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Metropolitan Gavriil (Petrov) of Novgorod and St. Petersburg led the Eparchy of St. Petersburg and Novgorod in Russia from 1770 to 1799. This was a period of change in St. Petersburg as well as the eparchy that included establishment of St. Petersburg Theological Academy, elevation of Alexander Nevsky Monastery to a Lavra, construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Lavra complex, and reordering the administrative structure of the eparchy.
Peter Petrovich Petrov-Shaposhnikov was born in 1730. He attended the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy in Moscow, Russia, graduating in 1754. In 1758, he was tonsured a monk with the name Gavriil and was appointed rector of the Holy Trinity Theological Seminary and vicar of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. In 1761, Father Gavriil was appointed rector of the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy.
In 1763, he was consecrated Bishop of Tver. In 1769, Bp. Gavriil was appointed a member of the Holy Synod, and in 1770, he was appointed Archbishop of St. Petersburg and Revel and abbot of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. In 1783, Abp. Gavriil was elevated to Metropolitan of Novgorod and St. Petersburg.
In 1771, he reorganized the ecclesiastical structure in the city by dividing it into districts each headed by a dean. In 1778, Abp. Gavriil participated in ground breaking for the Holy Trinity Cathedral at Alexander Nevsky Monastery which was consecrated by him in 1790. Through his efforts Metr. Gavriil was able to gain for the clergy freedom from corporal punishment in 1796, and thus enabling the clergy become a separate privileged class. He worked to unify the faith and he paid particular attention to spiritual education and missionary efforts in the eparchy.
In 1797, in addition to Alexander Nevsky Monastery receiving the status of “Lavra”, the monasteries of Valaam, Konevets, and Cheremets were added to the St Petersburg Eparchy. Also in 1797, he was instrumental in transforming the St. Petersburg Seminary into an academy.
In 1788, he was appointed Metropolitan of Novgorod and Olonets, before retiring in 1800 to the Novgorod Bishops House. During his career, Metr. Gavriil wrote a number of theological works and initiated the publication, in 1793, of an anthology of ascetic scriptures entitled Love for the Good. Metr. Gavriil reposed in 1801.
|Bishop of Tver|
|Archbishop of St. Petersburg and Revel|
|Metropolitan of Novgorod and St. Petersburg|
|Metropolitan of Novgorod and Olonets|