Metropolitan Jonah in St. Petersburg - 04/30/09
On April 29, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, visited the St. Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy, where he was welcomed by the Rector, Bishop Amvrossy; Bishop Marcellus, vicar of the St. Petersburg diocese; as well as the faculty and students of Russia‚Äôs renowned theological school.
In the Academy church of St. John the Theologian, Metropolitan Jonah venerated the miracle-working icon of the Theotokos of the Sign. In his words of greeting, the Rector, Bishop Amvrossy, noted that His Beatitude‚Äôs visit to the northern regions of Russia begins with a visit to the St. Petersburg theological school. In commemoration of the occasion, Bishop Amvrossy presented Metropolitan Jonah with an icon of Prince St. Alexander Nevsky, the patron saint of St. Petersburg. In his response, the Most Blessed Jonah thanked the community of the theological school for a warm and cordial reception, and noted that it was a great honor for him to visit the St. Petersburg theological schools. For future pastors of the Church, he observed, it is necessary not only to read the Gospel, but also to undertake an inner spiritual work. It is especially necessary, His Beatitude said, that ‚Äúthe Good News of Christ be passed through the heart, then people will receive this grace, this joy of salvation.‚ÄĚ
Taking leave of the theological school, His Beatitude departed for the Valaam Island, on a visit to the Valaam Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord. Because the abbot of the Monastery, archimandrite (now Bishop) Pankraty, is the Metropolitan‚Äôs spiritual father, His Beatitude‚Äôs visit to Valaam has a special significance for him.
Photos courtesy of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy