Memory Eternal: His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) ROCOR

Our friends at OrthoChristian reported that His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reposed in the Lord this afternoon at the age of 74, having served the Lord as a hierarch for 38 years.

Fr. Victor Potapov, rector of the St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC, reports:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!

Today, at 2:00 pm, our dear First Hierarch Metropolitan Hilarion passed to the Lord. Don’t have any more information. Details to follow.

Please remember this remarkable hierarch in your prayers.

May God grant him life eternal!

In XC,
Fr. Victor

May Vladyka’s memory be eternal!


  1. Memory Eternal!

  2. May his memory be eternal.

  3. (You have actually posted a photo of His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, not Hilarion – might want to change that… made me gasp at first thinking perhaps he too had passed!)

    Eternal memory to Vladika Hilarion. I read this news earlier in the day and was greatly saddened. I immediately looked up to see if any causes had been mentioned knowing he was only 74 (the above-mentioned Metropolitan Ware is 87) and not being aware of any news that he had been ill. Sadly, and as is my now natural reaction and first thought, my mind immediately began thinking I hope it’s in no way related to the ‘you know what’. I immediately remembered reports of him stating that he had received at least one (no idea as to any others). I truly hope it wasn’t that, but wouldn’t be surprised (so many ‘sudden’ deaths from young to old). I too await further info as to the cause.

    My heartfelt prayers for all the faithful.

    Lord have mercy!

  4. If I’m not mistaken, the photo you include with this story is of Archbishop Kallistos Ware, not Metropolitan Hilarion.

  5. R. Joseph DuBois says

    I had the esteemed and humbling honor of meeting His Eminence three times during the past two and one half years. He was a man who mirrored Christ to all who were with him during those visits. He was a devout and holy man who was a true bishop and pastor, caring deeply about his flock and taking upon himself the heavy responsibilities of his office with joy and compassion.
    May God greet him with great joy….well done, trusted servant.

  6. Christ is risen! Memory eternal!

  7. R. Joseph DuBois says

    May his memory be eternal.

  8. Isidora B says

    A true bishop has passed. Memory eternal. May his soul dwell with the blessed.

  9. I met him. He was a wonderful and godly man.

  10. I will miss Metropolitan Hilarion very much.

    Memory eternal! Вічная Память!

    Without question, my favorite part of Metropolitan Hilarion’s biography:

    “Upon their arrival in the province of Alberta, the Kapral family received 160 acres of untilled land, as well as $100 in cash, a hammer, and an axe, with which to build themselves a home.”

    Talk about grit. If a govt did this with refugees today they’d be shamed as heartless, cruel, etc etc. But back in the day it was simply part of life. Life was hard and unfair and most people knew that and accepted it and moved on.

    And with these hammers and axes they built churches! Slavic Orthodox churches dot the landscape of the Canadian prairie provinces, much as they dot the landscape of the Pennsylvania hills.

    These Slavic Orthodox immigrants loved the Lord and our faith. What an example! May we emulate them!!

    • Very well said. My ROCOR parish was built in the 50s by white Russian emigres who did everything themselves, the only thing they hired someone to do was to do a special paint job on the exterior that required highly specialized equipment and experience.

      These people came after their day jobs and worked weekends, all for free. To save on materials they would raid the scrap heaps of other construction projects, pull out nails from two by fours etc:

      There is a very special appearance in this video if you wait till the end.

    • George Michalopulos says

      What a wonderful testament to the man, his family, and his people.

  11. May his memory be ever eternal +

    May God grant Mercy to our hierarch.

  12. Sister Chrissie says

    Memory Eternal!
    And Heaven has a new Angel !

    Beloved Hilarion died of congenital heart failure and was in & out of hospital getting infusions for years, he also had cancer in his legs – also his angelic holy face swelled up …I noticed toward the end, he became like a little child, so innocent,
    clearly his regal soul wanted to leave this earth,
    this veil of tears… his clergy brethren & his
    spiritual children, like me, will be weeping copious tears for such a Huge Loss! Pray for us?

    May It Be Blessed?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I’m so sorry, Chrissie. I know how much he meant to you.

      • Sister Chrissie says

        Thanks Gail for doing a little homage here to
        His Eminence Hilarion & I forgot to mention a favorite saying of his was:
        “Humble down, humble down.”

        And he gave me his blessing, when I asked,
        to write his biography!
        Glad I took dozens of photos of him for this future book.
        If one wants to pay their spiritual respects to
        Met. Hilarion, his funeral is:
        this Saturday morning at Russian Synod in
        New York – he’ll be buried upstate in Jordanville.

        p.s. a favorite saying of Vladyka was:
        “Humble down, humble down”

        • Gail Sheppard says

          If you remember some stories you’d like to share on our blog, you have an open invitation, Sister Crissie. Metropolitan Hilarion was loved by many, many of our readers.

          I remember a long time ago I was having some trouble with a monk who would joke about my affection for a cantankerous bishop online. The two would argue about something and the monk would ask me who was right. If I said the bishop was right (which he generally was about just about everything EXCEPT politics), the monk would get mad and would accuse me of being the bishop’s “paramour” or something like that just to get a rise out of me. This went on for a while and even the bishop couldn’t get him to stop until I complained to Vladyka.

          Vladyka wasted no time addressing the problem. According to the monk, he lost a coveted opportunity because of me. What it was, I don’t know. In reality, I suspect the monk wasn’t promoted because he didn’t have the sense his momma gave him to know when to shut up! You don’t joke about a married woman’s reputation.

          I kind of felt bad because the monk wasn’t a bad human being; but he could be obnoxious and because he kept it up online, I couldn’t just walk away.

          Plus, I lost something, too. Another owner of a list (kind of like a blog) tried to get him to stop and told us both to quit talking about it or we would be kicked off. The monk started talking about it again and I said, “We aren’t supposed to be talking about that.” He got kicked off the list (I presume) and so did I, just because I said we weren’t supposed to talk about it! This was about the time I came to Monomakhos in 2009.

          Wow! I thought I forgot this story. But I will never forget how much I appreciated the kindness and valor of Metropolitan Hilarion.

          — Memory eternal, Vladyka. May you be richly blessed in the life to come.

          • Sister Chrissie says

            Gail thanks for sharing that cool story!
            So proud of Vladika Hilarion for doing the right thing…he always did!
            the man moved in another spiritual world &
            he had very exalted views on monasticism.

            Today his body arrives at Russian Synod…
            funeral is Saturday morning.
            Livestream I hope will be available?

  13. I sat down with him and my spiritual father a few years ago and had tea and cookies. We had a wonderful conversation. He was a very gentle and pious man.

    Memory Eternal!

  14. Peter Chaplain says

    We were blessed to have a leader of such great humility. I am thinking the troparion of St. Nicholas describes a lot about our dear Vladyka Hilarion:

    The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith,
    an icon of meekness and a teacher of temperance;
    therefore thou hast achieved the heights by humility,
    riches by poverty.
    Christ is Risen!
    Pray for us and for peace in the Ukraine, Vladyka Hilarion.
    And may your memory be eternal!

  15. Joseph Lipper says

    Memory Eternal to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, and may God help and protect the current Primate of ROCOR, His Eminence Metropolitan Mark.

  16. Christine says

    Memory Eternal to our beloved Metropolitan Hilarion! I loved him with my whole heart. What a fiery yet kind soul, who embodied poise, patience, and a fervent love for the Church. He was a leader among leaders in the Northern American Orthodox church because he always did the right thing, even if it was the hardest thing. He will be missed.

  17. Sister Chrissie, if you’re still reading this thread (or if Gail can contact you), Metropolitan Hilarion’s niece wants to contact you:

    She commented on this article.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I’ll let her know.

      • Sister Chrissie says

        Gail & Basil thanks !

        But I replied to Angela Kapral in that article & included my phone number but she hasn’t yet called me…
        surprised she didn’t post her contact info ,
        Is there any way to reach that website to request
        her email?
        Thanks much!

  18. George Michalopulos says

    This is a little off-topic but with Pentecost and Father’s Day coming up, if you’re looking for an Orthodox gift, may I recommend this site?

    It’s run by one of my Godsons; good guy, good products. It has a wide variety of Orthodox products, especially if you’re interested in the Western saints.

  19. Adamantios says

    Might Bishop George (Schaefer) be elected as new USA Metropolitan? ?