On the 26th of July, 2015, the consecration of a church dedicated to St. Vladimir the Equal-to-the-Apostles was held in the main building of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University (PSTGU), located in the historical Diocesan House of Moscow on Likhov Pereulok. The consecration of the Church of St. Vladimir was performed by His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, in celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the blessed repose of St. Vladimir. A total of more than 3,000 people attended the consecration of the church, including many faculty and students of the University. Also in attendance were Alexandr Beglov, the Presidential Envoy to the Central Federal District, Sergei Sobyanin, the Mayor of Moscow, Alexandr Kibovsky, Head of the Moscow Department of Culture, and Viktor Fuer, Prefect of the Moscow Central Administrative District. Patriarch Kirill congratulated the congregation in the church for their participation in this historic event, and said that the Local Council of 1917-1918, which was held in this same building, “traced a new path and created a new vision of relations with the world and with the people.” His Holiness also noted a connection with the University’s accommodation in the restored Diocesan House: “It is not a coincidence that in the building where the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church was held during that fateful and tragic time for our country, now Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University will work, live, and create.” According to Patriarch Kirill, “the Local Council of 1917-1918 was focused on the Christianization of our people in the future”, and in turn, the University should “pick up the baton from the Local Council.” He went on to say that “Educational institutions are not intended to deal with the Church’s affairs, but are meant to work on the transfiguration of the hearts and minds of the people.” The Patriarch continued to say that the 1000th anniversary of St. Vladimir’s repose is a time for distinct thoughts about our past, our present, and our future. “Let us accompany these reflections with the serious study of theology and church history, which is made possible by Saint Tikhon’s University”, Patriarch Kirill concluded.
In commemoration of the consecration of the church of St. Vladimir, His Holiness gave the University a part of the relics of Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia, as well as an icon of Saints Cyril and Methodius, teachers of the Slavs. Archpriest Vladimir Vorboriev, the rector of PTSGU, was awarded the Order of Saint Vladimir of the Russian Orthodox Church of the third degree for his work on behalf of the Church and University. His Holiness also thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had called upon benefactors to participate in the reconstruction of the main PTSGU building. One of the main patrons, Vasily Anisimov, was awarded the Order of Saint Sergius of Radonezh of the second degree for his work in the preservation of the Diocesan House on Likhov Pereulok. Viktor Fuer, Prefect of the Moscow Central Administrative District, was awarded with the Order of Saint Seraphim of Sarov of the third degree.
University rector Archpriest Vladimir Vorboriev stated “Thanks to the invaluable help of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Saint Tikhon´s Orthodox University has found a new home. Here, where a century ago was held the famous Russian Orthodox Council of 1917-1918, the theological department of our university will be located. Not only liturgical, but also educational activities will reborn in the Diocesan House. Thus, this historical building fulfills the purpose for which it was built a century ago.”
On the history of the Diocesan House
The construction of the Diocesan House began in March of 1901 on Likhov Pereulok, on land owned by the Society of the Friends of Spiritual Enlightenment, an organization devoted to Orthodox studies in the Russian Empire. A church dedicated to the Holy Prince Vladimir became the central part of the Diocesan House, and was initially consecrated on November 5th, 1902. The Diocesan House was the location for the All-Russian synod of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917-1918, which restored the Patriarchate and elected Saint Tikhon of Moscow as Patriarch. During the Soviet period the house was expropriated by the state, and after numerous reconstructions lost its original appearance. In 2004, the building was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church by a decision of the government of the Russian Federation, in order to accommodate Saint Tikhon´s Orthodox University. The restoration of the Diocesan House took almost 10 years to complete.