Anthony (Medvedev) of San Francisco

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Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco (center)

His Eminence Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) of San Francisco was the first ruling bishop of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He served as bishop of San Francisco for thirty two years. He was the last bishop of the Russian Church who was born and raised in pre-revolutionary Russia.


Archbishop Anthony, born Artemii Sergeevich Medvedev, was born in 1908 in Vilnius and studied at the Petrovsky Poltavsky Cadet Corps. During the Russian Civil War, he served in the Crimean Cadet Corps of the White Army and was evacuated from Sevastopol to Yugoslavia as hostilities ended.

At the age of 22, he entered the Entrance of the Mother of God Monastery. He considered himself a student of the Superior of Milkovo Monastery, Schema-Archimandrite Ambrosius (Kurganov).

Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco

In 1932, Artemii Sergeevich was tonsured a monk and given the name Anthony. In 1934, he was ordained a hierodeacon, followed in 1938 as a hieromonk.

In Milkovo, Fr. Anthony acted in the position of ecclesiarch. During World War II, Hieromonk Anthony was a military chaplain in the Russian Corps of the Russian Liberation Movement. During this time he found himself at the Monastery of St Job of Pochaev in the Carpathian Mountains. Fr. Anthony developed a strong bond with the monastery brotherhood and after the war, he moved with the brotherhood to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, where he came under the spiritual leadership of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who led him to missionary work. Hegumen, and later Archimandrite, Anthony established a number of new parishes in places where Russian refugees settled. Also, he temporarily served as administrator of the parishes of Western Canada.

In 1956, Archimandrite Anthony was consecrated Bishop of Melbourne, Vicar of the Australian Diocese of ROCOR. In Australia, he worked closely with the Russian liturgist Protopriest Rostislav Gan. Bp. Anthony also work there with the future First Hierarch of the ROCOR, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky).

After the repose of Abp. John of Shanghai and San Francisco in 1964 Bp. Anthony was assigned to the vacant Western American cathedra in San Francisco arriving there in 1968. Also, in 1968 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop. Wherever he served, Vladyka Anthony paid special attention to work with young people and parish schools. Through his efforts the decisiveness that had arisen in San Francisco earlier in the decade Abp. Anthony was able to restored peace and unity within the diocese.

In 1978, Abp. Anthony became a member of the Synod of Bishops and took part in organizing the Councils of Bishops. As hegumen and archimandrite, he prepared the Typikon with instructions for divine services as an addendum to the Holy Trinity Monastery Calendar. He was active in maintaining the church Ustav (rule of services) and divine services. Under the direction of the Synod of Bishops, he prepared texts for the services for St Herman of Alaska, St John of Kronstadt, and St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, as well as the prayers to All Russian Saints, and St Blessed Xenia of St Petersburg. Abp. Anthony wrote the entire service to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Abp. Anthony was active in the preparation work for the glorification of St John of Shanghai. Abp. Anthony headed the committee responsible for examination of the remains of St John in 1993, as well as performing all the preparations for his glorification, including composing most of the service to St John.

By the end of 1999, Abp Anthony's health began to falter. On January 1, 2000 he was granted a leave of absence by the Synod of Bishops for rest and medical treatment in order to regain his health. During this time Bp. Kyrill (Dmitrieff) of Seattle was assigned as temporary administrator of the Western American Diocese. During the year, Abp. Anthony continued to conduct services as his health allowed. By September 2000, his health had deteriorated greatly, and on September 22, 2000 Abp. Anthony reposed in Our Lord.

A funeral liturgy was served on September 25 in San Francisco before his remains were sent to New York, where a monastic funeral and burial service was conducted on September 28 at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, as Abp Anthony had requested. Abp. Laurus, the Superior of the Monastery, officiated, along with Abp. Alypy of Chicago and Detroit, Bp. Kyrill of Seattle, and Bp. Gabriel of Manhattan. Also, in attendance were Bps. Evtikhii of Ishim and Siberia and Mitrofan of Boston and about 50 priests.

Succession box:
Anthony (Medvedev) of San Francisco
Preceded by:
Sava (Rayevsky)
Bishop of Melbourne

Succeeded by:
Theodosius (Putilin)
Preceded by:
John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco
Archbishop of San Francisco

Succeeded by:
Kyrill (Dmitrieff)
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