The great refugee wave of 1919 and 1920 brought from different places of Russia to Harbin many men of religion, among whom and some monastics.
Having no monastery at that time, the soul of the Russian monks, who found themselves abroad, was longing for the monastic life, with the regular Services and the habitual rules. Many Russian laymen in exile also missed the solemn and customary Church Services. So, following the initiative of several clergymen, who acted on the blessing of then Archbishop Methodius, celebrated the first regular All Night Vigil at the Commerce School on the Sunday of All Saints in 1921.
The leading celebrant of the Service was Archimandrite Yuvenaly, who previously lived as a monk at Belogorsk Monastery of Perm Diocese and thus was quite familiar with the Divine Services according to the Typicon.
This solemn service, so called "Athonite All Night Vigil", attracted in the church at the Commerce School a mass of faithful. All of the city clergy, as well as many other singers of different churches took part together in the singing during this Divine Service. They chanted the ancient Kiev Chant and the customary one divided in two choirs under the guidance of the talented cathedral chorister D. Y. Popov, who devoted a much effort and love to organizing the singing. Sticheras and the other habitual chants were sung together with the canonarch. The catabasia was performed by both the choirs in the middle of the church.
The Service started at 5 p.m. and lasted till midnight.
The majority of the faithful stayed until the end of Service in the church. The following day, on Sunday, a solemn Hierarchical Liturgy was celebrated in the same church. From then on, the idea of establishing a monastery in Harbin entered deeply in the hearts of many pious people.
Archim. Yuvenaly, abbot
In 1922, Vladika Archbishop Methodius gave his blessing to Archimandrite Yuvenaly to carry the responsibility of finding a place for constructing the monastery. The Chinese Eastern Railway (KVZhD in Russian) Administration allocated a spot on the Holy Cross Island, which is in the middle of Songhua (Sungari) River, for this purpose. Afterwards, Fr. Yuvenaly had to go for some time to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and in his absence, the construction work was supervised by Hieromonk Nifont. During the summer of 1923, it became obvious that the Holy Cross Island isn't the most appropriate place for a monastery, so the brethren moved to Harbin, where they rented a temporary apartment. At that time, Hieromonk Theodore came to serve as abbot, who acquired from the Chinese Eastern Railway Administration another building plot near the settlement of Gondatyevka in New Majiagou. This spot was put in order for the Monastery by the Department of Special District of the Eastern Provinces (O.R.V.P. in Russian).
In the spring of 1924, Archimandrite Yuvenaly returned from the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Serbia) and again took the post of the Abbot of the Monastery.
From 4th to 17th of August, 1924, Archbishop Methodius commenced the construction of the church dedicated to the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. On December 20, 1924 (January 2, 1925) the new church was already finished and thus solemnly consecrated.
In spring 1925, the building of the monastic lodgings began, which was completed during the same year.
Particularly venerated icons belonging to the Monastery are the great Icon of the Kazan Mother of God and two miraculously renewed Icons of the Mother of God — "Vladimir" and the "Unburning Bush".
In 1929, the Monastery further developed its organization. The monastery printing facilities got enlarged when a second printing press with an electric engine was brought in.
That year, the monastic lodgings were also enlarged. The number of the inhabitants was continually growing and some were even not accepted for the lack of space.
In view of the necessity to enlarge the plot for the Monastery, additional land of 220 square was occupied just beside the monastery, on which a dwelling was built for the brethren, as well as some workshops and also a stable for the monastery cattle. This land was purchased from private owners.
On May 11/ 24, 1931, a consecration was performed for the opening of the new monastery pharmacy and clinic. These facilities were situated on rented private premises bordering the monastery. The completion of the hospital is still continued with enhanced efforts, and with God's help, if finances allow it, it should be finished till winter this year.
The Kazan Mother of God Monastery apart from the printing facilities, also has small workshops dealing in book-binding (it receives private orders too), shoe producing, tailoring, woodcarving and iconography (it receives private orders).
The Monastery consisted of: Archimandrite Yuvenaly (the Abbot); his deputy — Archimandrite Symeon, seven Hieromonks, four Hierodeacons, one Schema-monk and a Stavrophore monk, six Rassaphore novices, as well as other forty novices, workers and protégés.