Русский | St Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy | April 23, 2004
Holy Baptism on Great Saturday
English Translation by Nina Tkachuk Dimas

On April 10 [2004] two new members were added to the Holy Orthodox Church. The new members are pupils at St. Petersburg religious schools who had come from China for study. At one time were this great country which adjoins Russia had many Orthodox believers; there were dozens of temples served by clergy. The Orthodox Church in China was the fruit of missionary work and was under the canonical jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Although the Orthodox Church in China was practically destroyed, but the Christian faith did not vanish and it is being revived today. The Orthodox Mother-Church in Russia is undertaking all necessary actions to make the Christian faith once again shine forth and that Orthodoxy would be accessible to all who desire it. This matter is under the direct care and supervision of ALEXIS, the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. First of all, it is necessary to prepare a new nucleus of clergy capable of training others. In this connection, young Chinese students, Orthodox believers, were sent to various Orthodox Spiritual Academies and Seminaries in Russia.

Among such pupils were those who came to the St. Petersburg Spiritual schools. Because of the difficult situation of Orthodoxy in China and the shortage of clergy, some of those who came for study had not undergone the sacrament of Holy Baptism. For this reason this all important rite is being performed for them in Russia. This has already taken place in various seminaries. Through the blessing of His Eminence, KONSTANTIN, Archbishop of Tikhvin and Rector of St. Petersburg's Orthodox Spiritual Academy, two Chinese who came to study in the theological school of the city of the Apostle Peter, were baptized in one of St. Petersburg's temples, according to the ancient Christian tradition, on Holy Saturday. Moreover, the sacrament was done by triple immersion. Fr. Vladislav Antsibor, dean of the faculty of international students, performed the sacrament of holy baptism. The new members of the Holy Orthodox Church were Du Haixu, who received the name Nicholas in honor of the passion-bearer tsar, and Cai Weili received the name Alexander, in honor of the empress Alexandra Feodorovna.