Biography of Father Johannes Deibner

Born into the family of a major general in St. Petersburg in 1873. Graduated from the Imperial School of Law, after which he worked as a secretary for Peter Stolypin, at that time the governor of Saratov province. In 1899 he secretly converted to Catholicism. In the early 1900s he headed the zemsky council in Tyumen district, Tobolsk province; he then moved to St. Petersburg, where he married a Catholic (Marie Panet). In 1903 he was clandestinely ordained a priest of the Eastern Rite by Metropolitan Sheptytsky. From 1905 he was in government service. After 1907 he openly began to serve at St. Catherine’s Church; in 1911, he began serving at a small house church on Polozovaya Street and was officially named its pastor in 1912. From September 1912 he was pastor of a parish of Russian Catholics, Descent of the Holy Spirit. In January 1913 he founded a Russian Catholic journal, Slovo istiny [Word of Truth]. From 1918 through 1920 he worked at State Bank. August 18, 1920 – became vicar of St. Catherine Church in St. Petersburg; March 3, 1923 – arrested, but soon released. July 1, 1923 – Exarch Feodorov forbade him to preach or lecture. November 17, 1923 – arrested in the case against Russian Catholics; sent to Moscow for further investigation, held in Butyrka Prison. May 19, 1924 – sentenced under Article 61 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in prison [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Suzdal Prison; transferred to the solitary confinement block at Yaroslavl Prison in 1930. Released in October 1932 but restricted from residing in the twelve major cities or the borderland regions. Settled in Vesegonsk, Tver oblast, where he was murdered by a bandit [partisan?] November 12, 1936. Sources: Assumptionist Archives, Rome, 2ER.66, p. 1; GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 118, l. 131-136; d. 1699, l. 97; Archive of the Directorate, FSB, St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast; Osipova (1996), p. 164; Sokolovskyi, pp. 57-58; Shkarovskii, pp. 221-222; Abrikosova et al. (1924); Dzwonkowski (1998), p. 207
Variant Names:
Deibner, Johannes; Deibner, Ioann Aleksandrovich
Saint Petersburg (Russia); Tobolʹsk (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Vesʹëgonsk (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; survived