A Brief Biography of Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000)

Archbishop Anthony was born Artemy Sergeevich Medvedev in Vilnius in 1908 and studied at the Petrovsky Poltavsky Cadet Corps. During the Civil War, he was evacuated from Sevastopol to Yugoslavia, where he graduated the White Army's Crimea Cadet Corps. At the age of 22, he entered Vvedensky Milkovo Monastery, where he became the student of the Abbot, Schema-Archimandrite Amvrosij (Kurganov), whom he described in the article " Nemnogoletnii starets " ["Young Elder"] ( Pravoslavnaya Rus' , 1952). In 1932, the future Archbishop Anthony was tonsured to the monkhood. In 1934, he was ordained a hierodeacon, and in 1938, a hieromonk.

During World War II, Hieromonk Anthony served as a chaplain in the Russian Corps and the Russian Liberation Army. When the war ended, Fr Anthony moved together with the brethren of St Job of Pochaev, then located in the Carpathian Mountains, to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, where he became the spiritual son of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who drew him into missionary work. Archimandrite Anthony opened a series of new parishes where Russian refugees settled, and was then named administrator of the parishes of Western Canada. In November 1956, Fr Anthony was consecrated as Bishop of Melbourne, Vicar of Sydney and the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. In 1968, Bishop Anthony was appointed to the San Francisco see and elevated to the rank of Archbishop of Western America and San Francisco.

Archbishop Anthony is the last hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia who was born in Russia and who also assumed the monastic tonsure as a youth. He knew the great Abba Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky). Vladyka Anthony was particularly fond of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko). Archbishop Anthony keenly felt and manifested within himself the spirit of these two great bishops. Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) spoke of the main, brightest and universally-endearing trait of Archbishop Anthony, his love: "It pacifies enemies and softens wrathful and bitter hearts, soothing them like oil poured into roiling waves of the sea." His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia called him "a great man of prayer." Vladyka Anthony was a hierarch of universal importance. When he lay in the hospital in the last days of his life, in addition to liturgical books�the Gospel, the prayer book, the Mineon�he asked for a copy of "The Life of Blessed Metropolitan Anthony." It was in volumes 6 and 7 of this book that much is written of the roots of division in the Russian Orthodox Church. Vladyka Anthony sought a path towards overcoming this division, which he viewed with profound sadness.

Vladyka Anthony performed his final Divine Liturgy on this earth on the Transfiguration of the Lord in 2000. After the service, he addressed his flock with a sermon in which he welcomed the glorification of the Royal Martyrs and other New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia by the Moscow Patriarchate during its Jubilee Council of Bishops. Vladyka said that despite the fact that differences remain between the two parts of the Russian Church, the glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia was a beginning which gives hope for the reestablishment of unity.

Sensing his coming end, Vladyka, during the Great Lenten Retreat, addressed the clergymen of the Diocese of Western America and New York with the following words:

"I thank you for everything, for covering my sins with your love, for your prayers. And please forgive me graciously. I thank God that He gave you to me. I hope that you will preserve the Local Russian Church, of which we are a part, that you preserve all the Orthodox Churches which suffer so greatly, especially the Serbian Church to whom we are so greatly obliged and whom we helped, too. Let us pray to the Lord that He declare His Truth in His world. Let us pray for everyone. May God strengthen the Orthodox Church, which He gained with His Blood. This is our desire during this pastoral gathering, dedicated to sanctified prayer and confession."

Vladyka Anthony died on September 23, 2000, and is buried in a crypt under the cathedral altar in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.


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