Vinnitsa, September 17, 2013
On September 15, the feast-day of Holy Fathers Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves, the 1000th anniversary of the Cliff Monastery of the Beheading of St John the Baptist in Lyadova was celebrated, reports the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"Your heart is filled with awe when you realise that monastic life in this holy place began 1000 years ago, when Holy Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, was still ruling in Kiev,” wrote His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine in his greeting speech, read by Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar, “Ancient tradition attributes the foundation of this monastery with the name of the founder of monastic life in Russia--our Holy and God-bearing Father Anthony of the Caves. Throughout its long history, the Liadova Monastery experienced periods of flourishing as well as periods of near collapse. But God cannot be mocked. The almighty Divine providence has preserved this unique landmark of our history for us. Fifteen years ago, monastic life in the monastery was restored and today the space of the ancient caves is again filled with prayer".
"The Lyadova Monastery has for a long time been popularly known as "Podolsky Athos". And indeed this site, full of grace, especially influences your soul, inspires it to prayer and Christian labors," also noted his Beatitude.
On that day, the Divine Liturgy was headed by Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar. Archbishops Abel of Lublin-Chelm (Church of Poland), Agapit of Mogilev-Podolsky and Sharhorod, Panteleimon of Uman and Zvenigorod, Bishops Nikodim of Edinet and Briceni (Church of Moldova), Leonid of Turaw and Mazyr (Exarchate of Belarus), Roman of Konotop and Hlukhiv, Clergy from the Ukraine and abroad concelebrated with him.
The Liturgy was celebrated at the foot of the mountain where the Monastery is situated. Metropolitan Simeon personally congratulated the Monastery's Abbot, Archimandrite Anthony (Netrebin) and all those present on the 1000th anniversary of the ancient monastery, popularly known as "Podolsky Athos".
The first deputy chairman of the regional state administration Maxim Borovsky and the chairman of the regional council of Vinnitsa Sergei Tatusyak spoke on behalf of the regional authorities. The representatives of authority noted that the Lyadova Monastery is one of "seven wonders" of Vinnitsa and they consider the work on its restoration to be important for the state, because "Podolsky Athos" is like "a visiting card" for the Vinnitsa territory. From the regional state administration and the regional council they awarded Archimandrite Anthony with a distinction.
The greeting of Archbishop Theophan Archbishop of Iasi, Metropolitan of Moldova and Bukovina (the Romanian Orthodox Church) was read by his personal secretary, who gave an icon of the Mother of God to the Monastery. Also on that day, the Abbot of the Dochiarou Monastery on Mount Athos, Archimandrite Grigorios, sent his congratulations and an icon of Saint Modestus of Jerusalem to the Lyadova Monastery.
Another special event took place during the celebrations on that day. For the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Cliff Monastery of the Beheading of St John the Baptist in Lyadova, the Ukrainian postal service issued a set of commemorative postage stamps depicting the Monastery on the cliffs of the Dnestr. An anniversary stamp was also made to celebrate the event. It was unique because it could only be used for one day--September 15.
Those who contributed to the ancient Monastery's restoration and the organization of the 1000th anniversary celebrations were also presented with awards.
Finally, a holiday concert dedicated to the anniversary of the Lyadova Monastery was performed from the stage, with the choir from the Transfiguration Cathedral and the Church of the Meeting of the city of Vinnitsa under direction of Archpriest Sergy Vygovsky, and other leading regional ensembles participating.
According to tradition, the Lyadova fair was held at the monastery, in which regional enterprises and farms were represented.