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Lev (Archbishop of Novgorod)

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Lev (Archbishop of Novgorod)

Lev (Russian: Лев, real name Nikolai Lvovich Tserpitsky, Николай Львович Церпицкий, born 1946) is the current Archbishop of Novgorod the Great and Staraya Russa. He was named Bishop of Novgorod the Great and Staraya Russa on July 20, 1990 and elevated to the archiepiscopal dignity on February 25, 1995.

He was born in the village of Zaluzh'e in the Stolbtsovsky District of Minsk Voblast' in Belarus on April 13, 1946. He is the grandson of a priest. After his service in the Soviet Army in 1966-1969, Lev entered the Leningrad Spiritual Academy, graduating in 1975 and successfully defending a candidate's dissertation entitled "Decrees of the Second Vatican Council's 'Constitution on the Divine Liturgy'" («Постановление II Ватиканского Собора „Конституция о богослужении“»). He studied at the Papal Gregorian University from 1975-1978.

On 28 March 1971, he was shorn a monk by Metropolitan Nikodim of Novgorod and Leningrad; he was consecrated a hierodeacon in April of that same year and was consecrated a hieromonk in April 1975. From 1972 to 1975, he was personal secretary to Metropolitan Nikodim. In 1978, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and was part of the Russian Orthodox Church's delegation at the funeral of Pope Paul VI and the inauguration of John Paul I; he was with the Metropolitan when Nikodim collapsed and died during an audience with the Pope. He was consecrated Bishop of Tashkent on November 1, 1987.[1]

Since becoming Bishop and then Archbishop of Novgorod the Great and Staraya Russa, Lev has overseen the rebuilding of the church in the eparchy in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse. He concelebrated the rededication of the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom after it was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991, reestablished a library in the upper gallery of the cathedral, oversaw the reopening of a number of churches in the eparchy (the Church of St. Philip was the only Orthodox church that remained open in Novgorod during the Soviet period), established a festival in honor of Metropolitan Arseny of Novgorod (d. 1936), returned the relics of Bishop Nikita (d. 1108) to the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom (in the early Soviet period, they had been kept in a paper bag in the Novgorod Museum; after 1957, they were in the Church of St. Philip), and has patronized other efforts to rebuild the church and church culture in the eparchy.

Awards and honors

Archbishop Lev has been the recipient of several secular and ecclesiastical awards. In 1992, he was made an honorary citizen of Novgorod the Great. On March 30, 2006, President Vladimir Putin awarded him the Order "For Service on behalf of the Fatherland," 4th class (ru: За заслуги перед Отечеством» IV степени) He has also received the Sign of Honor (ru: Знак Почёта), the Order of Sergei Radonezh, 4th class (Орден преподобного Сергия Радонежского III степени), and the Order of St. Prince Daniil of Moscow (ru: Орден св. блгв. кн. Даниила Московского).[2] In 2004, he was a recipient of the Yaroslav the Wise Medal, 1st class (ru: Медалью Ярослава Мудрого I степени) awarded by Novgorod State University.[3]


  1. Zhurnal Moskovskoi Patriarkhii. 1988, No. 5, pp. 7-12.
  2. Ibid.
  3. See the University's website at

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