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Cyril (Pavlov)

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[[archimandrite|Archimandrite]] '''Cyril (Pavlov)''' (Russian: Кирилл (Павлов)), born as John Dmitrievich Pavlov (Russian: Иван Дмитриевич Павлов), on [[October 8]], 1919, in the village of Makovskie Vyselki of the Riazan' region of [[w:Russia|Russia]], is the brotherhood confessor of the [[Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra|Trinity-Sergius Lavra]] and one of the most esteemed [[elder|elders]] s in the [[Church of Russia|Russian Orthodox Church]] of the late 20th-early 21th century.
==Early life and WWII==
He was born and raised in a peasant Orthodox family. According to him, "since 12 years of age [I] lived in an atmosphere of unbelief, at my brother's, and lost my spirituality."
His return to spiritual life occurred during World War II. From the very start of the war he participated in military operations as a soldier, an infantry sergeant. The hardest wartime trial for the 22-year-old was the expectation of the [[w:Battle of Stalingrad|Battle of Stalingrad]], sitting in a trench, amid snow, almost without water and food, under constant enemy fire for nearly a month. As he recounted:
"...When churches began to be reopened [during WWII], there was such a revival among the people. The people went to churches. After the Battle of Stalingrad, when we arrived to the Tambov forests for recuperation, on one Sunday I went to Tambov. There was only one church opened there. The cathedral was all bare, only walls... And chock-full of people. I was in military uniform, in an overcoat. The priest, Fr. John, who later became Bishop [[Innocent (Leoferov) of Kalinin|Fr. John, who later became Bishop Innocent of Kalinin]], said such a moving sermon, that everyone, all the people in the church, - wept aloud."
Then, soon after the liberation of Stalingrad, a decisive event changed in his life. Once, keeping watch amid the ruins, he found a book among the rubbish. It was the [[Gospel]]. Thereafter, he recalled that "I went with the Gospel and did not fear... The Lord was close to me, and I feared nothing." With his unit he advanced to [[w:Austria|Austria]], in 1946 was demobilized in [[w:Hungary|Hungary]], and arrived in [[w:Moscow|Moscow]].

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