ENGLISH VERSION: Tatiana Beltchev. Memory eternal to our most beloved Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal (+ 2012)
With our very beloved Vladyka Valentine we have lost a great leader, instructor and loving father of us all. But we also have gained an intercessor for us, who liberated from all his physical sufferings will be with his unceasing prayers and all Saints always at our side.
I live far away from Russia and don’t understand nor do I speak the Russian language, but I am happy to have been able to visit Suzdal several times. I greatly admired and loved our Metropolitan. I appreciated his writings, his administrative talents, the restoration of the ruined churches in Suzdal and especially his confessing the true faith under the continuous pressures of persecution from without and within the Church.
The importance for me is that he came from Russia and became a bishop in our holy ROCOR, (I mean in the Holy Church of Russia who had to flee outside of Russia). His great love to save souls did not discourage him to accept many difficulties by establishing his diocese in Russia.
More so Vladika Valentine accepted the guidance and help of our most beloved Bishop Gregory Grabbe, whom he knew through his writings. Vladika Gregory had studied the canon laws and had gathered great knowledge, experience and wisdom in his position in the fleeing Holy Church of Russia from the very beginning days. He had counselled Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan Anastasy, who brought the seat of the Church to New York, and Saint Metropolitan Philaret and at all times the Church was persecuted from inside and outside. Christ warned us, the Truth will always be persecuted.
Vladika Gregory came to visit Suzdal, encouraging the many efforts Metropolitan Valentine had made; consecrating clergy, teaching the parishioners, organising Church-life, restoring the churches in ruin and all under greatest difficulty. At that time a cold wind was blowing in ROCOR and Vladika Gregory foresaw that Metropolitan Valentine would be the only bishop of ROCOR to carry its continuation. So ROAC is truly the returned Holy Orthodox Church of Russia.
Of course the devil did not like that the Holy Church of Russia returned from exile; the Church of Christ, the bride of Christ the one without spots and wrinkles, where the Holy Spirit lives and the Truth. But the devil could not prevail.
With fear of God, love and awe Metropolitan Valentine carried out his responsibilities and with many prayers and God’s constant help. ROAC had spread across Russia and in many foreign countries ROAC- churches have opened with Metropolitan’s blessing.
We are so deeply thankful to Metropolitan Valentine to have withstood all difficulties always remaining firm in the purity of Faith, suffering for God, the Church and his parishioners and suffering also in his body for so many years like a true martyr and confessor. Vladika made it possible for us, also outside of Russia, to receive the true Holy Sacraments Which are giving us the possibility to save our souls. There is nothing more important on this earth. Truly, Vladika gave us life!
May the merciful God help me to keep His commandments and the true Faith also for those around me and the next generation.
With greatest thankfulness and love and Memory Eternal!