brought them to the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. He was a spiritual child of Schema-Archimandrite John (Maslov). At the age of 33 he graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy, and a year later was appointed an assistant to the academy inspector. He taught Holy Scripture and Homiletics and was in charge of the Church and Archaeological Cabinet at the Moscow Theological Academy. In 1989, at the age of 49, he became Abbot of the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves Lavra. Simultaneously he served as a teacher and inspector of the Kiev Theological Seminary and Academy. On January 22, 1992, he was removed from his office by then Metropolitan Philaret (Denisenko) for the refusal of the brethren of the Kiev Caves Lavra to sign in support of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. After that he served in the Diocese of Samara in Russia. He reposed on May 5 of a grave illness at age 75.

Translated by Dmitry Lapa