Русский | Dec 1999-Jan 2000 Krasnoyarsk
English Machine Translation

Between the past and future

Krasnoyarsk missionaries in Beijing

Returning a name: Ivan Apollonovich Figurovsky

" Tribunes on skill to inspire the ideas, the scientist on knowledge and a bogatyr on appearance, it at once was able to gain listeners ", " possessing a bewitching exterior and remarkable enough gift for speaking " - here typical responses of contemporaries about one of outstanding figures in history of Russian Orthodox Church, our fellow countryman, krasnojartse - metropolitan Beijing and Chinese Innokentii (Figurovskom). Voleju sudeb the Yenisei ground has given the world of the devotee and the adherent of Orthodoxy, managed to inform word Bozhie up to Chinese people and to lay the foundation the Chinese Orthodox Church.

On April, 4th, 1719 from Yeniseisk metropolitan Feodor (Filofej) has written the letter to the governor of Siberia Gagarin: " there Is a hope for glorification of name Bozhija among Chineses... ashche yours sijatelstvo priimeshi on Boze jealousy, with preosv. Stefanom (Yavorskys) having advised, report on Its Imperial Majesty, and, having selected the kind and wise person, there in an empire Chinese will send not zamedlja. Ashche though and a grade arhierejskim pochtite, and to clergy with it the person 15 poslati... "

The Maintenance of the letter of the Siberian metropolitan has been reported to Peter I which completely has approved this idea. Its have supported and Board of Spiritual affairs, and the Senate. As the candidate on a place of bishop in Beijing laurels Innokenty (Kulchitsky), nobleman, the native from Malorossii, the pupil of the Kiev spiritual academy, postrizhennyj in a nunhood in kievo-ia?a?neie laurels have been chosen naval ober-ea?iiiiao Aeaenaia?i-Neva. In the spring 1721 father Innokenty has been named and hirotonisan in bishop Perejaslavskogo and has left to Siberia. All attempts to reach Beijing have appeared unsuccessful, and in January, 1727 in Petersburg the decision to leave bishop Innokentija in Irkutsk where it and worked was accepted, educating local godless ljud and foreigners, before the death which have come in 1731. In 1804 after great miracles which were made on a pray to prelate Innokentiju and after imperishable power in its wonderful image showed itself, having escaped in a fire, the first chapter of the Irkutsk diocese has been canonized. Much managed to be made Innokentiju Irkutsk, but the assignment given by Peter I and the Sacred Synod, it was fated to execute to another.

The Person who has managed, despite of all obstacles to embody Peter's I dream and to bring light of Orthodoxy to people of China, was born later almost one and a half centuries in the center of Russian empire, on Angara. The future metropolitan Beijing and Chinese was born in village Panovskom of the Yenisei district of the Yenisei province. In the world it called Ivan Apollonovich Figurovsky. Till now the name of this outstanding person is not known krasnojartsam. In the rare publications, devoted histories of Orthodox Church in China, it is inexact date of its birth is underlined. And in general nothing is spoken about the Krasnoyarsk period of its life. Working in archives, I managed to find the interesting data, concerning this period, the history of the whole dynasty of clerics Figurovskih has opened.

As records from kept in the State archive of Krasnoyarsk region of the metric book testify, on February, 22nd, 1863 in family of priest Kiriko-Iulitinskoj of church of village Panovskogo of Apollo Figurovskogo and the lawful wife of its Matron Gavrilovny the son was born. On February, 24th it was kreshchen and John, in honour of Ionna Krestitelja is named by a name. God at Ivan Figurovskogo became the Yenisei petty bourgeois Stepan Andreevich Kochnev and krestjanka villages Kovriginoj of volost Elovskoj Eudoxia Nikolaevna Zubkova.

The Ancient Siberian village Panovskoe has been located on right I protect Angara, in 46 versts from Kezhemskogo volost board. At that time it was the center of the arrival opened still in 1787 and entered in blagochinie of priest Paul Debrskogo. In family of priest Kiriko-Iulitinskoj of church Apollo (Apollonija) Iosifovicha and Matrons Gavrilovny Figurovskih there were some children. By the way, except for Ivan the appreciable trace in history was left by its senior brother Vasily and younger brother Paul.

Senior brother Ivan, Vasily Apollonovich Figurovsky, was born in 1851 on a former place of service of Apollo Iosifovicha, in village Krasnoyarsk of Kuznetsk district of Tomsk province. And there began father Appolony the service, by the way, on Altai, on southern border of Russian settlements, near to border of the Chinese empire. After the termination of the Irkutsk theological seminary the senior son Figurovskih served as the priest at many tserkvah: at Sisimskoj Troitskoj, karaulno-ino?i?neie Spasskoj, Torgashinskoj Nikolaev, and with 1885 - Arejskoj Troitskoj. From the end of XIX century within more than two decades archpriest Vasily Figurovsky was decent in Krasnoyarsk district, constantly worked in various educational institutions and missionary societies.

In Vasily Apollonovicha and Maria Grigorevny Figurovskih's family there were some children. The greatest popularity in the Yenisei province was received by the senior sons, Alexander and Ivan. To Alexander Vasilevichu Figurovskomu who has ended in 1885 the Tomsk theological seminary with the recommendation in Spiritual academy, the short century, only 33 years have been released. In 1907 has interrupted a terrestrial way of father Alexander - the priest Krasnoyarsk to the Virgin-christmas of a cathedral, a member of the Yenisei spiritual consistory, a member of Advice and the teacher of Law Bozhija of Krasnoyarsk eparchial female school, a member of Krasnoyarsk district branch Yenisei eparchial uchilishchnogo advice, the secretary of an orthodox brotherhood of Christmas Presvjatoj of the Virgin and a member of Krasnoyarsk branch of the Orthodox missionary society. Its brother - Ivan Vasilevich Figurovsky too has ended the Tomsk theological seminary, then and the Moscow spiritual academy, has received a degree of the candidate of divinity and worked in various educational institutions of Krasnoyarsk. Per 1917-1918 Ivan Vasilevich accepted active participation in work pomestnogo of the Cathedral of Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

But we shall return to Ivan Apollonovichu Figurovskomu. By time of its birth parents were already elderly, to the mother 40 years were executed. In 1879 when Ivan studied in the Tomsk theological seminary, Matron Gavrilovna ovdovela and has moved to the senior son. Later the mother the Matron postriglas in a nunhood also has got over to the son to Beijing where it esteemed by all already as inokinja Manefa, has died in 1911 Younger brother Ivan Apollonovicha - Paul Apollonovich Figurovsky in 1883 has ended Krasnoyarsk spiritual school. It consisted as the novice at Arhierejskom the house, and in 1885 has been appointed to a place psalomshchika a cathedral. In the further Paul Apollonovich Figurovsky too has cast in the lot with China, under supervision of the senior brother served in China - in Port Arthur, in Harbin, in Beijing and Shanghai. Priest Paul Figurovsky, as well as some other Krasnoyarsk clerics, has rendered the considerable help to the senior brother - to prelate Innokentiju in business of distribution of Orthodoxy in China.

The future prelate has received the Elementary education in Krasnoyarsk in spiritual school. Representation about this educational institution in 70th of XIX century can be received from the report of bishop Yenisei and Krasnoyarsk which, in particular, reported to Petersburg: " For gradual and uniform spiritual development of pupils in uchilishchnyh libraries there is a sufficient number of books for reading at children's and youthful age. On zapiskam teachers pupils received books fundamental uchilishchnoj libraries for the term of and in read through gave the report. For a management of pupils in reading conscious and expressive teachers of the school, mainly commanding arranged for them reading on History, Bible, Church, Russian Civil, on the Geography, accompanied with paper pictures. For physical development, except for room and air gymnastics, pupils walked and worked in the sadike, and in good weather vesnoju, in the autumn and zimoju have been deduced on walks for city on walks, under supervision commanding, skated in the winter, on sankah from a hill. For development of taste - were engaged in singing and igroju on skripkah, openwork work, cut patterns from a plate on figures. And for advantage in the future - were engaged in binding skill ". In 1878 Ivan Figurovsky has ended Krasnoyarsk spiritual school and has acted in the Tomsk theological seminary where studied the Scriptus, literature, general civil history, algebra, geometry, the doctrine about prayer books, latin, Greek and Tatar languages. In 1882 at transition in 5-th class it has left under the application the Tomsk theological seminary and has returned to the Yenisei province.

In 1883 Ivan Figurovsky has been certain on a post psalomshchika to Balahtinskoj Vvedenskoj churches Achinskogo of district. In documents of church for the first time its signature appears under " the Search marriage " from April, 24th, 1883. In Balahte the church in the name of Introduction in temple Presvjatoj of the Virgin has been opened in 1780. It was stone and with a stone belltower, had pridel in the name of Nikolay Chudotvortsa Mirlikijskogo. That is significant, was here and pridel in the name of prelate Innokentija Irkutsk, opened in 1858. Under the schedule from April, 30th, 1877 the staff prichta consisted of the prior, the assistant and two psalomshchikov, the same staff was kept and in 1883. The prior of church was known and authoritative
47-years priest Peter Andreevich Simonov, the son of the priest, comes from the Barnaul district of Tomsk volost. Long time father Peter was decent, and in 1883 has been selected by chairman of Eparchial congress of clergy on affairs eparchial spiritually-educational institutions. Together with the wife Matron Alekseevnoj they had three sons, the senior from which, the Laurels, in 1883 already studied in Krasnoyarsk spiritual school, and four daughters.

And so, in November, 1883 Ivan Figurovsky also has got married to the senior daughter of prior Vvedenskoj of church Peter Simonov, 18-years Anna. The witness from the bride was the graduate of Krasnoyarsk spiritual school, younger brother Ivan - Paul Figurovsky, and " made a search ", that is registered marriage, the native uncle - priest Torgashinskoj of the Nikolaev church of Krasnoyarsk district Vasily Apollonovich Figurovsky. Family Simonovyh has not for long lived in Balahte. In June, 1886 Peter Andreevich has died in Krasnoyarsk after heavy illness, bishop read the burial service over it in a cathedral. Matron Alekseevna has remained at a cathedral, the son Laurels, after reception diakonskogo a dignity has borrowed in lawyer practice in Achinsk, other son, George, has acted in the St.-Petersburg university.

In 1884 Ivan Apollonovich Figurovsky has been devoted in presvitersky a dignity, imposed in priests to Derbinskoj Sacred Prophet Ilii of church (proroko-eeueineie churches). Derbinsky proroko-eeueineee the arrival located near to Balahty, has been opened in 1859, arrival included village Derbinskoe and 7 villages. Originally the center of arrival was church in the village Ezagash, constructed in 1864 with support of the owner of a distillary And. Of Schegolev. In village Derbinskom church have constructed in 1869, the center of arrival it became in 1876 after transfer Ezagashskoj of church to possession of the Krasnoyarsk man's grammar school. The church consecrated in honour of Prophet Ilii, was wooden, odnoprestolnoj, church pricht consisted of the priest and psalomshchika.

In February, 1885 Ivan Figurovsky has been moved from Derbinskogo in verhne-eo?aaa?neee pokrovsky arrival. Ivan Apollonovich, voleju sudeb and the church heads, has got on the edge of Russian ground, further the village Verhne-Kuzhebarskogo up to the border with China was not Russian settlements. It is interesting, that a quarter centuries ago in the same edges after the termination of the Tobolsk seminary there has arrived as the priest of marching church on gold crafts Amylskoj of system its father-in-law Peter Andreevich Simonov. verhne-eo?aaa?neo? pokrovskuju the church was constructed in 1854 by immigrants of the Oryol province, Russian immigrants and made all population of arrival. Ivan Apollonovich has appeared on border with China, but during this period about missionary work among the population of the next empire of speech did not go at all. Still in " the Report of Krasnoyarsk Eparchial Committee of the Orthodox Missionary Society for 1901 " in occasion of verhne-oneineiai it was marked: "... The Chinese citizens sometimes come into this village - pagans Sojoty; but mission of the Christian sermon in relation to them has no fruits as they visit village Verhne-Usinskoe only travel for barter, to their settlements to the Russian missionary to go it is impossible ".

In the extreme south of the Yenisei province Ivan Apollonovich Figurovsky worked not for long. In the beginning 1886 " the Yenisei eparchial sheets " have informed, that on December, 19th, 1885 " the Priest of village Kuzhebarskogo, district Minusinskogo John Figurovsky... It is deducted from a post under the application ".

With 1886 begins a new stage of a life of Ivan Figurovskogo, it leaves Siberia and goes to study in capital. In May, 1886 priest John has been accepted in number of pupils of 4-th class in a theological seminary in St.-Petersburg - in city at which sources stood, being then still the iaa?-monk of the Peter fleet, one of founders Aeaenaia?i-Neva laurels, the future prelate and Siberian chudotvorets Innokenty Irkutsk. Sacred much will be connected with a name of this in Ivan Figurovskogo's life. With 1888 for 1892 it studied in the Petersburg spiritual academy. That became with wife Anna, it is not known, probably, it was not already in alive, but it is for certain known, what exactly during study in academy Ivan Figurovsky has decided to refuse a wordly life and entirely to devote itself to service to the God. In 1890 it was postrizhen in monks and has accepted name Innokenty, the same name that has accepted Ivan Kulchitsky, the future prelate Innokenty Irkutsk is no time during the postriga. In 1892 ieromonah Innokenty (Figurovsky) has received a degree of the candidate of divinity and became the inspector of the Aeaenaia?i-Neva spiritual school. In 1894 it has been imposed in a dignity of archimandrite and became the rector of a theological seminary in Petersburg. Soon became the prior of a second-class monastery, and in 1895 has been appointed in missionary pokrovsky a monastery in Moscow.

On October, 3rd, 1896 archimandrite Innokentija Figurovskogo have appointed the chief of 18-th Spiritual mission in Beijing. Under the order of the iaa?-public prosecutor of the Synod it has gone to China through the Western Europe, has visited some missionary establishments in London, in Oxford has visited a unique Protestant missionary monastery, in Paris has familiarized with work of the missionary seminary prepared experts for work in the Far East, in Rome has examined a monastery trapistov (molchalnikov), on Athos has tried to persuade local monks to go to China, it also has visited Palestin and in March, 1897 has arrived to Beijing.

Finally destiny of prelate Innokentija, the founder of the Chinese Orthodox Church, was defined in Petersburg where it has been caused for the decision of a question on the full termination of orthodox missionary activity in China. However Innokenty (Figurovsky) has defended not only Orthodoxy in China, but also has revived mission in the name of prelate Innokentija Irkutsk. On June, 3rd, 1902 archimandrite Innokenty has been imposed in Aeaenaia?i-Neva laurels in a dignity of bishop, with assignment of a title - Pereslavsky, according to the name of the first bishop - Innokentija (Kulchitskogo), appointed in China in 1721

On July, 8th, 1902 members of mission, only 34 persons, have left Petersburg in two cars specially given for them. On July, 26th, 1902 " the Yenisei provincial sheets " have informed: " Travel from Petersburg to Beijing on July, 21st in Krasnoyarsk the chief of the Beijing spiritual mission preosvjashchennyj Innokenty stopped ". Krasnoyarsk mass media have not given due attention to the outstanding fellow countryman, probably, it has been caused by absence in province of bishop Evfimija who has not come back yet from treatment. However bishop Innokenty has not forgotten about fellow countrymen, after it to China have arrived not only its brother and the mother, but in 1903 in Beijing the first female orthodox community have organized poslushnitsy Krasnoyarsk Znamensky of a female monastery.

In 1921, according to the decision of the Synod and the decree of patriarch Tihona, lord Innokenty has been erected in a dignity of archbishop and has soon headed the diocese created in 1922 Beijing and Chinese. In 1928 lord Innokenty has been awarded a dignity of metropolitan. In 1931 before the death bishop Innokenty has seen a dream: clerics have entered into a room with images, and the lord has asked them: " In what occasion send with images? " Someone has answered: " To read the burial service... ". On June, 28th, 1931, it is equal in two centuries after death Innokentija Irkutsk, metropolitan Beijing and Chinese Innokenty (Figurovsky) has passed away. It has been buried in a crypt of church of All Sacred Martyrs in territory of Spiritual mission, then, before arrival of new authority to Beijing, remains Innokentija were sprjatany under the ground. Somewhere in bowels of the Chinese ground they remain and to this day.

Orthodoxy in China last decades has gone through hard times, but recently in territory of embassy of Russia in Beijing on blessing the Patriarch Moscow and vseja Russia Alex has been established poklonnyj the Cross. From Russian ground in the center of China where there are remains of prelate Innokentija Figurovskogo and many other things of our fellow countrymen - devotees of the ground Yenisei, revival of Orthodoxy in China begins.