Възрожденска черква „Св. Архангел Михаил“, първият български храм от новата история на Варна

Възрожденската черква „Св. Архангел Михаил“ се намира в централната част на град Варна (Стара Варна), на ул. „27-ми юли“ №9.

Тази черква е първият български храм от новата история на Варна (от XIX в. насам). До нейното създаване тогавашната малка българска общност в населения с преобладаващо турско и гръцко население град (в навечерието на Освобождението българите са наброявали около 3 500), се черкува в другите варненски храмове, в които богослужението се извършва на гръцки език.

Няколко години преди отварянето ѝ евангелието се чете на български език само в старинната черква „Св. Георги“ (веднъж седмично), след като, по искане на тогавашния вицеконсул на града Александър Рачински, гръцкият митрополит дава съгласие службите в тази черква да бъдат на църковно-славянски език. Но скоро тази привилегия е отнета, след т.нар. „Великденска акция“, състояла се на 3 април 1860 г., когато по време на тържествената великденска служба в българския храм „Св. Стефан“ в Цариград митрополит Иларион Макариополски не споменава името на вселенския гръцкия патриарх и на негово място казва „всякое епископство православных“. С този акт се прави съществена крачка в борбата за независима българската църква.

След забраната на българска реч в храма „Св. Георги“, българите в града създават българска община, която си поставя задачата да построи българско училище и черква. Училището отваря врати на 25 юли 1862 г. и е наречено Българско Централно Училище. В него преподават видните български възрожденци Сава Доброплодни и Петко Славейков.

През 1865 г. е взето решение долният етаж на училищната сграда да бъде приспособен за черква, която според първоначалната идея трябвало да носи името на светите братя Кирил и Методий. Необходими потреби за новата черква са взети от храма в с. Николаевка, където служи свещеник Константин Дъновски (бащата на Петър Дънов).

На 14 февруари 1865 г. същият поп Константин извършва в новата черква водосвет, а на 17 февруари и св. Божествена литургия. Според исторически данни на тази първа служба се стекли много хора не само от града, но и от близките села. Константин Дъновски, който е първият български свещеник във Варна и Варненско, по-късно служи и в манастира „Св.св Константин и Елена“.

Трябва да се подчертае, че черквата и училището в Николаевка, в които е назначен Дъновски, са издигнати още през 1847 г. и са първите български възрожденски учреждения във Варненско. Именно в Николаевка се събират за първи път първенците от всички околни български села по черковния въпрос и съставят на 21 май 1860 г. протокол‚ с който се отказват от Цариградската патриаршия и нейните владици и признават за свой върховен черковен наставник Иларион Макариополски.

Първата българска черква във Варна е посветена на Св. архангел Михаил и в нея се започва редовно богослужение само на църковно-славянски. Така, тази скромна сграда, в която освен училище и черква, се помещава и българската църковна община, през следващите години се превръща в неугасващо огнище и истинска крепост на българщината във Варна. В същата сграда през 1870 г., благодарение на инициативата на Янко Славчев, Константин Тюлев и Димитър Станчев, българите откриват и свое читалище – „Възрождение“.

Храмът „Св. архангел Михаил” е свързан и с още една паметна дата от историята на Варна. На 27 юли 1878 г. българското население посреща с хляб и сол в черковния двор освободителите на града – ХІV Брянски полк на руската армия, начело с ген. Столипин. Днес в двора на черквата се намира единственият паметник, посветен на това събитие.

Черквата продължава да бъде основно духовно средище на българите в района и след Освобождението, до издигането на величествения катедрален храм „Успение Богородично“ в 1885 г. През 1915 г., при честване на петдесетгодишнината на първата българска църква във Варна, църковното настоятелство издава малък исторически очерк, който завършва с думи, запазили своето историческо значение и днес: „Хвала и чест на първите виновници за откриване на българската църква в гр. Варна! Хвала и чест на тружениците на духовно-националното пробуждане на българщината тук!“

Църквата „Св. Архангел Михаил“ е осветена на 21 ноември 1938 г. от Варненския и Преславски митрополит Йосиф, в съслужение с гостуващия му във Варна тогава Пловдивски митрополит Кирил, по-късно и патриарх Български. През време на св. литургия Негово Високопреосвещенство митрополит Йосиф ръкополага в йеродяконски сан Иларион (1913 – 2009 г.), по-късно Траянополски епископ, а накрая и митрополит Доростолски.

По време на атеистичния социалистически период, подобно на други варненски храмове, чиито основни функции са преустановени, черквата „Св. архангел Михаил” е превърната в Музей на Възраждането. Духовният живот на храма е възстановен едва през 2002 г. (след 10 години съдебни дела), когато възрожденската сграда е върната на Българската православна църква. С благословението на Варненски и Великопреславски митрополит Кирил в нея е организиран епархийски духовно-просветен център „Св. архангел Михаил”, който, освен богослужебна, развива и просветителска дейност. В центъра има голяма книжарница за православна питература, библиотека, видеотека, неделно училище, лекционна зала за провеждане на беседи, срещи и други мероприятия, учебна зала и изложбена зала. Основната организация по мероприятията се провежда доброволно от свещеници и миряни от енориите на града.

В подкрепа на дейността в духовно-просветния център работи и учредената през 2011 г. фондация „Човек на фокус”. Благодарение на общите усилия храмът се превръща в активно средище за църковно-просветна и социална работа с младежи, деца и други социални групи. В него ежеседмично се провеждат беседи, обучения и лекции, а в галерита му се поместват интересни изложби, свързани с българската християнска култура. С оригинални експонати впечатлява поместената на втория етаж изложба „Славянската писменост – Образ и подобие”, която включва избрани икони и стари църковнославянски книги от храмовете във Варненска и Великопреславска епархия. Цялата тази дейност на центъра неимоверно допринася за обогатяването на културния и духовен живот на Варна.

Източник: svetimesta.com

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