Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

Church of the Great Martyrs Barbara, Anastasia and Martyr Aquilina

In 1853, in the Donskoy Hospital Building of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra at the expense of Countess V. A. Tatishcheva (née Butkevich; 1776-1853) a hospital church in honor of St. Barbara and Anastasia was established, and the building was renamed Varvarinsky. V. A. Tatishchev was the daughter of Lieutenant General A. D. Butkevich (1759-1832), wife of Lieutenant General of infantry, and then military minister A. I. Tatishchev (1763-1833). Varvara Alexandrovna was a member of the St. Petersburg Ladies' Prison Ministry Committee. On July 25, 1825 she was awarded the Small Cross of the Order of St. Catherine. She took monastic vows with the name Anastasia and died in 1853.

The house church was named after St. Barbara. of Heliopolis (Comm. on 4/17 December) and St. Anastasia Pharmacolytria (22 December/4 January). Information on the activities of V. A. Tatishcheva regarding her prisons ministry seems to suggest that her new name after her monastic vows, was Anastasia, in honour of the holy Great Martyr Anastasia Pharmacolytria.

On February 28, 1893 the Executive Board of the Lavra appealed to Bishop Alexander (Svetlakov) of Dmitrov for a blessing to build a new building of the Hospital/Almshouse because of the fact that the Varvara Building became too small and uncomfortable as far as sanitary and hygienic norms go. With the blessing of Metropolitan Sergius of Moscow and Kolomna (Lyapidevsky), a plot in the Paphnutiev Garden was chosen for the construction of the hospital. The project of the hospital/almshouse complex was designed by architect A. A. Latkov, who was awarded the title of hereditary honorary citizen of Sergiev Posad for this work. The construction of the complex lasted from 1893 to 1896.

In 1893, the Executive Board of the Lavra decided to move the Church of St. Barbara and Anastasia from the Varvara Building to the newly built Hospital/Almshouse in the Paphnutiev Garden.

Even before the church was transferred to the hospital, the name of St. Aquilina was added to the name of the church. The reason for this was the following circumstance. On April 25, 1893 the merchant wife Akilina Alekseevna Smirnova (secret nun Raphaela) died in Voskresensk, Moscow province. She was a well-known buildress of churches, who gave money to the Russian Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos, Moscow's Skorbyashchensky and Zechatevsky monasteries, Golovinsky Monastery in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God near Moscow and other monasteries and temples. On June 5, 1893 her manager, owner of a printing house, Sergiev Posad merchant I. E. Efimov donated 10,000 rubles of Akilina's funds to the church at the Lavra Hospital on the condition that the names of Sts. Barbara and Anastasia be joined by the name of St. Aquilina, and that along with the name of Countess Barbara the name of the hand-maid of God Akilina be commemorated. On November 11, 1896 the Executive Board of the Lavra requested the blessings of Metropolitan Sergius to move the iconostasis of the Church of St. Barbara to the newly built building of the Hospital-Almshouse. Here, on the floor under the temple of St. John of the Ladder, a burial church of St. Barbara, Anastasia and Aquilina. Inside the temple there was an icon of St. Sergius, painted on the top board from the wooden casket of the Saint. Funeral services were held in this church.

On July 29, 1901 the church was consecrated by the treasurer of the Lavra Archimandrite Nicon (Rozhdestvensky).

On one of the deacon's doors of the iconostasis of the temple of St. John Climacus the Archangel Raphael was depicted. Perhaps, this fact is explained by a request of the merchant I. E. Efimov, who could have asked for a blessing to have the archangel Raphael painted in memory of the heavenly patron of A. A. Smirnova, who was named Raphaela in taking secret monastic vows. The nun Raphaela was buried in front of the altar of the Cathedral of the Merciful Saviour at the Moscow Skorbyaschensky Monastery. In the Kazan Golovinsky monastery in memory of Akilina Alekseevna after 1893 a hospital building with a church in honor of St. Aquilina - her heavenly patroness, was erected. In the yearly liturgical cycle of the Moscow Zachatevsky Stavropigial Women's Monastery, June 13/26, it is marked as the day of celebration of St. Aquilina - the heavenly patroness of A. A. Smirnova.

A comparison of information from archival documents and historical works on the history of the Lavra and its architectural monuments with the biographies of the church's organizers published on the Internet makes it possible to establish that the church was consecrated in honour of Sts. Barbara of Heliopolis (c. 306, comm. on 4/17 December), Anastasia Pharmacolytria (c. 304, comm. on 22 December / 4 January) and Aquilina (293, comm. 13/26 June).

During the period of revolutionary changes the hospital and almshouse building, as well as all the buildings of the architectural ensemble of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, were nationalized and handed over to the Soviet authorities. The Church of St. John of the Ladder and the Church of St. Barbara, Anastasia and Aquilina.

On January 15, 1919 in the Hospital/Almshouse was reopened as typhus fever hospital, and in 1921 as a general hospital, which two years later opened a surgical department. In subsequent years the building housed Zagorskiy district hospital.

By the order of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the Hospital/Almshouse Building was transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate in 1986 for the accomodation of the Moscow Theological Academy.

Since the summer of 1988, the building has been undergoing repair and restoration. The educational process began on September 1, 1989. The building, including the premise where the church of St. Barbara, Anastasia and Aquilina was located in the pre-revolutionary period, was used for sleeping and classroom purposes.

On December 5, 1991 a small consecration of the Church of St. John of the Ladder was performed, and on February 18, 1994 His Holiness Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow and All Russia performed a great consecration of the Church of St. John of the Ladder.

In 2013, the design and restoration company OOO "RDS" developed a scientific and project documentation for the restoration of the Church of St. Barbara, Anastasia and Aquilina. As a result of these studies, the history of the church was reconstructed and its location in the New Seminary Building was reliably established.

In 2015-2017, work was carried out to rebuild the church. Restoration works were carried out by OOO "Acada-NT". Icons for the iconostasis were painted by the students of the iconography school under the direction of Archimandrite Luke (Golovkov).

Автор: игумен Герасим (Дьячков)