Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

Church of St. John of the Ladder

Храм преподобного Иоанна Лествичника, находящийся в прежнем здании Лаврской больницы-богадельни, ныне именуемом Семинарским корпусом, принадлежит к малоизученным памятникам русской архитектуры конца XIX – начала XX веков. Построен он был по проекту лаврского классного архитектора А. А. Латкова в 1893 – 1896 годах.

The house church was organically part of a rather large complex, which included the main building of the present seminary, a transitional (or artisanal) building connecting the main hospital building with the monastery, another separate building, as well as a brick wall, built in 1894-1896.

History of the construction of the hospital complex and its church of St. John of the Ladder

9 марта 1893 года Управляющий Московской Митрополией викарный епископ Дмитровский Александр (Светлаков) (11.1.1892 – +8.10.1894) утвердил проект архитектора А.А. Латкова по сооружению нового здания для лаврской больницы и богадельни. А 18 марта того же года проект А. А. Латкова был одобрен Строительным Отделением Московского Губернского Правления, которое «нашло этот проект в техническом отношении составленным правильно и работы согласно оному могут быть допущены». И 31 мая 1893 года с архитектором А. А. Латковым Учрежденный собор Лавры заключил условие на исполнение проекта и технического надзора за постройкой больницы-богадельни.

The project of heating and ventilation in the new building was carried out by the Moscow technical office of the mechanical engineer S. Y. Tikhomirov. The design and cost estimate for the ventilation and heating device were checked and approved by the outstanding Russian mechanical engineer V. G. Shukhov.  According to the project, the temperature in the building was supposed to be between 15 and 16 degrees, and the air exchange was supposed to be at the rate of 1 cubic sazhen (a historical unit of length) per person per hour. Under the pharmacy on the first floor a basement with a boiler for heating water in pipes and ribbed cast iron batteries was designed. Next to the boiler in the basement it was supposed that a special heater for heating and ventilation of the church of St. John of the Ladder would be arranged. The heating and ventilation works were supervised by the Acting Oeconomus of the Lavra Hieromonk Dositheus.

В мае 1893 года Учрежденный собор испрашивает и получает разрешение на постройку нового здания в Сергиево-Посадской городской управе, после чего собственно и были начаты строительные работы. Через месяц – 13 июня 1893 года – при викариатстве епископа Александра Дмитровского и настоятельстве Московского митрополита Леонтия (Лебединского) произошла закладка нового здания.

Here's what the "Moscow Church Vedomosti" report: "On June 13, in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, after the Liturgy, the foundation stone was laid of a huge building for the old people's hospice and hospital. There will be two churches in the building: one in honor of St. John of the Ladder and the other in honor of the holy martyrs Barbara, Anastasia and Aquilina. The laying of the foundation stone was done by the vicar of the Lavra, Archimandrite Paul, together with the archimandrites Nicon and Tobias and hieromonk Dositheus.  After that ceremony, "Many years" was proclaimed to the Emperor, the Empress, the Heir Prince, Metropolitan Leontius and to Paul the Archimandrite of the Church of St. John, whose idea it was to build such a rare in size building. The crowd that gathered for the event was enormous.

Even before the laying of the foundation stone of the hospital building, on June 5, 1893, the editor of "Trinity Leaflets" Archimandrite Nicon (Rozhdestvensky) received a letter from the owner of a printing house Ivan Efimovich Efimov, who for more than 16 years had been printing the literature for the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra: "Having been deeply moved by the good deed undertaken by the Lavra of St. Sergius to comfort and heal the weak and needy worshippers of St. Sergius in an almshouse, I am attaching at this time a 5% interest bond worth 10,000 rubles..., as my donation to the new church at this godly institution, in order that the names of the great martyrs Barbara and Anastasia would be joined by the name of the martyr Aquilina, and that in this temple every day, along with the names of the Countess Barbara (Tatishcheva) the name of the servant of God Aquilina be commemorated. By decree of the Executive Board of June 9, 1893, the donation of I. E. Efimov was accepted and the request was fulfilled, for which we see evidence in the report of the "Moscow Church Vedomosti" on the laying of the foundation stone for the new building of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra Hospital.

Графическая копия плана 1-го этажа здания больницы-богадельни

The construction of the hospital/almshouse was carried out in 1893-1896.  In August 1894, it was decided to build a brick wall around the complex, "for safety and for decorative purposes, which was supposed to span the western side of Ilyinskaya Street for 30 sazhen (about 64 meters), then turn to the east to the Lavra Wall at by the Carpenter Tower, where the lithography was located. The wall was supposed to span up to 100 sazhen (213 meters, 5 arshins (unit of length) high). On the northwest corner of the fortress there is a small tower, and in the middle of its northern part there is a wing for a separate room for infectious patients, for about 10 people".  The design of the wall and the extra building was also made by A. A. Latkov.

By the beginning of 1895 the building of the hospital with a church in the middle in honor of St. John of the Ladder was completed in in its basic form and on February 18 the Executive board asked for the blessings of His Eminence Sergius, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna bless the installation in the church of St. John of an iconostas designed by A. Latkov. The iconostasis was supposed to be made of wood, one-tier, all gilded. The royal doors were to depicted: the Annunciation and the four evangelists, on the sides of the Roayl Doors - the Savior and the Mother of God, on the north and south doors - respectively, Archangels Michael and Raphael, by the south wall - the temple icon of St. John of the Ladder, and by the north - the appearance of the Mother of God to St. Sergius. The cost of the iconostasis was 2 500 rubles.  The iconostasis of the church of St. John of the Ladder and some church utensils were acquired at the expense of benefactors.  On February 23, 1895, His Eminence Sergius (Lyapidevsky) blessed "the installation of the iconostasis according to the attached drawing".

In May 1895, heating and ventilation works were completed. Two pipe steam boilers produced by A. V. Bari were supplied for heating the building. In 1896, on October 30, the Executive Board reported to Metropolitan Sergius that "the new three-storey building of the Hospital/Almshouse with a church in the middle, whose construction started in 1893, is now quite finished, the premises are all finished, some of them are already being used by the brotherhood, and the church itself is quite ready for consecration, having all the necessary accessories. The Executive Board chose November 10 of this year for the consecration.

2 ноября 1896 года митрополит Сергий благословил освятить больничный храм во имя прп. Иоанна Лествичника наместнику Лавры архимандриту Павлу. Освящение храма во имя прп. Иоанна Лествичника состоялось в воскресенье 10 ноября 1896 года, при настоятельстве Митрополита Московского Сергия (Ляпидевского) (1893 – 1898).  Накануне освящения, как сообщают «Московские Церковные Ведомости», «была отслужена всенощная на середине нового храма архимандритом Никоном, а на утро священнодействие совершали два архимандрита: наместник Лавры Павел и казначей Никон, в сослужении с несколькими иеромонахами. Все священнослужители были в светло-голубых облачениях, пел хор Лаврских певчих. Литургия окончилась около часу дня». Совершено освящение по благословению епископа Дмитровского Нестора (Метаниева) (29.1.1894 – +8.6.1901).

Больнично-богаделенный корпус. 1896 г. Вид с юго-запада

In view of the fact that the feast day of the temple falls on March 30, which may often fall on Holy Week, the Executive Board of the Lavra asked for the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Sergius to celebrate the feast day of the temple holiday on the 4th Sunday of Lent, dedicated to St. John of the Ladder.

Shortly after the consecration of the church in December 1893, the now oeconomus of the Lavra Hieromonk Dositheus presented to the Executive Board a financial report and a brief list of the payments released from the Lavra Treasury at different times for the construction of new buildings in the Paphnutius' garden: the new hospital for the brotherhood, the church, a transitional building connecting the hospital with the monastery, and also the wing for the infectiously diseased and the wall around it all. The total cost of the construction was 330,000 rubles.

The brick for buildings was supplied by a bourgeois of Sergiev Posad Nikolay Ivanovich Pikunov in 1892-1893. Archimandrite Nicon, Treasurer of the Lavra, also bought bricks at his own expense for 39,849 rubles. The monastery brick that was used amounted to 800 000.

The stone work was carried out by contractor Vasily Aleksandrovich Alexandrov, the asphalt works by contractor Kapralov. All roofing, painting and carpentry work was done by monastery's craftsmen and workers.

The initial estimate and the project did not intend the construction of the 3rd floor laid on the entire transitional building, neither was a two-storey projection next to the wall connected to the same building, nor a two-storey building for the infected, nor a cellar and wall around the new buildings. The newly constructed complex was located on the western side of the monastery opposite the Lavra, on the right high bank of the Konchura brook.

The building, which was huge for its time, was about 77 meters long (36 sazhen) and 17 meters wide (8 sazhen). At the northern and southern ends of the building there were protrusions of almost 26 meters (12 sazhen).  The whole complex and church were built in the Russian style and with four floors, which were completely visible only from the eastern side, as it was located on the slope of a hill.

In the southern part of the newly built building, the hospital proper was located with 50 beds. In the northern part - the almshouse for 50 elderly monks and lay workers, who had long served under the Lavra and due to old age and disease could not sustain themselves with their own labor. By 1909, according to E. E. Golubinsky, the number of beds in the hospital was increased to 100 and more beds. 

In the central part on the upper two floors (in the 2nd and 3rd, counting from the west) the church of St. John of the Ladder was located. With its "refectory" going into the building itself, dividing it into two equal parts.

Под храмом прп. Иоанна на первом этаже (также считая с западной стороны) помещалась аптека. Под аптекой на нижнем полуэтаже с восточной стороны здания была устроена церковь свв. великомучениц Варвары, Анастасии и Акилины. Эта церковь была перенесена сюда из Варваринского, или Певческого, корпуса Лавры. Сразу после освящения храма преподобного Иоанна Лествичника, Учрежденный собор испросил благословения митрополита Московского Сергия на перенос иконостаса бывшей Варваринской церкви в новое здание, где в нижнем этаже устраивается церковь-усыпальница. Окончательное ее устройство относится к июлю 1901 года. Освящение ее совершилось в 1901 году казначеем Лавры архимандритом Никоном.  Здесь поставляли усопших, умерших в Лаврской больнице, для чтения над ними Евангелия или Псалтири и для отпевания.

The whole building of the hospital was heated by water. The heating of the transitional building was initially steam. But in 1907 it began to be heated by water in view of the fact that heating boilers with oil was very expensive, and wood heating did not heat the building in winter. The replacement was carried out by the firm of the boiler-mechanical plant of Edward E. Kuding.

The building of the almshouse/hospital on the north side was adjoined by a rather large transitional building (or workshop), connecting the new building through a wide and rather deep ravine and the river Konchura (a large brick arch is thrown over it) with the Lavra. Therefore, the height of this building is not the same everywhere: on the edges it has one floor on one side, and on the other - two floors, in the middle it has three floors. It was built in 1895-1896. It was about 147 meters long (69 sazhen) and about 11 meters wide (5 sazhen).

Больнично-богаделенный и Переходный копуса. Вид со стороны монастыря. Конец XIX – начало XX века

The upper attic floor is a long semi-dark transitional gallery - from the LAvra to the Hospital/Almshouse. On the sides of this gallery there were various storerooms.

At the base of the transitional building in the middle a tunnel across the Konchura brook was erected. During the construction the brook was directed specifically to flow through the tunnel in a straight line, whereas before it flowed in twists and turns in different directions.

Inside the transitional building, which was also built in the Russian style, there was a carpentry, painting shop and other workshops. Below was a bathhouse, divided into two halves - for the brotherhood and for the workers. There was also a Lavra printing house, opened in 1895 for printing the "Trinity Leaflets" and other Lavra publications, as well as binding and housign the editorial office of the "Trinity Leaflets". There were also other rooms for the brothers engaged in various printing work. The above mentioned institutions all come into existence thanks to the former Lavra treasurer archimandrite Nicon, later bishop of Vologda.

Near the monastery wall there is a tower above the gate, through which the cross procession passes near the monastery wall. By the monastery itself, the transitional building rises to the level of the monastery wall, rising by almost six floors. The library of the former viceroy of the Lavra, Archimandrite Leonidas (Kavelyn), was located in the upper part of the building. There was also the library of the editorial office of the "Trinity Leaflets". A staircase led to this library from the ground floor consisting of 120 steps from the garden, and from the level of the Lavra - only 24 steps.

From the garden, by the the coal tower a beautiful view of the new building opens up. The building stands on a hillside. It is framed by several old trees. The lines of the building, made in Russian style, are very graceful. Above them rises a dome with a shining cross.

Immediately after the construction of the almshouse/hospital, even before the consecration of the church of St. John of the Ladder, i.e. until the end of 1896, all the cells of the northern half of the new building were occupied by the elderly and weak, who had been scattered throughout the monastery. Now they had not only comfortable accommodation for them, but also the opportunity to hear the divine services right there in the building. Those living on the top floor could listen to the service from the choir balcony. 

Based off the information sent to the Moscow Spiritual Consistory in 1905 about the Lavra Hospital, we learn that it is called a "hospital that helps those in need" and serves both for the daily walk-in patients and those who require inpatient treatment. The doctor of the hospital in his work was guided by paragraphs of the charter of medical institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, resolutions of the Lavra Spiritual Council and personal instructions of the Viceroy. By order of Metropolitan Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky), medicines from the Lavra pharmacy were given free of charge. It is known that, for example, in 1899 the hospital accepted 11 326 patients.

In 1905, the Lavra laundry room was built in a separate house near the hospita/almshouse.  In 1907, a special room was set up in the hospital building for patients suffering from violent insanity. At the Lavra Hospital, special caretakers were appointed, who observed not only the cleanliness of the corridors and cells, but also the morals of all the people living in the building.

The Church of St. John of the Ladder until 1917

The Chrch of St. John of the Ladder was built with two rows of windows, as it occupies the two upper floors of the building. The church protrudes out of the building to the east and its "refectory" part goes into the middle of the hospital building, dividing the whole building into two equal parts.

Its length with a vestibule and altar apse is 34 meters, its internal width is 12 meters, the height to the base of the cross of the main dome is about 28 meters. At the entrance to the temple above the vestibule there is a belfry and above that - five domes in a row from north to south, in symmetry with long axis of the building. All the domes were crowned with crosses. A central, main dome with a cross was installed above the temple itself. Also there was a small dome above the altar. There were 7 domes on the temple in total.

The interior decoration of the temple was quite magnificent. The floor was mosaic with colored patterned ornaments. It is well preserved to this day. The chandelier deserved special attention. It had the form of a cross of made of vines with 33 lamps (the number of years of the earthly life of the Savior). Unfortunately the chandelier was lost.

The walls of the temple were painted with iconography on the themes of the Holy Scripture in 1901 by the icon painter N. M. Safonov.  The projects of wall paintings were approved by Metropolitan Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) of Moscow and Kolomna. All the art was lost.

Прежний вид иконостаса. Рисунок архитектора А.А. Латкова

Behind the right kliros inside a rich kiot a large icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir was placed. This icon, decorated with a silver gilded riza with stones, was sent as a gift to the Trinity Lavra by the Most Reverend Theognostus. The icon is lost.

Also behind the right kliros there was an icon with a piece of the clothes of St. Theodosius of Chernigov. This part of the clothes of the saint of God was sent as a gift at the request of Archimandrite Nicon by the bishop of Chernigov and Nezhin Anthony (Khrapovitsky). In his letter to Fr. Nicon on January 8, 1901 Bishop Anthony wrote: "I have sent to you in a special box a part of the garment, which after the saint of God, St. Theodosius of Chernigov, the miracle-worker was revested lay on him and touched in the precise sense of the word his relics, as a gift for a new church in the Hospital of the Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra. May the Lord's blessing be upon all who with diligence and faith come to the icon, where a part of the garment of St. Theodosius of Chernigov the Wonderworker will be kept".  This part of the garment of the holy servant of God was inserted into a silver frame and placed by the icon of St. Theodosius of Chernigov. The icon did not survive.

Behind the left kliros inside the icon of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon, in a silver-plated folding ark a rather large part of the holy relics of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon was placed. The icon was sent as a blessing to the Lavra from the Holy Mt. Athos. The icon was also lost.

The church also had an icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh of Radonezh in a silver cover 25x30 cm and an icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov in a cover of embroidered gilded thread (27x30 cm). The icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh was presented to the church by a certain Alexander Pavlovich Bychkov on August 12, 1896, for the healing of the sick. Both of these icons were hidden in the building of the Hospital/Almshouse and were discovered by the workers only during the restoration works. Now they are in the restored church of St. John of the Ladder.

History of the Temple after the Revolution of 1917

On January 15, 1919 the building of the Hospital-Almshouse was turned into a 50-bed typhus fever hospital. Later it was expanded to 250 beds. In 1921, the building was converted into a district medical center.

In 1923, a surgical department was established here. The church is closed. The iconostasis, church vessels and items and the greater part of the icons are gone without a trace. The altar of the main temple was converted into an operating room. Presumably it happened on April 20, 1923. In the following post-war years, the temple and the entire former hospital/almshouse complex functioned as the 3rd district hospital.

In 1986, the Council of Ministers of the USSR, by order № 2310-rs of 23.10.86, handed over to the Moscow Patriarchate for the needs of the Moscow Theological Academy, the entire hospital complex. On the basis of this order the Executive Committee of the Zagorsk City Council by the order № 36-r from 10.3.89 transferred the building of the hospital/almshouse and the Workshop (Transitional) building to the balance of the MThA.

The Moscow Theological Academy, with the funds allocated by the Patriarchate, carried out external repairs and restoration works throughout the building, and restored the original layout inside the building and the church.

Repairs and restoration works were carried out between June 1988 to February 1991 (without painting the church). Not all domes were present on the temple. On the few that were there were no crosses. The whole building was littered with garbage. Inside the church, from the side of the upper kliros, there was a solid wooden partition. In 1989, several MThA and Seminary students were accommodated in the building.

The educational process of the Moscow Theological Seminary began on September 1, 1989 on the third floor of the building of the former Almshouse/Hospital (now called the Seminary Building) . The following year, the whole building was in use. Since 1992, the MThA Choir Director's School was moved to the Seminary Building.

All restoration works were carried out with the blessing of Archbishop Alexander (Timofeev) of Dmitrov and under the guidance of Archimandrite Andrew (Sukhorukov), Deputy Rector of Construction Work. In the altar of the temple on the same place and in the original size (98x98x98) an altar table was installed. In praparation for the ceremony of the small consecration, the frame of the iconostasis was put up and the altar of the temple was painted. Painting was carried out by the teachers and students of Icongraphy School of the MThA. In 1990-1991 the marble floor of the temple was restored.

The very idea of restoring and consecrating the church in honor of St. John of the Ladder in the building of the former Almshouse/Hospital belongs to the Rector of MThA Archbishop Alexander of Dmitrov. In his report to His Holiness dated November 25, 1991, Vladyka asked for blessings to preform a small consecration of the church. In the resolution of the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexius II dated November 27 of the same year it was said: "A blessing is given to preform a small consecration. Prepare the Holy Antimins for signature".

The small consecration after the restoration of the church of St. John of the Ladder, was carried out by the Rector of the Academy Archbishop Alexander (Timofeev) on December 5, 1991, the day of St. Alexander Nevsky. On the eve, before the all-night vigil, Vladyka Alexander in concelbration with the first vice-rector Archimandrite Benedict (Knyazev) and the seminary inspector hegumen Vsevolod (Varyushchenko) served the service of the "Renewal of the Church".

The next morning, Archbishop Alexander in concelebration with the vice-rector, inspector and sacristan of the Academy Church Archimandrite Hilarion (Farkovets) celebrated a solemn Divine Liturgy. The Academic Choir sang under the direction of hegumen Nicephorus (Kirzin). On the occasion of the consecration of the temple, His Holiness Alexius II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, presented a holy antimins. From that day on, regular worship services began in the church.

Since August 1992, hieromonk Rostislav (Devyatov), later bishop of Magadan and Chukotka, was appointed as the sacristan of the renovated Seminary Church. Thanks to the labors and diligence of Bishop Rostislav, when he was a sacristan, three small bells were hung on the belfry of the church. By order of the rector bishop Philaretus (Karogodin) on December 15, 1993 hieromonk Michael (Borey) was appointed as the church sacristan. He carries this obedience to this day.

Approximately one year later, on February 18, 1994, on the day of the icon of the Mother of God "Seeker of those who have perished" and St. Theodosius of Chernigov, His Holiness Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow and All Russia performed a great consecration of the church. Due to the fact that from the 17th to the 21st of February 1994 a meeting of rectors of the theological schools, academies, seminaries and colleges of the Russian Orthodox Church was held in the Moscow Theological Academy under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Alexius II, the consecration of the seminary church of St. John of the Ladder on the second day of the Meeting. On the eve of that day, Arsenius (Epifanov), bishop of Istra, performed the required service of the "Renovation of the Church". The next morning the Holy Patriarch performed a great consecration of the church before the Divine Liturgy. The relics of the holy martyrs - Probus, Tarachus and Andronicus - were presented by His Holiness the Patriarch of Jerusalem and placed into the altar table.

Patriarch Alexius II concelebrated with Metropolitan Cyril of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (Gundyaev), Archbishop Simeon of Ryazan and Kasimov (Novikov), Archbishop Vladimir (Ikim) of Tashkent and Central Asia, Bishop of Kashira Mark (Petrovtsy), Bishop of Istra Arsenius (Epifanov), Bishop of Dmitrov Philaretus, Rector of the MThA&S, Bishop of Polotsk and Glubokoye Gleb (Savin) (+1998), Bishop of Tobolsk and Tyumen Demitrius (Kapalin), Bishop of Novogrudok and Lida Konstantin (Goryanov), Bishop of Belgorod John (Popov), Viceroy of the Lavra Archimandrite Theognostus (Guzikov), Archpriest Basil Stoikov, Professor and Rector of SPbThA&S, Archimandrite Benedict (Knyazev), Vice-Rector of the MThA, Archpriest Liberius Voronov, Honored Professor of SPbThA Archimandrite Andrew (Sukhorukov) and Hieromonk Nicon (Smirnov), Head of the MThA Choir Dicrector's School. These are the few whom the relatively small altar of the newly consecrated church in honor of St. John of the Ladder was able to accommodate. Many of the participants of the Rector's Meeting were standing on the left kliros of the temple. The flow and order of the Divine Service was overseen by the inspector of the MThA&S Archimandrite Sergius (Sokolov) (+2000) and the sacristan of the seminary church, Hieromonk Michael (Borey), thanks to whom the this great celebration was prepared and decently executed.

After the consecration of the temple by His Holiness, the Divine Liturgy was served with great solemnity in conceleration with the abovementioned persons. The choir of the Moscow Theological Academy sang under the direction of Hegumen Nicephorus (Kirzin) (on the upper kliros) and the mixed choir of the Choir Director's School (on the right kliros).

At the end of the Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Alexius II delivered a greeting speech on the occasion of the consecration of the Seminary Church, in which he expressed the joy and significance of this event, noted the continuity of the previous and present temple, which is seen in the icons of St. Sergius of Radonezh and St. Seraphim of Sarov, which are now by the iconostasis of the temple, found during the restoration works. The Patriarch thanked all those who worked on the restoration of the temple, noted the work of the Iconography School, the voluntary work of students and presented the holy icon of Sophia the Wisdom of God to the temple of St. John of the Ladder as a gift.

In response, Bishop Philaretus of Dmitrov, Rector of the Academy, thanked His Holiness and his fellow archpastors for their participation in the Divine Service celebrated on the occasion of the consecration of the Church of St. John of the Ladder, and presented an icon of St. John Climacus of Sinai, made by the students of the Iconography School, to the Patriarch as a token of the memorable event and general gratitude.

At the time of the Great Consecration, the temple, except for the altar, was not yet painted. Side kliroses and the entire perimeter of the soleas were decorated with metal fencing. After the great consecration work on restoration and decoration of the temple continued. Thus, in 1996 the iconostasis of the temple was decorated with decorative wooden carving, which was made by students (Yermolov, Shakhov, Shishov) of the MThA and under the care of the late inspector of the Academy of Archimandrite Sergius (Sokolov).

Th painting of the rest of a temple in the technique of dry fresco was carried out in 1994 - 1997 by students of Iconography school. All paintings, as well as the temple itself, were done in the Russian style. Works on a painting icons for an iconostasis were finished by 1997. In 1995 the altar table was covered with a metal indytion. In 1999, the old window frames, which came into complete disuse, were replaced by new oak frames made to order in Moscow.

In 1996, the Church of St. John of the Ladder was the venue of the celebrations mark the 100th anniversary of the first church's construction and consecration. On November 24, the rector of the Academy, Bishop Eugene of Vereya (Reshetnikov) served the All-Night Vigil. Archbishop Sergius of Solnechnogorsk (Fomin), the Administrator of the Patriarchate, arrived at the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the celebrations at the Academy. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Sergius delivered the welcoming address of His Holiness Patriarch Alexius II.

"O Holy Father John, pray to God for us!"

Божьим Промыслом и человеческими усилиями стоит ныне и красуется Семинарский храм во имя преподобного Иоанна Лествичника. Тысячи студентов Московской духовной академии, семинарии, Иконописной и Регентской школ проходили и будут проходить здесь свое духовное становление и обучение. Тысячи слов и молитв, тысячи гимнов и голосов слышал этот храм. Храм снова живет своей уникальной, неповторимой жизнью. Снова вот уже почти 30 лет освящается он принесением «о всех и за вся» Бескровной Жертвы Христовой. Снова храм, как корабль вечной Церкви Христовой, несется по волнам бушующего океана житейских бурь, давая приют и пристанище всем с верою притекающим.

Автор: архимандрит Михаил (Борей)