Valamo, Abbey of

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In Russian, Valaam, former Greek-Orthodox monastery on the Valamo islands in Lake Ladoga, in Karelia, a republic of Russia. It was founded by the holy hermits Sergios and Germanos and dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ. According to legend the founders were supposed to have come from Athos in 1329. The monastery became a starting point for the missionary work in Novgorod Karelia. It was dissolved when Ladoga-Karelia was united with Sweden in 1618. In 1718 it was reestablished by Peter the Great and soon became a place of pilgrimage for the whole of northeastern Russia. After 1918 it was placed under the autonomous Greek Orthodox Church of Finland; but when the area was transferred to Russia after the Finnish Winter War (1940), the monks moved to Heinävesi in Finnish Karelia, where they are now living together with the displaced communities from Konevits and Petsamo. Before 1914 there were more than 400 monks, but their numbers have since diminished. The liturgical language of Valamo is Church Slavonic, and since 1926 the calendar has been Gregorian.

Bibliography: l. i. denisov, Pravoslavnye monastyri rossijskoje imperii (Moscow 1909). a. cheravin, in The Christian East 8 (1927) 6977. a. m. ammann, Stimmen der Zeit 132 (193637) 4148. h. kirkinen, Karjala idän kultuuripiirissä (Helsinki 1963).

[j. gallÉn]