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Benjamin (Fedchenkov) of Saratov

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Ivan Afanasevich Fedchenkov (Russian: Иван Афанасьевич Федченков) was born on [[September 14]], 1880 in Kirsanov, Tambov Governorate, Russia. His parents, former serfs, gave both he and his sister, Dyachkov, the best education they could provide.
After he had graduated from the ecclesiastical school and theological [[seminary]] in Tambov, Ivan enrolled in the [[St. Petersburg Theological Academy|St. Petersburg Academy]] where he became an inspector. At the academy, [[Archimandrite]] (later bishop) Theodore asserted a great influence on Ivan, an influence he carried through his life in Russia as well as in the immigrationemigration. Upon completing his studies at the academy, Ivan took [[monasticism|monastic]] vows and was [[tonsure]]d and given the name Benjamin.
From 1910 to 1911, [[hieromonk]] Benjamin served as secretary to the Abp. [[Sergius I (Stragorodsky) of Moscow|Sergius (Stragorodsky)]]. Between 1911 and 1913, having been raised to archimandrite, Benjamin served as the [[rector]] of the Taurichesky [[Seminary]], followed by a similar assignment at the Tversky Seminary from 1913 to 1917. He then participated in the [[All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918|1917-1918 Local Council]] of the Church of Russia. In February, Arch. Benjamin was [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated ]] bishop in Savastopol as [[vicar]] of the Tavrichesky [[diocese]].
In 1920, Bp. Benjamin joined with the forces of the White army during the Russian Civil War with the Bolshevik regime. At the request of Baron P. N. Wrangel, Bp. Benjamin led the military [[clergy]] of the Russian army. In November 1920, Bp. Benjamin was among the army and refugees who fled their homeland as the Soviet forces gained superiority. He remained with the elements of the refugee army and navy in [[Constantinople]] until he moved to Serbia.
After arriving in Serbia, in 1922, he stayed at the St. Petkovitse [[Monastery]] near the Serbian town of Shabatsto. During 1923 and 1924, Bp. Benjamin was vicar bishop of a community in the Carpatho-Russian part of Czechoslovakia, until he was expelled by Czech authorities. He returned to Serbia where he managed two groups of cadets, taught theological courses, and was the prior at a Russian church.
Between 1925 and 1927, Bp. Benjamin took part in the establishment of [[St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Paris, France)|St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute]] in Paris. In 1927, he broke ties with the White army leaders and signed the declaration of Acting [[Locum Tenens ]] Sergius (Stragorodsky). He returned to St. Sergius Institute between 1929 and 1931.
In 1931, Bp. Benjamin attended a diocesan council meeting of [[clergy]] and [[laity ]] that decided to transfer the [[Metropolis]] of Metr. [[Eulogius (Georgievsky) of Paris|Eulogius ]] to the [[jurisdiction]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarch]]. A group led by Bp. Benjamin refused to break loyalty with Metr. Sergius, left the Metropolis, and formed a [[parish]] on Rue Petel, dedicated to the three hierarchs, [[Basil the Great]], [[Gregory the Theologian]], and [[John Chrysostom]]. In an upper floor, Bp. Benjamin housed his printing press that was dedicated to Father [[John of Kronstadt]].
In 1933, Bp. Benjamin was elevated to [[archbishop]] by Metr. Sergius of the Church of Russia. He was also, assigned to go to the United States to lecture. While in the United States he was appointed the interim [[exarch]] of the Moscow Patriarchate on [[November 22]], 1933, in North America, with the title of Archbishop of Aleutians and North America. This position he held until 1947. On [[July 14]], 1938 he was designated [[Metropolitan]] of the Aleutians and North America. Having arrived in the United States without any parishes to serve, he created 50 parishes during his tenure that he supervised with three vicars.
On [[November 28]], 1955, Metr. Benjamin became the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Saratov as Metropolitan of Saratov and Balashov. On [[December 26]], 1957, his title was changed to Metropolitan of Saratov and Volsk.
On [[February 29]], 1958, Metr. Benjamin retired to the [[Pskov-Pechersk Caves Monastery]] where he reposed on [[October 4]], 1961. He was buried in the caves of the monastery. ==Sayings== "There is the Providence of God in our revolution - partially already understandable and even more not yet revealed ... And so we must accept this authority - not only because it was accepted by the people". "We constantly invent from our mind and do not read the word of God. Not only it is more needed and stronger than all the books and our thoughts, but as a sword it cuts through all and clearly separates the lies from the truth". Elder [[w:John Krestiankin|John (Krestiankin)]] often used to say one phrase, which he heard from Metropolitan Benjamin: "we are all essentially superfluous, and no one needs us but God". ==Sources==* [ Benjamin]* [[Wikipedia:Benjamin (Fedchenkov)]]* [ Letters of elder John (Krestiankin)]*{{Ru icon}}[ Life and books of Metropolitan Benjamin (Fedchenkov)]
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before=?[[Benjanim (Milov)]]|
title=Metropolitan of Saratov and Balashov/Volsk|
after=—[[Palladius (Sherstennikov)]] }}{{end box}}  ==Sources==*[ Benjamin]*[[Wikipedia:Benjamin (Fedchenkov)]]
[[Category:20th-century bishops]]
[[Category:Bishops of Aleutian Islands]]
[[Category:Bishops of Rostov]]
[[Category:Bishops of Saratov]]

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