His Eminence, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky)
Metropolitan Philaret, in secular life George N. Voznesensky, was born in Kursk, on March 22nd, 1903. His father was a priest and as a widower, became Archbishop Dimitri of Hailarsk, residing in Harbin, China. Metropolitan Philaret, in 1909, lived in Blagoveschensk where he finished the local gymnasium. In 1920, he immigrated to Harbin where he graduated from the Russian-Sino Polytechnic Institute as an electrical engineer. In 1931, Metropolitan Philaret concluded his Pastoral -Theological courses in Harbin and by December 22, 1931, was ordained as priest. A few days later, Father George took the vows with the name of Philaret. In 1937, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite occupying various posts in the Harbin Diocese.
After Manchuria was occupied by Soviet forces, Archimandrite Philaret categorically refused to take a Soviet passport, although, this act placed him in great personal danger. He, in his own words "never defiled his prayers with prayer for the servants of the Anti-Christ" and in all ways protected his flock despite of threats and intimidations. After he saw that his flock had departed safely, Archimandrite Philaret himself agreed to leave and departed for Australia. In 1963, he was consecrated Bishop of Brisbane, Vicar Bishop of the Australian Diocese. In 1964, Bishop Philaret arrived in America for a Sobor of Bishops. In view of his advanced age, Metropolitan Anastassy wished a successor appointed to him, and the Sobor of Bishops unanimously elected the youngest among them in terms of consecration, Bishop Philaret. In his address at his inthronization on May 14, 1964, Metropolitan Philaret stated that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has always felt itself to be a part of the Russian Orthodox Church, organically tied to it, suffering with it and serving its Truth. However, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has never had nor ever will have any relation with the Soviet Patriarchate that has placed itself on the false path of betrayal to the Church, but will always fight for Truth, independence, freedom and the canonical purity of Orthodoxy. On November 8/21, 1985, feast day of Archangel Michael, Metropolitan Philaret quietly reposed in his sleep.