Orthodox World

Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox church, Tornimae, Estonia

Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox church

Información general

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Iglesia Autónoma:
Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church
Diocese of Pärnu and Saare
Toivo Treima
Día de celebración:
October 1 - Protection of the Virgin Mary, Покровъ

Contact Details

Tornimae, Tornimae, Saaremaa (Kuessaare), 94501 Estonia
+372) 56350051

Services Details

Divina Liturgia:
Sunday 10:00am
Información de servicios:
Every first and third Sunday of the month.

Información histórica

Year of Establishment:
Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church. - Tornimäe presbytery complex, which includes the church, school, priest’s house, clerk’s house and ancillary buildings, has served as an orthodox center of the Eastern part of Saaremaa since 19th century. - Tornimäe Church. - In the middle of 19th century the rapid increase in numbers necessitated new buildings for the Orthodox congregations. ----------------------------------------------------------------- In Saaremaa and Muhumaa the churches were built in two stages. In 1860 the congregations of Muhu-Hellamaa, Lümanda and Mõnnuste built their church buildings. In 1869 the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs allocated the necessary money for construction of 35 churches to the Bishoprics of Riga and Mitau, which allowed to build ten more churches in Saaremaa and Muhumaa in 1873. - Tornimäe church was built on the high embankment, next to the ancient port and close to the village. In the year of its completion the church was consecrated in honor of the protection of the Mother of God. According to the design made by architect G. Schell from Riga the merchant N. Krüger, also from Riga, built a baroque church which has a cruciform plan: the roughcast building is based on a square with four arches having a bigger octahedral slender central onion dome and four smaller adjacent domes in the corners. An onion dome with bell tower decorates its western side. All this work was effectuated by local builders. Tornimäe church became the largest rural church in Saaremaa and Muhumaa among other Orthodox churches. In 1944 the church was damaged in the war. After war the congregation restored the demolished bell tower by their own. ----------------------------------------------------- Tornimäe church was consecrated in 1873. --------------------------------------------------- Tornimäe Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Congregation. - In accordance with the plan of 1846 the Saare County was partitioned into three orthodox regions: Muhu, Kihelkonna, and Jaani (Pöide) Orthodox congregations. In 1846 was founded Jaani congregation, which was active around Pöide, and it consisted of the just converted Estonians. Based on some sources the current congregation was established in 1847, being formed by former members of the Jaani congregation it took the new name “Pöide congregation” and was initially active as an itinerant congregation. - In 1848 Jaani (Pöide) Orthodox congregation was divided into congregations named Ööriku and Tornimäe. In 1848, due to the multitudes of peoples, Tornimäe congregation in turn established Laimjala (Kahtla) and in 1911 Levala congregation. In 1848 the region flourished with about 5,000 Orthodox people. - The first local liturgy was celebrated in a building rented from Uuemõisa crown manor in April 1847. Tornimäe Orthodox congregation has since gathered continuously together, whereas in their own church building in Tornimäe village from 1873. Today the congregation counts approximately one hundred members. Liturgy is celebrated twice a month, and the congregation also gathers for doxology, baptisms, Panikhidas and other festivities.---------------------------------------------------------------- Tornimäe Orthodox School. - In 1854 Pöide parish opened an Orthodox school, which shared a room with the Church in Uuemõisa. In 1865 the school rented a house in Tornimäe. Alongside the construction of the prebytery complex in Tornimäe there was also built a new schoolhouse, opened in 1873. The new school building had two classrooms, two dormitories, a kitchen and two rooms for teachers. The first teachers in this school were priest Skoropostitsnõi and psalm singers Kudrjavtsev and Paistu, and later priests Joann Sepp amd Aleksander Klaas. In 1933 Tornimäe Primary School was united with Uuemõisa Higher Primary school, which a year later was reorganized as Tornimäe 6-class elementary school. The school existed in Tornimäe church complex till 1963, when the current building of Tornimäe school was finished. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- In April 2012 Estonia proclaimed saints eleven new martyrs who had suffered from the Soviet occupation in 1940–1941. A priest from Tornimäe, the holy priest and martyr Arteemi (Vapper) is one of these brave men. - Priest Arteemi Vapper was born 09/29/1913 in Olga village in Leisi vicarage in Saaremaa. There were 11 children in the family, his father Mihail was a clerk and a schoolteacher, and his mother’s name was Elisaveta. After graduating the 6 class school Arteemi worked on his father’s the farm, and in 1933–35 he studied in Pskov Ecclesiastical Seminary. In 1935–36 he served as a nurse’s aide in the Estonian Defence Forces. After military service Arteemi married, but had no children.- In winter 1936 Arteemi Vapper was ordained a deacon in Narva and a week later in Tallinn Cathedral a priest by Metropolitan Aleksander. In the beginning of his priesthood he served the congregations of Leisi and Metsküla in Saaremaa. From 1939 father Arteemi served Tornimäe Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Congregation. In July 1941 he and his wife Lydia were arrested by the Soviet authorities. Father Arteemi was deported to Siberia; his wife was released from Harku women’s prison in August. - Father Arteemi was convicted for systematic anti-Soviet agitation according to the RSFSR Criminal Code, subsection 2 of § 58-10 and he was assigned maximum sentence – execution by shooting with the confiscation of all personal property. 11th April 1942 execution by shooting was replaced by a 5-year sentence in a penal labor camp in the Irkutsk region. KGB file data attest that father Arteemi died in his 30s on 7th August in 1944.--------------------------------------------------------------------- In Estonia the Memorial Day of new martyrs is the 14th June.

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