A meeting of the Board of Trustees for the revival of the Sarov and Diveyevo monasteries
On November 29, a meeting of the Board of Trustees for the revival of the Sarov and Diveyevo monasteries was held in Moscow at the Patriarchal metochion of the Holy Trinity Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. The Board of Trustees was formed with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the support of the head of state in 2017.
Sergey Kirienko, the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, chairman of the board of trustees, presided at the meeting.
Before the meeting, the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolitanate celebrated a prayer service to Venerable Seraphim of Sarov.
Later, a discussion was held regarding the results of the work to restore the Sarov and Diveyevo monasteries and future plans.
Sergei Kirienko, Metropolitan Georgiy and Igor Komarov made opening remarks before the audience.
The head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolitanate reported on the progress of the social program “With the Name of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov.” In the course of report, he presented the results of the socially oriented projects, such as “Seraphim’s Teacher”, “Seraphim’s Doctor”, “Seraphim’s Sister of Mercy”, “Volunteer of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov”, “Seraphim’s school of ministry.” These projects bring together more than six thousand representatives of professional communities, including teachers, doctors, nurses, representatives of large Russian corporations and agricultural enterprises.
Metropolitan Georgiy then spoke about the work done in 2021-2023 at the sites of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese within the framework of the activities of the Board of Trustees for the revival of the Sarov and Diveyevo monasteries.
In his speech, the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese spoke about the progress of the restoration of churches and monasteries, the construction and reconstruction of cultural and educational facilities in Arzamas, Diveyevo and Sarov, as well as the large-scale event program implemented by the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese as part of the development of the Arzamas – Diveyevo – Sarov” tourism cluster. He also spoke about the implementation of the plan in the future.
In particular, the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolitanate spoke about the restoration of the Resurrection Cathedral in Arzamas. The unique restoration of this cultural monument of federal significance was completed in December 2022. Monumental artwork in the cathedral was fully restored, including the carved iconostases and facades and its basement underwent repairs as well. Following the scientific restoration, 162 icons were returned to their historic sites. Restoration work was also completed in the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Savior Transfiguration monastery. Metropolitan Georgiy expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation for the support in the restoration of the cathedrals in Arzamas. Further plans include the restoration of four additional cathedrals.
The Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese also noted that the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery has completed the painting of the Annunciation Cathedral and restored the historical entrance at the western side of the monastery. The 29-meter-long Sarov Gate was consecrated in 2022. New facilities of the spiritual and educational center after Venerable Seraphim of Sarov has been built as and it includes the hotel for 400 guests.
The head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolitanate accompanied his report by offering the video presentation prepared by the “Image” TV company.
“A great work completed over this time has already given a powerful impetus to the development of the incorporated in the cluster. This is the result of the active position of all members of the Board of Trustees. We thank each of you for your cooperation! By working together and caring about the life there and the holy shrines, we change life for the better. It will help not only to restore the souls of people living today, but also of those who will come after us,” said Metropolitan Georgiy.
“In the meantime, a lot of work has been done to restore the Sarov and Diveyevo monasteries. Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia highly appreciated the work on the development of the Sarov-Diveyevo tourism cluster. We can safely say today that it has become one of the major centers of the development of Orthodox Christianity, a treasure of Russia’s spiritual and historical heritage.
The cluster is a place of attraction for believers and those interested in the history of Russia, an important vector of development of cultural and historical tourism and a point of growth for the development of economy and tourism in the Nizhny Novgorod region and neighboring subjects of the Russian Federation. Thanks to the launch of the high-speed highway M-12 “Vostok”, new opportunities have opened up for the development of Sarov and Diveyevo monasteries. The work on the reconstruction of cultural historical sites and infrastructure in Arzamas was positively received by the local communities and the Russian society at large”, Igor Komarov assessed the work of the Board of Trustees.
Gleb Nikitin in his report presented the results of the project on the development of the “Arzamas – Diveevo – Sarov” pilgrim and tourism cluster, which includes 145 projects. Among them are the revival of shrines, development of local social and transport infrastructure. One of the project highlights was the beginning of traffic along the section of the M-12 highway and at the Arzamas southern bypass road by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 8, 2023 at the Cathedral Square in Arzamas. The President was also able to observe the results of the transformation the town of Arzamas had underwent recently.
“As a result, the city has become a point of attraction for tourists. So, the people, both its residents and its visitors, are able to see to themselves a massive change in its development. The work we have done has already made it possible to improve more than 50 hectares of public spaces.
The Sobornaya Square, the main square of the town, along with the streets adjacent to it, has been transformed into a pedestrian zone fully accessible for local walking tours. We should continue the work at the redevelopment of Arzamas as part of the tourism cluster to make it the basis of preparation for the upcoming 450th anniversary of its founding, which will be celebrated in 2028,” said the Governor of Nizhny Novgorod region.
Tatyana Yakovleva reported on the progress of construction of the clinical hospital No. 50 of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia in Sarov.
Artem Zdunov reported on the implementation of measures to develop the pilgrim and tourism cluster “Arzamas – Diveevo – Sarov” in the Republic of Mordovia. “A unified interregional tourist-oriented zone will attract additional tourists and pilgrims to our regions, our holy shrines and beautiful natural areas. The Temnikov District in Mordovia, with its areas included in the cluster, is connected with the name of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov proclaimed a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. This year, with the support from Gazprom, we achieved a significant historic milestone to bring natural gas supply to the Sanaksarsky monastery where the relics of the Righteous Admiral rest. Our next step is to make a comprehensive restoration work in the monastery,” said the head of the republic.
Sergei Kirienko summarized the results of the meeting of the Board of Trustees.