Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion speaks at the opening of&nbs…

Metropolitan Hilarion speaks at the opening of the conference on Ss Nicholas of Japan and Innocent of Moscow: Culture of the Peoples of Russia, Japan and America

November 8, 2017 – An international academic reflection-action conference on Ss Nicholas of Japan and Innocent of Moscow: Culture of the Peoples of Russia, Japan and America, took place at the Russian embassy in Tokyo. It was held on the occasion of the 220th birthday of St. Innocent (Veniaminov), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, Apostle of Siberia and America, spiritual father of St. Nicholas of Japan, Equal-to-the-Apostles. It was organized by the Russian Ministry of Culture as part of the Russian Seasons project, with the support of the Department for External Church Relation (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate and the assistance of the Russian diplomatic mission in Japan and the Tokyo representation Rossotrudnichestvo – the federal agency for the affairs of the Commonwealth of the Independent States and compatriots residing abroad and for internal cooperation.

The conference was addressed by Russian ambassador to Japan, Ye. Afanasyev, who pointed to the significance of the church academic forum as clearly stressing the spiritual foundations of the Russian-Japanese relations.

Metropolitan Hilarion opened the work of the conference with his paper on St. Nicholas Equal-to-the-Apostle and St. Innocent of Moscow – Saints Who Bind Nations. He said in particular,

‘The present meeting gives us an opportunity to address the spiritual sources of ties between Russia, Japan and America – the Pacific countries – the ties based on the Orthodox faith which was brought to this part of the world by Russian missionaries.

Our meeting takes place in the year marking the 220th birthday of a faithful son of the Russian Orthodox Church and outstanding missionary named as the apostle of Siberia and America for his missionary work – St. Innocent of Moscow. It was St. Innocent who, with already 40 years of apostolic service behand him, managed to show to still young, 24 year-old Hieromonk Nicholas (Kasatkin) in which direction his efforts should be exerted, on what he should focus his work so that his chosen service of the Japanese people might produce positive results.

St. Innocent began his missionary journey in 1823. Still a married man, Priest Ioann Veneaminov, he was the only one who was not afraid of facing difficulties and set off with this family to the remote North American continent to illumine local people. And the Lord rewarded him not only with seven children in flesh but also dozens of thousands children in spirit whom he illuminated with the light of the faith of Christ.

While preaching the gospel among small peoples, he studied their language and culture, everyday life and customs and their religious views. Thus, he compiled the Aleutian alphabet on the basis of Cyrillic characters and compiled and published the first Aleutian ABC book, formulated the grammar basics for this language and translated the Gospel, catechesis and the most common prayers and church hymns.

After his wife’s death, Archpriest Ioann took monastic vows in 1840 with the name Innocent and the episcopal rank, while continuing to serve the cause of illuminating peoples in Kamchatka, Aleutian Islands, North America, Yakutia and Khabarovsk region. He devoted almost half a century to the apostolic feat in the severe conditions of the North with its great perils for one’s life’.

Metropolitan Hilarion pointed to the faithfulness of St. Innocent to the missionary calling to the end of his life, ‘He was 70 when he was transferred to the See of Moscow, but there too he did not abandon his concern for the mission… Thanks to the support and concern of the saint, a Japanese Orthodox Mission was established in 1870 headed by Archimandrite Nicholas (Kasatkin), the future saint equal to the apostles. In the same year, through the petition of Metropolitan Innocent, dioceses of Yakutia and Vilyijsk, Aleutian Islands and Alaska were opened. St. Innocent was aware of the need for episcopal ministry in the new missionary territories on which an invisible building of the Church of Christ was erected and for this reason also stood up for the establishment of a separate See of Japan and the appointment of Archimandrite Nicholas (Kasatkin) to it as bishop, but he did not live to see it as he died in 1879, only a few months before that moment.

Reviewing the life journey of the two men of God, Metropolitan Hilarion also pointed to the contribution they made to the academic knowledge of the culture and customs of the countries in which the Lord destined him for preaching the word of God. “Nicholas Equal-to-the-Apostles, in his letter to St. Innocent, wrote, ‘For many years… science beckoned me to its field; Japanese history and the whole Japanese literature are completely untouched treasures – once you start taking handfuls of them, everything will be new and interesting in Europe and your work will not be wasted’. Indeed, the works of St. Nicholas became a new academic word in Russian Oriental studies and a truly bright event in the academic literary research of the time”, the archpastor said.

The task of preaching, however, was an absolute priority, His Eminence stressed. ‘St. Nicholas exerted all possible and impossible efforts to encourage Japanese to create a spiritual world and a Church of their own. Clearly evident in this desire of his is the continuity of St. Innocent’s school of mission distinctive as it was by its openness, intelligibility, communicative simplicity and tolerance towards people, a desire to give free scope to their creativity and initiative’.

Metropolitan Hilarion concluded his remarks with the words of Patriarch Sergius (Stragorodsky) of Moscow and All Russia, who in his time also made a contribution to the Orthodox mission in Japan: ‘Orthodoxy is Christianity itself in all its fullness and simplicity… As a gift of heaven, not a human mind, it is above the world, nor is it determined by it. On the contrary, it wishes to regenerate the world by itself. Hence, both here and in the East, Orthodoxy can enter the national consciousness, of course, just as it could enter it in Europe and it will become truly… Japanese faith, just as in Europe it became the Greek, Russian, etc. faith – just do not let anything disturb its pristine purity’.

Presentations on various aspects of the ministry of St. Innocent of Moscow and St. Nicholas of Japan were made by the head of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan, Archbishop Seraphim of Sendai, Hegumen John (Rubin), rector of the St. Nicholas of Ugresha Seminary; clergy of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church, ROC dioceses of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kasimov and Rzhev, professors and researchers from the Russian Academy of Science Institute of the Far East, Tokyo University of Foreign Languages, Moscow State University Institute of Asian and African Countries, Moscow Conservatoire, St. Petersburgh Theological Academy and St. Nicholas of Ugresha Seminary.

Metropolitan Hilarion’s film ‘Orthodoxy in Japan’ was screened for the conference participants and guests. The film and its version in Japanese were produced with the participation of the St. Gregory the Theologian Charity, which presented each participant with a disk with Metropolitan Hilarion’s film made specially for the occasion.

During the conference, Metropolitan Hilarion decorated Mr. D. Shakura, Russian embassy second secretary, with the Russian Orthodox Church’s Medal produced in honour of the millennium of the demise of Grand Prince Vladimir, which was awarded him by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in recognition of his assistance to the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church to normalize the situation of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.

DECR Communication Service

Поделиться:
Holy Synod members commemorate Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and late archpastors of Russian Church

13.04.2021

Address delivered by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the session of the Holy Synod on 13th April 2021

13.04.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s first session in 2021

13.04.2021

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

10.04.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over the terrorist attack in Makassar

29.03.2021

Patriarchal condolences over the train crash in the Egyptian province of Sohag

27.03.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs online session of the Supreme Church Council

26.03.2021

Patriarch Kirill congratulates the president of Greece on the occasion of the 200 th anniversary of the struggle for the liberation of the Greek nation

25.03.2021

Patriarchal greeting to His Beatitude Mar Béchara Boutros Cardinal Raï with the 10th anniversary of enthronement

25.03.2021

Patriarchal congratulations to Archbishop Seraphim of Sendai on his 70th birthday

23.03.2021

Patriarchal сondolences over the killing of believers of the Ethiopian Church in the Oromia Region

13.03.2021

Patriarch Kirill congratulates Metropolitan Porfirije on his election to the Serbian Patriarchal See

18.02.2021

Patriarch Kirill presented with Serbian highest national award

15.02.2021

Supreme Church Council holds first online session

11.02.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral marking 12th anniversary of his enthronement

01.02.2021

Holy Synod members commemorate Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and late archpastors of Russian Church

13.04.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s first session in 2021

13.04.2021

DECR Сhairman sent condolences on the death of Cardinal Edward Cassidy

12.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: actions of a politician must not come into conflict with his religious convictions

11.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has kept his love for Orthodoxy for the rest of his life

09.04.2021

First meeting held in 2021 by Presidential Council for International Cooperation’s commission for interaction with religious associations

09.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Summit of the heads of Churches is possible in foreseeable future

06.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The issue of a change of calendar and Paschalia is not on the Russian Church’s agenda

03.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: There exist within the Church differing opinions regarding the permissibility of IVF

03.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can know God through Divine energies

28.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: the Church does not bless the same-sex cohabitation, for it is a sinful way of life

27.03.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs online session of the Supreme Church Council

26.03.2021

DECR chairman meets with leaders of Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists

25.03.2021

The memory of fighters of the 1821-1823 Greek liberation movement is prayerfully honoured in Moscow

25.03.2021

DECR chairman meets with Ambassador of Montenegro to Russian Federation

25.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us

07.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: God is willing to give everyone a wonderful gift of faith, but people must be willing to accept it

16.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should be mindful of the value of human life

02.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates liturgy at Church of Antioch’s Moscow Representation on its patron saint’s day

26.07.2020

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message