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Gury (Karpov)

English Translation by Nina Dimas & Igor Radev

Surname, Name, Patronymic: Karpov, Grigory Platonovich

Rank: Archbishop

Church affiliation: Russian Orthodox Church

Biography

Gury (Karpov, Grigory Platonovich), Archbishop of Tauria and Simferopol.
Born in 1814 into the family of a priest in the city of Saratov.
In 1836 — completed the Saratov seminary.
In 1837 — enrolled in St. Petersburg Academy.
July 12, 1838 — tonsured into monasticism; August 4 — ordained hierodeacon; 20 November 1839 — hieromonk.
In 1839 — completed the Petersburg Academy with candidate in theology degree; on December 23 of the same year, appointed a member of the Beijing mission.
February 21, 1951 — elevated to the rank of archimandrite; October 12 of the same year — appointed Inspector of the Alexander Religious School.
August 17, 1855 — awarded the Masters of Theology degree.
August 25, 1856 — appointed head of Beijing Mission and remained in this post until 1864.
From September 13, 1865 — priest-in-charge of the Simonov Monastery in Moscow.
From January 26, 1866 — priest-in-charge of the Embassy Church in Rome.
July 5, 1966 — consecrated Bishop of Cheboksary, Vicar of the Kazan eparchy.
December 15, 1867 — Bishop of Tauria and Simferopol.
From 1876 — honorary member of the Ecclesiastical-Archeological Society and of the Kiev Theological Academy.
April 21, 1881 — elevated to the rank of Archbishop.
Died March 17, 1882 in Simferopol.
Immediately after completing the academy, Gury was sent with the Russian Spiritual Mission to China. While living for 18 years in China, first as a member of the Spiritual Mission, and later as chief of Mission (which partially replaced the embassy), he exerted much effort and energy in fulfilling the task he had been given. Difficulties were constantly encountered, but he loved his work and was persistent and patient in seeing it through to the end. In order not to freeze in winter, he himself had acquire the skill of laying the bricks of a traditional Russian stove, and later to teach others to do so.
From oven picks and shovels, he had to pick up a bow and violin, in order to turn the Albazinians into the Beijing Choir which was — if not better than — certainly no worse than an bishop's choir.
Gury mastered the Chinese language, was proficient in speaking and writing. He rendered into Chinese the New Testament in two volumes, the Psalter, church history, and a number of other books dealing with Orthodox services.
Moreover, he intensively studied this centuries-old country with multi-million inhabitants and the nature of our relationship with it. He often said the material he collected could make up two huge volumes and that they would contain much that was unknown. But the enormous data was never published. Later, when he was already serving as a bishop in Russia, Gury dreamed of retiring to a monastery in order to refine and systematize the materials, but he could not carry out the dream.
After his death this enormous data, written on separate scraps of paper was thrown out as garbage.
During his archpastoral service, Gury proved to be extraordinarily wise in resource management. At the same time, he distinguished himself by fine personal qualities; he was even-tempered, kind to people, loved truth.
His Eminence, Gury, was one of the most learned men of his time; he was proficient not only in Chinese, but also in a number of other of the newest languages. According to the memoirs of I. Palimpestov, "he was one of the finest conversationalists. His knowledge was most versatile, his heart responsive to everything good. He used words sparingly, but every one of his expressions was precise, as if cast in a distinct mold. Likewise in writing. He advised me to save all correspondence. One can destroy at any time, but how does one restore what has been destroyed?…See how in other lands they collect old things, and how they treasure each particle which falls away?"
From his first days of administering the Taurian eparchy, he devoted himself to the education of clergy. The result of his labors was the opening of a theological seminary and two religious schools — one for males and one for females.
He succeeded in improving economic conditions for the clergy of his eparchy.
As an archpastor, he left a fine memory of himself.
Because of the quality of his spirit, his versatile education, large number of societal works, and broad experience, His Eminence Gury, should be counted among the most memorable hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Works:

On the Divine Ordinance of the Episcopal Rank (Masterís Degree Thesis), August 17th, 1853.
Conversation of a Priest with his Parishioners on the Worthy Preparation for the Holy Mysteries.
Letters from Beijing on the Successes of Orthodoxy in China. Irkutsk Diocesan Bulletin, 1863.
Report on the State and Activities of the Beijing Mission. Christian Reader, 1864, 1.
The Confession of Faith of the Molokans of the Don Division, 1875.
On the "Castrates" Teachings. 1877.
Sermons and Lectures. Tauris Diocesan Bulletin, 1882, № 8.
Letters on the Translation of the New Testament into Chinese. Russian Archive, 1893, vol. 11, pg. 394.
Letters to His Eminence Jacob on the Russian and the Greco-Russian Church in China in XVII — XIX Centuries. Russian Antiquities, 1884, vol. 43.

Bibliography:

Palimpsestov P., His Eminence Gury (from my recollections). Russian Archive, 1888, III, pg. 165, 170.
Bulgakov, pg.1401, 1413.
Tolstoy Y. № 388.
Stroev P., pg. 281, 490.
Gatcuk, 1883 Calendar, pg. 453.
Rodoskiy A. Lectionary of Recollections of St Petersburg Spiritual Academy., pg. 125-126.
N. D., pg. 50, 78.
Savva, Archbishop. Chronicles of my life. Vol. III. Pg. 2, 522; vol. IV, pg. 11; vol. V, pg. 256, 275, 291, 323, 327, 659, 677, 682; vol. pg. 248, 249, 378, 532, 596, 618, 619, 622, 654.
List of Hierarchs, № 388.
Works of K. D. A.. 1873, August, pg. 346; September, pg. 426-427.
-"- 1874, January, pg. 20-21; April-June, pg. 125-127
-"- 1877, March, pg. 653; July, pg 240.
-"- 1878, November, pg. 444.
-"- 1879, January, pg. 266, 273, 275; April, pg. 54.
-"- 1882, June, pg. 6; July, pg. 327.
Samara Diocesan Bulletin, 1868, № 2, pg. 28.
-"- 1874, № 3, pg. 50.
Journal of Kazan Diocese, 1868, № 2, pg. 33; № 3, pg. 92-95.
-"- 1869, № 4, pg. 98.
-"- 1882, № 8, pg. 186-187.
-"- 1887, № 5, pg. 111-112.
Christian Reader, 1875, July, pg. 539.
Russian Pilgrim, 1910, № 9, pg. 141.
-"- 1915, № 52, pg. 831-832.
Historical Journal, 1884, November, pg.476
-"- 1885, November, pg. 20.
-"- 1888, November, pg. 6.
Orthodox Views, 1868, November, pg. 140.
-"- 1871, January, pg. 313-314.
-"- 1873, January, pg. 593-594.
-"- 1875, May, pg. 10-20.
-"- 1878, May, pg. 711.
-"- 1879, September, pg. 198-203.
-"- 1882, April, pg. 787-789.
Russian Antiquities, 1888, January, pg. 84, chap. 1
Russian Archive, 1912, № 9, pg. 86 п/с. 1.
BEL, vol. VII, pg. 724, 725.
BEY, vol. 7, pg. 748.
ES, vol. IX-a, pg. 912.

Duties and Places of Service

Mission Member:
Russian Spiritual Mission in China
1839 - 1851, XIX Century

Head:
Russian Spiritual Mission in China
August 25, 1856 - 1864, XIX Century.

Care Taker:
Simonov Monastery
September 13, 1865 - 1866, XIX Century.

Simferopol Eparchy
1867 - 1882, XIX Century.