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Elder Antipa of Valaam

Elder Antipa of Valaam

Elder Antipa had been tonsured with a name Leonty in 30-s of XIX century by the Abbot of the Moldavian monastery "Braz" archimandrite Dimitry, who later blessed him to come to Afon. On the Holy Mount Afon, after three years of stay in the monastery "Esfigmen", he had been tonsured into great schema with a name Antipa by Moldavian elder, scheme priest-monk Nifont, later founded Romanian skete "Prodromos" (in honor of St. John the Precursor). After taking the veil in scheme the father Antipa began his feat as desert dweller. Later, at the Romanian skete of St. John the Precursor, created by his elder, he had been consecrated into deacon-monk and initiated into the presbyter rank. Subsequently, when on commission of elder Neofit f. Antipa was in Russia, he had got acquainted with Metropolitan of St.-Petersburg Izidor, who, having the large respect to hermit life of f. Antipa, invited him to concelebrate at the celebration devoted to glorification of the bishop Tihon Zodonsky. Later, the Metropolitan Izidor promoted the appointment of f. Antipa at Valaam monastery.

In 1866 f. Antipa had arrived to Valaam monastery. Within five years he was hermit in skete of All Saints, after that the Abbot Damaskin of Valaam monastery on December the 23rd, 1871 made an application of priest-monk Antipa acceptance in brethren of the cloister. On September the 7th, 1872 already Antipa by himself had given the application to the Holy Governing Synod where he asked for Russian citizenship and for blessing to remain at settlement in Valaam monastery. With that application there had been the certificate of Moldavian skete of St. John the Precursor on the Holy Mount Afon. According to that certificate, given to him by the Abbot f. Damian of skete of St. John the Precursor, also signed by his confessor the priest-monk Ignaty, and by the epithropes (gr. ), i. e.-treasurers: the monk Nektary, the scheme-monk Isaiya and the scheme-monk Konon it follows, that priest-monk Leonty, in St. scheme priest-monk Antipa, since 1860 till 1864 was in Russia with the book for collection of alms for the benefit of skete and every alms, that was collected by him, conscientiously was supplied to the skete. Upon termination the collection, he, on his great diligence and request had remained to live in one of Holy cloisters of Orthodox Russia. Also the certificate of Abbot f. Damaskin of Valaam monastery was presented, where there was indicated, that the f. Antipa had been living in Valaam cloister for already seven years, and that from the side of Valaam monastery there were no obstacles for f. Antipa definition into brethren.

Holy Synod, considered f. Antipa request, had agreed to definite him into Valaam cloister brethren when Russian citizenship would be given to him. The deal of Russian citizenship acceptance had been raised through ober-prosecutor of Holy Synod in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The prolonged exchange of letters with Chancellery, the Governor of Vyborg and etc. had began. Unfortunately, that correspondence was not successful. F. Antipa died, have not being awaited the positive solution on acceptance by him Russian citizenship. In Valaam cloister f. Antipa had been living since 1866 till 1882, i. e. sixteen years.

After eleven years in Valaam cloister a book came out, written by priest-monk Pimen (subsequently the archimandrite, the Abbot of Pafnuty-Borovsky monastery), named "Remarkable life of Antipa the priest-monk in scheme". In that book there was given the most complete description of life of f. Antipa. That book became the first certificate of reverence of f. Antipa and nowadays it was reprinted in 1997.

On Afon, where in Romanian skete of St. John the Precursor ( the Holy mount's name is Prodromos), f. Antipa began his feats, the reverence of him was already known from a beginning of the previous century. Subsequently it has found its reflection in "Sinaksar", composed by priest-monk Makary and published by Simonopetra monastery in Saloniki in 1988, in the book of the Greek writer monk Vasily "Light of sanctity", where it is spoken that f. Antipa had lived for many years in desert Vigli on Holy Mount Afon and was one of pillars and builders of Romanian skete of St. John the Precursor on Vigla. In the book of the Russian writer priest-monk Antony "the Biographies of Afon hermits of piety of XIX century" the extensive biography of priest-monk in scheme Antipa is located too. In skete of St. John the Precursor they were considered, that f. Antipa was glorified by Russian Church.

In 1992 the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church by its act from June the 20th has ranked to the multitude of saints of Romanian Orthodox Church the St. Antipa Kalapodesht among the other hermits of piety, having placed the day of his memory celebration on January the 10th. The deepest reverence before memory of St. Antipa prompted the believers of Romanian Orthodox Church to express the reverence not only by prays to the Saint and picturing of Holy icons, but also by construction of temples devoted to this miracle hermit. So, now in village Kapopodeshti, where the elder was born, the monastery in honor of St. Antipa is created. The name of St. Antipa had been brought into a church calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the biography - into the collection of biographies of the Saints named "VIETILE SFINTILOR pe Luna Ianuarie", published in 1993, and in "Romanian Patericon", composed by archimandrite Ioanniky Balan.

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