A repentance stone cross to be erected in Mochalny Island to commemorate the executed Nizhni Novgorod clergymen

27.07.2005 · English, Архив 2005  

A stone cross will be erected in Mochalny Island across the Chkalov Stairs in Nizhni Novgorod to commemorate the Orthodox clergyman executed by shooting.

Designed by sculptor Sergey Kadikiv, this monument will be made of serpantine and incased in a concrete holder for stability. The cross will be installed on the spot where the bodies of the Orthodox clergymen executed by shooting were thrown down into the Volga.

Bishop Lavrenty (Knyazev) and Archpriest Alexy Porfiriev were executed in November 1918, on the eve of the first anniversary of the October Revolution.

Bishop Lavrenty was actual ruler of the Nizhni Novgorod diocese in 1917-1918, for the ruling bishop, Archbishop Joachim Levitsky left to Moscow for the Local Council in summer 1917 and then went to the Crimea, where he had a country house, and was hanged there by bandits.

In order to do away with the disagreeable archpastor, the authorities used as a pretext the resolution of the congress of the Nizhni Novgorod clergy expressing protest against the confiscation of churches, monasteries and church property by the atheistic authorities.

The congress issued an appeal to the flock, which was signed by Bishop Lavrenty as moderator of the congress, Archpriest Alexy Porfiriev as its secretary and Aleksey Neidgardt, marshal of the Nizhni Novgorod nobility.

The appeal cited the words of the apostle “Put on the whole armour of God” (Eph. 6:11), which were taken by the chekists as a call to armed struggle.

The clergymen who signed the document and A. Neidgardt were arrested on November 6, 1918. In the prison of the Nizhni Novgorod Extraordinary Committee, Bishop Lavrenty and Archpriest Alexy Porfiriev were offered to renounce God to be pardoned. The clergymen refused and were beat and sentenced to be shot.

Late in the evening of November 6, 1918, Bishop Lavrenty, Archpriest Alexy Porfiriev and A. Neidgardt were executed by Latvian Shooters (Russian soldiers refused to execute the clergymen)

According to the testimony of Bishop Lavrenty’s spiritual daughter, E. Shmeling, the bodies of the tortured clergymen were ordered to be taken to Mochalny Island, not to be buried, but to be thrown down into the Volga.

In 2000, Bishop Lavrenty (Knyazev) of Balakhnin and Archpriest Alexy Porfiriev were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as Russia’s New Martyrs.

From the website of the Diocese of Nizhni Novgorod