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Ivan Vakonya

Ivan Vakonya

Ivan Vakonya (1883, Riga, Russian Empire – 1965, Riga, Latvian SSR) – spiritual mentor, religious teacher, famous leader of the Old Orthodox Pomorian Church of Latvia. 

He was born in Riga on 1 May 1883, studied in Grebenshchikov Old Believer's school, later graduated from Petrograd people's school. As early as 11 years old he was a member of Grebenshchikov Old believer's Community. 

After military service for many years he was a teacher of people schools in Kazan, Tambov and Vitebsk gub.

I. Vakonya was a member of the 1st all Russian Assembly of old believer's pomorians in Moscow (1909). In 1911 as a teacher took part in the 1st all Russian Session on people's education of old-believer's pomorians in Dvinsk (present Daugavpils). In the 1930ies I. Vakonya taught at the courses of spiritual teachers in Vilna (present Vilnius, Lithuania) and cooperated with old-believer's communities of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland. He was a spiritual mentor in Jelgava old-believer's community, served in Daugavpils communities, from 1951 to 1956 chairperson of Grebenshchikov Old-believer's community. He died in Riga in 1965 and was buried at the Ivan (John) cemetery.