His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia paid a one-day Primatial visit to the Kostroma Metropolia on September 24, 2023.
From the airport of Sokerkino, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church headed to the Kostroma Kremlin, where he performed the rite of the great consecration of the recreated Epiphany Cathedral and the Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated cathedral.
Upon arrival at the cathedral, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill bowed to the miraculous Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God.
Four thrones of the revived cathedral were consecrated: one in the upper church — in honor of the Epiphany of the Lord — and three in the lower church: in honor of St. Ferapont of Monza, Martyr Victor and St. Sergius of Radonezh; in honor of Archangel Michael; in honor of Hieromartyr Nikodim (Krotkov; +1938), Bishop of Kostroma.
Then the Divine Liturgy was celebrated. During the Liturgy, the abbesses and residents of a number of monasteries prayed.
Special petitions were made at the special litany, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church read a prayer for Holy Russia.
At the end of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Ferapont of Kostroma and Nerekhta greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and presented His Holiness with a list of the miraculous Theodore Icon of the Mother of God.
The Primate of the Russian Church addressed the participants of the divine service with the Primate's word.
As a gift to the newly consecrated cathedral, His Holiness gave the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. The Primate presented Metropolitan Ferapont with a commemorative panagia in gratitude for his efforts.
The Patriarchal decree was announced: "To assimilate to the Epiphany Cathedral of the Kostroma Kremlin the status of a cathedral with the right to serve in it the Divine Liturgy with the royal gates open according to the "Our Father"."
Then the presentation of church awards took place in consideration of the help and work on the restoration of the Epiphany Cathedral of the Kostroma Kremlin.
Metropolitan Ferapont of Kostroma and Nerekhta was awarded the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov II degree.
The Governor of the Kostroma region S.K. Sitnikov was awarded the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh II degree.
"His Holiness, thank you very much for your high appreciation of our work," said the head of the region, accepting the high award. — Thank you for the fact that eight years ago, when you visited Kostroma, you blessed us for great efforts to recreate the temple complex of the Kostroma Kremlin, which was destroyed in the 1930s, which left wounds on the hearts of many Kostroma residents."
"The temple complex in its reconstruction is not fully completed," the governor continued. — The Assumption Cathedral has not yet been restored. And I would ask you, His Holiness, to entrust and give a blessing to Viktor Ivanovich Taryshkin, our great benefactor, for the completion of the temple complex. Thank you for everything!"
In response, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said: "Thank you for your kind words. And of course, I am happy to entrust these works to Viktor Ivanovich, in the hope that he will respond with the love that is so characteristic of him and with a willingness to do good deeds and will also contribute to the beautification of this wonderful city."
Then His Holiness Patriarch Kirill awarded the President of VIT Corporation LLC V.I. Tyryshkin with the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh I degree.
V.I. Tyryshkin cordially thanked His Holiness for the award and invited him to inspect the lower church of the Epiphany Cathedral and the bell tower.
Icons of the Feodorovskaya Mother of God with the Patriarchal blessing were presented to all participants of the service.
The Epiphany Cathedral and its four-tiered 64-meter bell tower were built according to the project and under the guidance of the outstanding Kostroma self-taught architect Stepan Andreevich Vorotilov (1741-1792).
In 1835, the Dormition and Epiphany cathedrals became cathedrals of the Kostroma diocese (before that, since 1744, the chair of the Kostroma bishop had been in the Trinity Cathedral of the Ipatievsky Monastery). In documents, when referring to the temples of the Kostroma Kremlin, the generalizing naming "Assumption Cathedral" is usually found, since both cathedrals had a single clergy and a common economic structure. In the Assumption Cathedral, divine services were performed in the warm season, in the Epiphany — in the cold; according to the order of services, the miraculous Theodore icon of the Mother of God was transferred from one cathedral to another (in both cathedrals it was placed in the iconostasis to the left of the royal gates).
In 1934, the cathedral ensemble of the Kostroma Kremlin (including the Epiphany Cathedral) was almost completely destroyed, only two cathedral houses and the gatehouse of the cathedral fence remained from the Kremlin. Later, on the site of the Epiphany Cathedral there was a vacant lot, which was part of the Central Park of Kostroma.
Evidence of the internal organization of the structure remained several drawings that two Kostroma architects were able to make before the explosion of the Kostroma shrine.
In the modern history of Russia, several attempts have been made to restore the Kostroma Kremlin, but none of them has been successful. The situation was changed after the Kostroma region was headed by Governor Sergei Sitnikov. The head of the region and Metropolitan Ferapont of Kostroma and Nerekhta received the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for the revival of the shrine. The project was supported by a well-known Russian philanthropist, the head of VIT Corporation LLC Viktor Tyryshkin, who already had extensive experience in the construction, restoration and reconstruction of temples of the Russian Orthodox Church.
A board of trustees was established, and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia became its honorary chairman.
On July 19, 2015, the Primate of the Russian Church performed the rite of consecration of the foundation stone of the recreated ensemble of the Kostroma Kremlin.
Before the start of construction, with the assistance of the governor and financial support of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kostroma company KGTS Alexander Kleshchev, the necessary archaeological work was carried out in a very short time. This made it possible not only to significantly reduce the start time of construction work, but also to ensure the construction of the Epiphany Cathedral and the 64-meter bell tower exactly in the place where they were before the destruction.
The main architect of the project was Alexey Denisov, an architect—restorer of the highest category, academician of the Russian Academy of Architectural Heritage. During the reconstruction, great attention was paid to the maximum correspondence of the forms of the entire ensemble to the project of the architect of the XVIII century Stepan Vorotilov.
In the upper church of the Epiphany Cathedral, a historical memorial was mounted, which, according to some reports, was donated by Boris Godunov. The original element of the Kremlin's interior decoration was preserved and restored by Kostroma craftsmen.
On the middle floor of the cathedral there is a museum of military clergy. At the suggestion of the head of the region Sergey Sitnikov and with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, the lower church of the Epiphany Cathedral is dedicated to the Kostroma soldiers who defended their Fatherland at various times. Sketches of memorial signs were developed by historians, archivists and members of the Military Historical Society. Today, 28 plates have been installed in the church, which lists the names of 262 Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia — natives of the Kostroma region. The names of the military formations that have particularly distinguished themselves in the defense of the Motherland are also indicated.
According to the materials of the press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia