On November 11, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, currently at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and at the invitation of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada, celebrated a litiya for Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky on the occasion of his 200th birthday at the seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel.
Praying at the service were Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh & Western Pennsylvania; Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, president of the Seminary; faculty and students, and participants in the “Search for Scriptures” conference from different parts of the United States.
After the service, Metropolitan Hilarion reminded those present of Dostoyevsky’s facts of life, of infatuation with socialist ideas in his younger days that had led him to the scaffold and hard labor, and of how he was affected by the Gospel – the only book allowed in the penal colony. The DECR chairman noted the special significance of Dostoyevsky’s creative work not only for Russia, but also for the whole world as his books have been translated into all written languages.
“For his contemporaries, Dostoyevsky was a prophet who predicted many adversities that would fall upon Russia. For future generations, he is not only a prophet, but also an apostle, as many people come to Christ and discover the Gospel thanks to his literary works. It is thanks to his works that many people throughout the world find out about Russia, Orthodoxy and ‘the radiant image of Christ’ – the constant source of inspiration for the author.
DECR Communication Service