Nestor - Anisimov
(Anisimov Nikolai Alexandrovich) (November 9th 1884, Vyatka, -
November 4th 1962, Moscow — different chronology is given in Karaulovís article, see below). His father was a military
officer (headquarters advisor), and his mother — a daughter of a protopriest. He finished the Kazan normal school and entered as a novice the Kazan monastery of the
Savior. In 1907 he was tonsured into monkhood and then
was sent in Kamchatka as missionary. He learned
the Tungus and Koryak
languages and subsequently translated into them the Divine Liturgy and the
Gospel. He made a report to the State Duma about
Kamchatka region. In 1914 -1915 he volunteered
to the front where he organized a sanitary unit. In 1816 he became bishop of
Kamchatka and Petropavlovsk.
August 1917-1918 he was member of the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. He
took part in the discussion at the Council about the gunning of the Moscow
Kremlin and the damage done this way to the Kremlin churches. As a response to
the remark that Kremlin was shot at by Bolsheviks and Yunkers as well, Bishop Nestor said: “Who can claim whether
the churches were damaged deliberately or accidentallyÖ Of course, not our Army
shot at the temples of GodÖ It is important to us now to have every fact that
can stir up among the people abhorrence against the Bolsheviks. People know that
Bolsheviks are against religion. I suggest that immediately a short but poignant
booklet is made where the destruction will be described in detail and the
culprits for it shall be pointed. That way it will have an impact among the
people used to respect the sacred.” (see Chertkov A., Krah, M., 1968, page 38-39). Bishop Nestor wrote that
booklet under the title — “The shooting Moscow Kremlin” (M., 1917), in which he
wrote: “Alas, a mindless strategy has become typical for all representatives of
the self-proclaimed government, and what they are doing to the Kremlin are doing
to all of Russia, looking for in her with their instruments of death the enemies
of their deranged utopias“ (page 28). He cooperated
with A. V. Kolchak.
In 1919 Bishop Nestor returned to Kamchatka via Europe, Africa and Asia because the
normal route through Siberia was blocked due to
the civil war. After the establishment of Soviet authority in Kamchatka, he
moved to Harbin,
where he set up a representation of Kamchatka Diocese. In 1933 he was elevated
to the rank of Archbishop. In 1945 he met the Soviet armies in Harbin.
He was arrested in 1948 and was kept in prison camp in Mordovia. In 1956 he was appointed Metropolitan of Novosibirsk and Barnaul, and in 1958 — of Kirovgrad and Nikolaevsk.
Materials were used from the article of M.
E. Golostenov in the book: Political activists in Russia 1917. Biographical lexicon, Moscow, 1993.
Metropolitan Nestor (in the world Nikolai Aleksandrovich Anisimov) was born
on November 8th (according to the old style) 1885 in the town of
Vyatka, and from
his early childhood he was marked with deep religiosity. After finishing normal
school, he became novice at the Transfiguration of Savior monastery in Kazan and then enrolled into the missionary department of
In 1907 after his soulís longing and by the will of God, receiving a
blessing from Holy Righteous John of Kronstad, he
decides to devote himself to missionary work.
On April 17th he was tonsured a monk receiving the name of
Nestor, in honor of St Nestor the Chronologist. On May 6th 1907 he was elevated to the
rank of hierodeacon, and three days later — to the
rank of hieromonk.
On June 2nd
1907 he left for the place of his missionary service in Kamchatka.
During 1907-1908, Hieromonk Nestor diligently,
often even risking his own life, delivered his pastoral
obligation, preaching the Word of God and urging to faith in Christ many
heathens — Kamchadals. The profound respect he had
towards these people, their language and traditions, the unceasing readiness to
provide help to the sick, the frail and the injured secured Hieromonk Nestor the deeply felt love and respect of his
flock even in the most secluded areas of the enormous Kamchatka region. Despite this, the young Shepherd was not
thoroughly satisfied with his work. He understood that with his small strength
he could not solve all the problems of the all-forsaken Kamchatka. It was necessary to draw the attention of the
powerful of the world, of the Church hierarchy, of the honest people who wanted
to help their fellow men, those suffering from poverty, illness, drunkenness and
the autocracy of local officials. Thus how came about the idea to form the
charitable “Kamchatkan Brotherhood”.
At the beginning of 1910, after receiving a blessing from the ruling
hierarch, Fr Nestor went to St
Petersburg where he faced the rigidity and even animosity
of the Synodís bureaucrats and its Ober-procurator.
But that didnít discourage the young hieromonk. At the
price of enormous efforts he succeeded to draw the attention of the broader
Orthodox public and the representatives of the State Duma to the idea of creating a Brotherhood. Also, a decisive
role in this had the personal involvement of the Sovereign, Nikolai Alexandrovich, Empress Alexandra Fedorovna and the widow-empress, Maria Fedorovna.
As a result of those efforts on September 14th 1910 in Vladivostok the Charitable Kamchatkan Brotherhood was opened, and shortly after its
sections were formed in St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and other Russian cities. The Brotherhood
was substantially helped by St Nikolai Equal to the Apostles, the Archbishop of
Japan, by Holy Martyr Elizabeth - the Grand Princess, Holy Martyr Vladimir -
Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia. Large assistance was offered
by the Royal family. The Brotherhood was given church, liturgical utensils, money, transportation privileges. Patron
of the Brotherhood became Crowned Prince Alexey Nikolaevich.
During 1910-1917 at the expenses of the Brotherhood in Kamchatka there were built dozens of churches, chapels,
schools, shelters, hospitals, leprosy colonies and ambulance stations.
Having learned Tungus (Evenki) and Koryak language, Hieromonk Nestor translated into the local languages the
Divine Liturgy, partly the Gospel and selected prayers. For that work Fr Nestor
was elevated to the rank of hegoumen in 1913.
After the beginning of the war in 1914, Fr Nestor organized and headed
the sanitary unit “First Aid under fire” and personally evacuated the wounded
from the battlefield, took care of their wounds, comforted them and arranged
their transport to field hospitals. For his altruistic and heroic work hegoumen Nestor was awarded the prestigious religious and
military honor - the right to wear a chest cross on a St Georgeís ribbon, as well
as number of military medals.
At the end of 1915 Fr Nestor was demobilized form the front and was
elevated to the rank of archimandrite, and finally continued his pastoral
mission in Kamchatka.
On October 16th Fr Nestor was consecrated a bishop and was
appointed the first ruling hierarch of the newly formed Kamchatka Diocese.
During 1917-1918 Bishop Nestor took part in the All-Russian Local Church
Council and the election of Patriarch Tykhon. After
the October events in Moscow 1917 he participated in the work of the commission
responsible for photographing and describing the damages done to the Moscow
Kremlin, which acted under the leadership of Holy Martyr Veniamin, Metropolitan of St Petersburg, and with blessing
of the Council subsequently published the book “Shooting of the Moscow Kremlin”,
for which he was soon arrested by the Bolsheviks, spending more than a month in
jail. After the end of the Councilís work, Bishop Nestor with great difficulties
managed to return to Petropavlovsk of Kamchatka, traveling on the way through
Crimea, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, India and China.
There he continued his service as a bishop. But soon enough he is expelled by
the Bolsheviks from Kamchatka.
Enjoying particular trust on the side of Patriarch Tykhon, during 1919-1920 Vladika carried out number of his
rulings concerning Siberia and the Far East. In
1921 Bishop Nestor opens a representation of the Kamchatka Diocese in the city
of Harbin (Manchuria), and later — House of mercy and diligence, which
helped preserve the lives of thousands of children and adults alike, caught in
the chaos of the civil war. Being under the auspices of the Synod Abroad, Vladika
painfully went through the turmoil of the 20-30-ies, subsequently supporting the
idea of the unity of the suffering Mother Church. During that period, the Bishop
visited many countries of Europe and Asia, meeting the hierarchs of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad, the Heads of many local Orthodox Churches and some heterodox Churches. On
number of occasions he made pilgrimages in the Holy
Land. In 1938-1939 he undertook missionary work in
India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
In 1946 Bishop Nestor was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan by
Patriarch Alexy I and was appointed the ruling
hierarch of Harbin and Manchuria and Patriarchal Exarch
of South-East Asia.
In 1948 Vladika undergoes arrest and
imprisonment in prison camps. He was sentenced because of his participation in
the transfer of the relics of Holy Martyr Elizabeth, the organizing of the Local
Council in Vladivostok 1922, the publishing of the book
“Shooting of the Moscow Kremlin”, the building of a chapel dedicated to the
Crowned Martyrs etcetera.
After his release in 1956, Vladika was appointed
Metropolitan of Novosibirsk and Barnaul, and from December
1958 — Metropolitan of Kirovgrad and Nikolaevsk.
Vladika especially had respect
for the Holy Dormition Kiev and Pechora Lavra. His first visit there in 1905 effected an
unforgettable impression on him and decided the subsequent choice of his
monastic name — Nestor. In the following years (1909-1918, and after 1956) Vladika
visited the Lavra on many occasions and
prayed in its Holy precincts. In the hard times immediately preceding its
closure, Vladika several time purposely
went to the Lavra in order to give
consolation to its Abbot and the brotherhood and strengthen among them the hope
in the unavoidable victory of the Faith in Christ.
During the last years of his life Vladika traveled a lot through
his Diocese, carrying out Divine Services, preaching the Word of God and
protesting the closure of churches done by the godless authorities.
Metropolitan Nestor reposed on October 22nd / November 4th
1962. He was buried in the courtyard of the church of the Patriarchal
representation of Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Peredelkino.
May your Hierarchood be mentioned by God in His
The biographical article was compiled by
Alexander Kirilovich Karaulov
"Harbin — Manchuria."
Belgrade, 1933. pg. 3
Project Hronos exists
from January 20th
at two domains - www.hrono.ru
Editor: Vyacheslav Rumyancev