From December 1-2 at the seminary of the Autonomous Orthodox Church of Finland, located in the city of Joensuu, a conference was held in memory of Archbishop Paul (Olmari-Guseva) of Karelia and Finland.
The event fell on the day of the death of Archbishop Paul, who passed away to the Lord on December 2, 1988. The conference heard a number of speeches on the pastoral and theological heritage of the hierarch, reports the official website of the Autonomous Church of Finland.
On Sunday, December 2, at the church of the seminary was the Divine Liturgy, which was headed by Archbishop Leo of Karelia and Finland. In his homily after the Liturgy he said:
"Today, we remember one of the messengers of God, Archbishop Paul, who, by his writings and his spiritual feats inspired generations to come to the throne of the Lord not from time to time, but regularly. His book "The Faith We Hold" and "Feast of Faith" have been translated into many languages and help hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christians to see the Eucharist as what it is in essence: the spiritual food, the source of immortality, eternal feast, prepared by the Lord in His Kingdom. "
Archbishop Leo noted that the late Archbishop Paul - as did St John Chrysostom and later Russian theologians - again and again insisted on the critical importance of the Divine Liturgy: "He helped us to understand that the liturgy is not a performance, but a lively, inspiring experience, leading through the Eucharist to the ‘unfading light’ of the Kingdom of God.”
The head of the autonomous Church of Finland said that Archbishop Paul was not only a preacher, but also a church composer and liturgist, which helped him to lead a generation of believers to a deeper understanding of the Eucharist.
"Archbishop Paul was in his life all that was the subject of his pedagogical activities”, Archbishop Leo went on to say. “The Eucharist was the essence of his life. The Liturgy was his joy, and serving it to the end of his days, he witnessed to the Kingdom of God. During his life the Russian Revolution and the Civil War in Finland happened, the World Wars and the surge of xenophobia in the country, the huge losses and rebuilding of homes and parishes. Although he went through it all, he has not lost the ability to see in the Eucharist the foundation of our church. "
Archbishop Paul (born George Olmari-Gusev) was born August 28, 1914 in St Petersburg. Subsequently, the Olmari Gusev family lived in the Finnish state.
In 1936, George graduated from the seminary in Sortavala, and the following year he entered the Transfiguration Valaam Monastery. In 1938 he took his monastic vows and was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood.
In 1955 he was consecrated Bishop of Joensuu, Vicar of the Diocese of Karelia, and in 1960 was elected Archbishop of Karelia and Finland.
He visited the Russian Orthodox Church several times, and met with its most notable bishops, including Metropolitan Nicodemus of Leningrad and Novgorod. In 1987, he retired at his own request. He died on December 2, 1988, and was buried in the cemetery of New Valaam monastery.