On Wednesday, February 1, the third day of Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan’s visit to the Diocese of Odessa of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church began with a continuation of his brotherly interaction with the diocese’s ruling bishop, Metropolitan Agathangel of Odessa & Izmail.
Bishop Nicholas then spent the day in Odessa proper, visiting the city’s religious and historical sites. His Grace was accompanied by Archimandrite Seraphim (Rakovsky; rector of Odessa Theological Seminary). His itinerary included stops at St. Panteleimon Monastery, the Church of Venerable Alexis, Man of God, Holy Trinity (Greek) Cathedral, the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera & Ballet, the Monument to the Founders of Odessa (to the Empress Catherine the Great and her companions: de Ribas, de Wollant, Potemkin, and Zubov), and others.
But the vicar bishop was particularly moved by his visit to Holy Archangel Michael Convent, the territory of which is home to several departments of the Odessa Theological Academy, among them the Choral Conducting, Gold Embroidery, Ecclesiastical & Artistic Embroidery, Iconography, and Mosaic Departments and Workshops. Bishop Nicholas shared a word with the various department staffers, offering them thanks and lauding them for the diligent and thorough work being done by them on behalf of the Holy Church.
His Grace also paid a second visit to Holy Prophet Elijah Monastery, where he dined with Bishop Victor of Artsiz, and later served a moleben before the relics of Venerable Gabriel of Athos. As a sign of friendship and brotherly love, and in thanks for his visit, Bishop Victor presented his co-brother an icon with a piece of the relics of St. Gabriel.
After a tour of the grounds of St. Elijah Monastery, Bishop Nicholas returned to Holy Dormition Patriarchal Monastery.