Potapy Emelianov

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Potapy Emelianov (1884, Ufa Guberniya, Russian Empire - 14 August 1936, Karelian ASSR, USSR) was a Russian Catholic priest and confessor.

Early life[edit]

Potapy Emelianov was born into a family of Priestless Old Believers who were later received into the Edinoverie by the Russian Orthodox Bishop of Ufa, Anthony (Khrapovitsky). He was tonsured and subsequently ordained as a hieromonk of the Russian Orthodox Church. When Bishop Anthony was named Metropolitan of Kiev, he brought the young hieromonk with him and assigned him to the Old Ritualist parish at Nizhnaya Bogdanovka, near Lugansk.

Conversion to Catholicism[edit]

By 1918, the Hieromonk Potapy had become convinced that true Orthodoxy could not be ordained except through Communion with the Holy See. After learning that Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky had formed an Exarchate for Russian Rite Catholics, Father Potapy travelled to St. Petersburg to meet with the Exarch, Blessed Leonid Feodorov. After questioning him closely, Exarch Leonid received Father Potapy and his entire parish into the Russian Catholic Church.


Father Potapy and his parishioners underwent severe harassment and violent persecution from both the Red Guards and the White Army during the Russian Civil War. On January 27, 1927 he was arrested and on September 12, 1927 was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was sent to Solovki prison camp. Father Potapy Emelianov was sent to Solovki prison camp with a special purpose, where he was held with other Catholic priests and participated in religious services. In 1929, along with other Catholic priests, was transferred to a prison camp Anzer Island, where he was involved in secret worship. In 1932 took place in the case of the Catholic clergy, signed on Solovki prison camp. During the interrogation, said: "The time I spent in the camp, did not shake my religious beliefs here, I became even more resistant to further Catholic me nothing can shake." As a result, the authorities have decided to subject it to special punishment contain the islands separately from other priests until the end of isolation. In November 1933 he was transferred to the station Belbaltlag Nadvoytsy, and then kept at the station Bear Mountain Kirov railway.

The last days of life and death[edit]

On August 4, 1936 Emelianov was released from the camp (probably because of a serious illness) and sent into exile. He died on August 14, 1936 at the Podvoytsy station in Karelia. Father Emilianov died while building the White Sea Canal.

Legacy and Beatification[edit]

Father Potapy is greatly venerated among Russian Greek-Catholics and is now being investigated for possible Beatification, whose process was begun in 2003. His present title is Servant of God.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Fr. Paul Mailleux, Exarch Leonid Feodorov; Bridgebuilder Between Rome and Moscow, 1964.
  • Irina I. Osipova, Hide Me Within Thy Wounds; The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the USSR, Germans From Russia Heritage Collection, 2003.
  • Fr. Christopher Zugger, The Forgotten; Catholics in the Soviet Empire from Lenin to Stalin, University of Syracuse Press.