Русский | Simferopol and Crimean Diocese | April 21, 2008
English translation by Igor Radev

Glorification of Saint Gury (Karpov) Archbishop of Tauris

On April 18, 2008, during the session of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, held under the auspices of His Beatitude Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and of all Ukraine, a decision was passed to glorify the XIX century striver for piety, St Gury (Karpov), Archbishop of Tauris, as a locally revered saint.

Archbishop Gury (in the world – Grigory Platonovich Karpov) was born in 1814 in the town of Saratov, to a family of a priest. After graduating from the Spiritual Seminary in 1837, he used to teach Latin to the higher classes of Saratov local Spiritual School. After finishing St Petersburg Spiritual Academy with a degree in Theology, he received monastic tonsure obtaining the name of Gury. On November 20, 1839, he was ordained to the rank of Hieromonk. Following a special decree of the Holy Synod, he worked for almost twenty years at the Beijing Spiritual Mission. His equal to the Apostles’ labor was recognized by both a State and Church award.

Archbishop Gury translated into Chinese the Gospels, Service Book, Lives of the Saints, as well as other religious works. In China he also laid the foundations for subsequent theological and apologetic projects. In 1851 Fr Gury was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite. From 1867 he was entrusted with the care of Tauris Diocese. By his efforts, in 1873 the Tauris Spiritual Seminary was established and at the same time the school church dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs was built. The contemporaries praised the extraordinary wisdom of St Gury, his love for the neighbor, his unselfishness, mercy and steadfast faith. The Hierarch achieved many things for the Diocese: besides founding the Spiritual Seminary, the Consistory and the male Spiritual School, he also urged the Holy Synod to allocate resources for reconstruction of St Alexander of Neva Cathedral, aided money for development of different monasteries, and established in Simferopol the Tauris Diocesan House. He also conducted a remarkable missionary work and struggled with different sects. On his insistence, at the Seminary a department for study of schisms was formed, and its teacher was sustained by personal funds of the Archbishop. The Hierarch took care not only of the educational level of priests, but was also involved in the issue of professional competence of Church readers, and for them he opened an acolyte school in the Cathedral. For his labors Archbishop Gury was awarded the medal of St Anna of First, Second and Third Degree, St Vladimir of Second, Third and Fourth Degree, and was given a gem adorned panagia.

Archbishop Gury was renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge. His large personal library numbering 2,556 volumes, he left it to the Seminary. Under his leadership the journal “Tauris Diocesan Bulletin” started to be published. St Gury reposed in 1882 and was buried in the crypt of St Alexander of Neva Cathedral. Just before the destruction of the Cathedral in 1929, the remains of Archbishop Gury together with those of four other priests were transferred to the town cemetery adjoined to the church of All Saints. The eye witnesses of the event testify that even 47 years after the burial, the saint’s body remained incorrupt, and the vestments were preserved too. The parish members in the remembrance notes used to write: “For the incorruptibly reposed Hierarch Archbishop Gury”.