Spiritual father to 3 patriarchs, certainly a legend, and probably a saint
Thousands flocked to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Sergiev Posad to celebrate the funeral of one of Russia’s most famous and beloved Christian elders, the monk Kirill Pavlov. Yes, the ancient Christian Church has been ‘celebrating’ funerals for 2,000 years.
He passed away on Feb 20th at the age of 98. His funeral was on Thursday, Feb 23rd, led by the head of the Russian church, Kirill, together with some of the most prominent church leaders of Russia and Ukraine. Patriarch Kirill referred to him as “The glory of all the Russian church.”
I happen to live in Sergiev Posad and hosted some of the travelers for the funeral, who streamed into town by the thousands from all over Russia. The town's hotels were quickly overflowing, so many private homes took in the endless numbers of pilgrims, mostly for free.
The visitors in our home told me Elder Kirill was the confessor of thousands, including the previous three patriarchs, and well known and beloved throughout Russia. They also conveyed numerous reports of him having spiritual gifts, such as foresight and clairvoyance, and said that he is also widely believed to be a saint.
And so, I walked down to the famous monastery on the day of the funeral to pay my respects and shoot a quick report for Russia Insider.