Historical information on the Nizhny Novgorod diocese

The Nizhny Novgorod diocese was established in 1672 covering Nizhny Novgorod, Alatyr, Kurmysh, Yadrin, and certain settlements. Ruling hierarchs of the diocese received the title of «Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod and Alatyr». The diocese was chaired by bishops in 1719-1991, and again by metropolitans in 1991-2001.

At the end of the XVIII century, the Nizhny Novgorod diocese was included in the Nizhny Novgorod province, and the diocesan hierarch received the title of «Bishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas» in 1799. In 1866 the Balakhna vicar diocese was established. In 1912 the Nizhny Novgorod diocese had 1 604 269 Orthodox people, 1131 churches, 211 chapels and prayer rooms, 7 monasteries, 21 convents, 119 church and parish trusteeship councils, 106 libraries based in churches, 30 libraries in deaneries, 571 church libraries, 27 351 students of the libraries, a Theological Seminary, a male and a female Theological Colleges, 65 archpriests, 1023 priests, 412 deacons, and 1002 Psalm readers.

48 hierarchs managed the Nizhny Novgorod diocese for 330 years. The first Nizhny Novgorod hierarch was Archimandrite Filaret, Abbot of Pechersky Ascension Monastery in Nizhny Novgorod, who ruled the diocese in 1672-1682.

The Nizhny Novgorod region especially venerates Saint Seraphim of Sarov, the Wonderworker of All Russia, spiritual father of the Holy Trinity-St. Seraphim Diveyevo Convent; Venerable Macarius of the Yellow Water Lake and the Unzha, the Miracle Worker, founder of Zheltovodsky Monastery of the Holy Trinity; Saint Barnabas of Vetluga; the Holy Scemamonk Joasaph, the Wonderworker of Pechery (the story of his life was not preserved); St Dionisius, the Wonderworker of Suzdal, founder of Pechersky Ascension Monastery in Nizhny Novgorod; the Holy Prince George II of Vladimir, founder of Nizhny Novgorod; the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky; the Holy Princess Anastasia Ioannovna, the wife of the Great Prince Andrew Konstantinovich of Nizhny Novgorod; and also St. Euthymius of Suzdal, a native of Nizhny Novgorod.

In 2000 the Bishops’ Council determined the canonization of a number of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, among whom were the Holy Martyr Laurentius, Bishop of Balakhna, and other ascetics of Nizhny Novgorod.

On March 15, 2012, at the first meeting of a spring/summer session of the Russian Orthodox Church Holy Synod the Nizhny Novgorod Ecclesiastical Province (metropolia), which includes the dioceses of Vyksa, Gorodets, Lyskovo and Nizhny Novgorod was formed. Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgy was consecrated as Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas metropolia by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia during the divine liturgy of St. Basil the Great at Christ the Savior Cathedral on March 18, 2012.