Alexander Alekseevich Gribanovskii was born on 18 August 1873 in the village of Bratki, Borisoglebsky district, Tambov province , in the family of a priest. Alexander Gribanovskii graduated from the Tambov Theological School. In 1893 he completed his studies at the Tambov Theological Seminary. He was sent to the Moscow Theological Academy in 1897, where he studied under the guidance of Archimandrite Anthonii (Khrapovitskii). On April 20, 1898, Gribanovsky took monastic vows with the name Anastasy in the Kazan Monastery. He was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon and invited in August 1898 to the position of assistant inspector of the academy. In 1900, Anastasii took the post of inspector of the Bethany Theological Seminary, and in July 1901 he already became the rector of the Moscow Theological Seminary. He was also elevated to the rank of archimandrite. In 1906, Archimandrite Anastassy was elected vicar of Moscow, Bishop of Serpukhov, with a residence in the Danilov Monastery. At the very beginning of World War I, Gribanovsky was sent to the Kholm diocese. In autumn, the Emperor Nicholas II visited the city of Kholm , where Bishop Anastassy received him in the cathedral. After the occupation of Kholm by the Austro-Hungarian army, in December 1915, Vladyka was transferred to the Kishinev see. In 1916 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.¹

In 1917 he took part in the All-Russian Church Council in Moscow. He was appointed chairman of the Economic Department of the Cathedral and headed the Commission for organizing the celebration of the election and enthronement of the newly elected Patriarch . In October 1918, Archbishop Anastassii was sent by the Patriarch to Odessa. Gribanovskii's activities in Odessa were subjected to pressure from the Romanian authorities. A year later, Gribanovsky left for Constantinople, and later went to the South of Russia, where he contacted the Supreme Church Administration, under the guidance of his teacher, Metropolitan Anthonii I (Khrapovitskii). On his behalf, Anastassy traveled to Constantinople to manage the local Orthodox Russian communities. In November 1920, Archbishop Anastassii developed the ecclesiastical and legal status of the Russian emigration on the territory of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 1921, he took up the restoration of the life of Russian monasteries on Mount Athos and in Palestine after the war and revolutionary upheavals.² In 1935, Archbishop Anastassii participated in the Council of Bishops to restore the unity of the Russian Church Abroad. On July 28, 1936, Metropolitan Anthonii (Khrapovitskii) died, and at the Church Council Gribanovsky was unanimously elected First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Chairman of the Synod of Bishops.³

During World War II, Metropolitan Anastassii was in Belgrade. In 1944 he was evacuated together with the Synod of Bishops to Vienna. And after the end of the war, in 1945 he moved to Munich, where he was engaged in feeding the camps of Russian refugees. Then the metropolitan went to the countries of North and South America to establish church and liturgical life. Following his flock, at the end of 1950, Metropolitan Anastassii left for the United States. In 1959, by decision of the Council of Bishops, Gribanovskii received the Eastern American Diocese under direct control. On February 7, 1964, Vladyka, due to his deteriorating health and advanced age, announced his desire to retire. On May 22, 1965, the head of the ROCOR, Metropolitan Anastassii, passed away. Vladyka's body was buried at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville.⁴
Metropolitan Anastasii (1873-1965)
Metropolitan Anastasii (Gribanovskii Alexander Alekseevich)
[1] Tsypin, Vladislav. “Anastasii (Gribanovskii).” Pravoslavnaia Entsiklopedia, vol. 2, Pravoslavnaia entsiklopedia, 2001, p. 237—239.
[2] Kostrukov, Andrei. Russkaia Zarubezhnaya Tserkov’ v Pervoi Polovine 1920-Kh Godov. Organizatsiya Tserkovnogo Upravleniia v Emigratsii i Yego Otnosheniia s Moskovskoi Patriarkhiei Pri Zhizni Patriarkha Tikhona. Izd-vo PSTGU, 2007.
[3] Kostrukov, Andrei. Russkaia Zarubezhnaya Tserkov’ v 1925—1938 Gg. Yurisdiktsionnye Konflikty i Otnosheniya s Moskovskoi Tserkovnoi Vlast’yu. Izdatel’stvo PSTGU, 2011.
[4] Nalitov, Dionisiy. “Pervoierarkh Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi Zagranitsei – Mitropolit Anastasii (Gribanovskii) (1873–1965).” Bogoslovskii Sbornik Tambovskoi Dukhovnoi Seminarii, no. 1(14), 2021, pp. 74–91,
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