After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY



Carnegie: Stalin still admired in ex-Soviet lands - Yahoo! News
MOSCOW (AP) — An opinion survey commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment says that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin has remained widely admired in Russia and other ex-Soviet nations, even though millions of people died under his brutally repressive rule.
   Read the full story  

√ recent Pokrov articles, Feb. 28
   Parents of Arizona Suicide Monk Nevins Give Exclusive Interview to TNH
   Arizona Monastery Depitcs a Larger Problem: the Perpetuation of Cultish Mentalities

Russia's Putin tells army to shape up for foreign threat

"The last Christmas' -fresh widespread Islamic severe oppression and violent persecution of ALL Christians in the Middle East- 

OCA invites RocorMP to Doxacon

World Orthodoxy falls into a trap

Mystery of Iniquity doth work
excerpt from:

"The force" is the very term that high level Satanists use to describe the power that they believe in, which they believe can be used for either good or evil. The movie Star Wars surprisingly used the Illuminati's term "the force", which up until that time had been reserved for esoteric use by Satanism and the occult. This is part of the plan to take the occult and its goals and instill it into the public's thinking and goals, so that the conspiracy becomes an "open conspiracy" with the general public promoting the drive toward witchcraft as the world religion and its One-World-Government.

RocorMP priest Victor Potapov received this invitation from a local OCA parish

From: "Victor Potapov" <vpotapov@comcast.net>
Date: February 27, 2013, 5:36:07 PM EST

live links on the original

Also see: Hollywood's Satanic Agenda

LO issue with Special Appeal

Opportunity for Haiti Mission

Psalter Recording

Audio Recording

Psalter (English)
From the Septuagint text originally published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA.
link to download provided by email:

"In Christ's humble cottage there is only rustic simplicity; 
except for the chanting of psalms, silence is perfect...  
Wherever you go the husbandman sings the alleluia over his plough; 
the toiling harvester refreshes himself with the psalms;
 the vine dresser prunes the vine to a song of David.  
These are the popular songs of this country; 
the love songs of the shepherd's whistle; 
the lyrics of the farmer as he tills the soil with devotion."
-St. Jerome †420 A.D.

Strange World

Spontaneous Human Combustion 

Recent News Story

SHC: Spontaneous Human Combustion 
documentary 45 minutes

Memory Eternal

from ROCANA News


Lyubov Nikolaevna Zozulin passed away on Tuesday morning, February 19.  Lyubov Nikolaevna was a dedicated member of the sisterhood at St. Sergius Church at Tolstoy Foundation.  Lyubov Nikolaevna was noted for decorating the church with flowers, which she did for decades.  She also spent a lot of time volunteering at Tolstoy Nursing Home.  The funeral was held Thursday, February 21, at St. Sergius Church.   Lyubov Nikolaevna was buried at Novo Diveevo Convent.  Please pray for the Newly Reposed Lubov Nikolaevna.

About the Theatre

St. John of Kronstadt disapproves

Excerpts from:
My Life in Christ
Archpriest John Iliytch Sergieff (1829-1909)

The theatre lulls the Christian life to sleep, destroys it, communicating to the life of Christians the character of the life of heathens.  "They all slumbered and slept"; this disastrous sleep is produced, amongst other things, also by the theatre.  And what besides?  The sciences, taught in the spirit of heathenism, worldly cares carried to excess, love of gain, ambition and sensuality.  The theatre is the school of this world, and of the Prince of this world that is, the Devil, but sometimes he is transformed into an angel of light in order to more easily tempt people who are not far-seeing, he sometimes introduces an apparently moral play on to the stage, but this is done in order that everybody should proclaim and repeat that the theatre is a most moral institution...

The theatre likewise extinguishes faith and the Christian life, teaching distraction, cunning (or knowledge of the world), a fondness for laughter and joking; it trains clever children of this world, but not children of light.  The theatre is the opponent of the Christian life; it is the offspring of the spirit of this world, and not of the Spirit of God.  True children of the Church do not visit it.

This present life is not a jest nor a plaything, although men have turned it into a jest and a plaything.  They heedlessly play with time, given for preparation for eternity; they play with idle words.  They assemble at their friends', sit and talk idly, and then begin to play at something.  They go to theatres, and there both the performers and the spectators only amuse themselves.

What do theatres bring into the hearts of men?  The spirit of this world, the spirit of idleness, of idle speaking, of joking, of cunning, and wickedness, of pride, presumption they do not bring any moral good to anyone.  The authors of the pieces and the actors only give people what they have in themselves, their own spirit, neither more nor less.

No; say what you like, theatres are an ungodly institution.  Only penetrate into their spirit and you will agree that they are schools of incredulity, mockery, of the insolent ridicule of everything, and that they are depravity.  Woe unto that society in which there are many theatres, and which loves to frequent them!   Occasionally, it is true, the theatre is the lesser evil for those who love evil.

The theatre and the church are opposite contrasts.  The one is the temple of the world, and the other the temple of God; the one is the temple of the Devil, and the other the temple of the Lord.

Recognizing False Elders

"Elder" Paisios is referred to as a "Mystic" and compared to Nostradamus.  But true elders are described much differently.

A number of controversial political statements and prophecies have been credited to Elder Paisos by his followers.  These include the prediction that a war with Turkey will lead to a restoration of a Greater Greece that includes Albania, Macedonia, and Byzantium (Istanbul), and the mass conversion of Turks from Islam to Orthodox Christianity.  Many have compared Paisios to Nostradamus.  While it is difficult to determine exactly Paisios said and what is revisionism or urban legend, one branch of the Greek Orthodox Church in America has documented the failure of some of his predictions and labeled Paisios a false prophet.

Wall Street Journal
Greeks Seek Strength in the Powers of a Revered Monk to Predict Events
Elder Paisios Expected Travails; A Skeptical Facebook Page Draws Ire

SOUROTI, Greece—Legend has it that nearly three decades ago, a bearded Orthodox Christian mystic visiting here made an unsettling prediction: Greece in the future would experience a "great disruption and confusion," followed by hunger and political turmoil.

Believers say this grim vision of Elder Paisios, an ascetic monk who died in 1994, was actually a prescient glimpse of the upheaval now gripping this debt-racked country—helping fuel a surge of interest in the Orthodox holy man by Greeks struggling to make sense of a brutal financial crisis.

Elder Paisios, who spent much of his adult life as a hermit on the monastic peninsula of Mount Athos in northeastern Greece, has become a popular sensation—with tales of his prognostications and miracles he is said to have performed posted online and recounted in popular books.

On Saturdays, hundreds of pilgrims line up at Elder Paisios's gravesite here, waiting their turn to kneel, pray and kiss the wooden cross that marks his final resting place. They ask for help finding jobs, paying bills and surviving a downturn that has upended their lives.

"Paisios predicted many things, and his prophecies are now coming true," said Costas Katsaounis, a 41-year-old military officer on a visit to the shrine. "He foresaw the crisis. But he also said it would get better, that we will overcome and prosperity will return.*   He's helped a lot of people."

Elder Paisios's fame in some ways echoes that of Michel de Notredame, better known as Nostradamus, a 16th-century French apothecary who believers say foretold everything from the rise of Hitler to the terror attacks of Sept. 11.

"Figures like Paisios represent the shaman, the magician of the tribe," said Alexandra Koronaiou, a sociologist at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens. "They are the incarnation of a transcendental, invisible power."

With Greece's economy in the fifth year of a grinding recession that is expected to deepen further in 2013, unemployment above 25% and even middle-class families struggling to feed their children, many Greeks feel like their society is teetering on the brink of collapse, and they are seeking solace.

"When there is an event that brings an entire country to its knees, people look for a religious explanation," said Vasilios Makrides, a religious-studies professor and specialist on Orthodox Christianity at the University of Erfurt in Germany. "They are seeking support from the supernatural."

That is driving a fresh boom in all things Paisios. The elder's wizened and bearded face, peering out from below a black cap, adorns devotional banners and cards inscribed with inspirational messages.

Bookstores stock dozens of Paisios-related titles, from books detailing his spiritual teachings to volumes filled with his commentary on everything from the coming of the apocalypse to Greece's retaking of Constantinople, once the seat of Byzantine emperors and now Istanbul.

"They sell like crazy," said Ionnis Aivaliotis, who works at the Zoe religious bookstore in downtown Athens. "Even nonbelievers are starting to read them. It gives people courage to withstand what's coming."

There is a Paisios diet guide—he was very thin—and a kids' book, "Once Upon a Time, Children, There Was Elder Paisios."

Over the past two years, conservative newspaper Dimokratia has sold 350,000 copies of Paisios-related titles—from compilations of his prophecies to his views on education. Other newspapers carry accounts of his reputed miracles.

Elder Paisios, born Arsenios Eznepedis in central Anatolia in 1924, is part of a long tradition of monastic spirituality that believers say confers a power of divination—to see things others cannot, to interpret signs and predict the course of events.

Even before his death in 1994, he was well known in religious circles, drawing the faithful to Mount Athos for spiritual guidance and advice. Many expect that he will eventually be canonized. (A church spokesman declined to comment.)

But the recent increase in attention has prompted a backlash from skeptics and drawn cautions from some in the Greek Orthodox Church hierarchy.

"People are looking for somewhere to turn," said the Rev. Vasilios Havatzas, head of the church's charitable operations in Athens. "But some are overreacting. They are making him into some kind of prophet," he said, adding: "That doesn't mean everything he said is right."

But in a sign of the broad support for Elder Paisios, Greek police arrested 27-year-old Phillipos Loizos for creating a Facebook page that poked fun at Greeks' belief in the miracles and prognostications of the late monk. He was charged with blasphemy and insulting religion. The blasphemy charge was later withdrawn.

Police received thousands of complaints about the page on the social-networking site for Elder Pastitsios, a play on the monk's name. Pastitsio is a traditional baked pasta dish similar to lasagna. An ultranationalist lawmaker condemned the page in Parliament.

Mr. Loizos said he was using satire to criticize the commercialization of the monk and his message.

Many of Elder Paisios's purported prophecies resonate. "The people will be so disappointed by the politicians of the two big parties, that they will get sick of them," is one that rings true in an era when voter support for the country's two mainstream parties, blamed for the crisis, has dropped sharply.

Some of the elder's reported remarks hint at dark conspiracies—among them that the world is ruled secretly by a cabal of five people. He also predicted national triumphs for Greece, saying that Greeks would defeat Turkey, rule Constantinople and take part of Albania.

"Holy people like Elder Paisios are born once in a thousand years," said Nikolaos Zournatzoglou, who has compiled three books of the elder's pronouncements. "He was a gift from God and the Virgin Mary for humanity."

In Souroti, about 20 miles from the northeastern Greek city of Thessaloniki, busloads of pilgrims arrived one Saturday recently to see the elder's grave. Young and old, they prayed and took pictures. Some plucked a leaf of basil from a plant growing near the simple cross at his head.

Afterward in a gift shop in the basement of the rough-hewn stone church, visitors bought postcards, plaques with images of Elder Paisios and books by and about him, along with icons, crosses and other religious paraphernalia.

"There's a lot of uncertainty now. We don't know what is going to happen," said Anastasia Constantinou, a waitress visiting the shrine who said her family has had to cut back on meat, on driving their car and on other normal activities as their income has fallen amid the downturn.

"People find consolation in faith," Ms. Constantinou, 32, said. "Even though everyday life is difficult, Paisios gives strength to people. He helps them hold on."

Write to Gordon Fairclough at gordon.fairclough@wsj.com
A version of this article appeared December 3, 2012, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Greeks Seek Strength in the Powers of a Revered Monk.

*Compare the false-elder Paisios' teaching that prosperity will return with the teaching of our Church that Antichrist will solve all the world's problems and be loved by all during his short reign.

    St. Niphon of Constantia

“But in the last times those who truly will serve God will succeed in hiding themselves from men and will not perform in their midst signs and wonders as at the present time, but they will travel by a path of activity intermixed with humility, and in the Kingdom of Heaven they will be greater than the Fathers who have been glorified by signs. For at that time no one will perform before the eyes of men miracles which would inflame men and inspire them to strive with zeal for ascetic labors.” St. Niphon of Constantia, 4th cent., Cyprus, writing of St. Baranuphius the Great and John, Moscow,  1855, pp.654-55

Elder Isidore 
A description of elder Isadore (†1908) 
...Indeed, Fr. Isidore in his spiritually wise simplicity knew how to conceal himself not only from the world, but even from those in the brotherhood closest to him, as well as from the monks with whom he lived.  There was nothing really remarkable about Father, or rather Isidore, but what indeed was remarkable was that there was nothing remarkable...
Salt of the Earth, biography

Another Efrimite horror story

a near tragedy

The Chilling Tale of a Monastery Follower Who Almost Committed Suicide

RocorMP Ordains woo-woo Priest

Euphrosynos Cafe posting

A shocking news from ROCOR-MP in Pakistan
by RTOC Priest Siluan » Tue 19 February 2013 
I just learned a very interesting news about a man who wrote us many times from Pakistan.  He tried to join our RTOC with a gruop of people, I was glad for, but we have some standard procedures and investigation to receive people, to know if people is being really serious at all etc. and if everything would be I or some other priest with blessing from our Bishops would trip to Pakistan to receive this persons (baptize and everything to be necessary) and so start a mission there.  But in my talks with that man I noted that he was very evasive to complete our standard procedure etc., also I noted that he had not any idea about the Orthodox Faith and even had no any idea about our jurisdiction, to which he tried to join (?!), but even more, I was afraid when he told me that he has powers to "control evil spirits" or so and that his sister and others in his family are "healers" (I think this people are "Roman Caholic", but I think that they maybe are keeping many superstitions from Hindu paganism or so).  Thus, I decided to stop any contact with him, because he was not being serious with his reception and looks quite mad.

Well, less than one year or so from we stop our contact with him, "Metropolitan" Hilarion (Kapral) ordained him to priesthood (???!!!)  I was really shocked about this... Of course, this shows and proves the destructive course that ROCOR-MP has been taking after the union (and even before)... becoming a complete false church.

links to photo and related facebook page provided with original posting:

Sts. Chrysanthus & Daria

National Geographic Explorer Documentary

The RC church, in possession of Sts. Chrysanthus & Daria's relics, permitted their relics to be examined by National Geographic for authenticity.

45 minutes

brief Life:

Mother Vasilia's repose

 Annunciation Convent in London
[Formerly in Rocor, now in SIR]


from St. Edward's
     Mother Vasilia of the Convent of the Annunciation in London reposed today, 6/19 February, at about one o'clock in the afternoon. She reposed just as we finished reading the canon and prayers for the departure of the soul for her. Please remember her in your holy prayers. 
     On Tuesday, 26th February n.s, the feast of St Martinian of Palestine, His Grace Bishop Ambrose of Methoni will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Convent of the Annunciation in London.
     This will be followed at 10.30 by the monastic funeral service for Mother Vasilia, and she will be laid to rest next to Abbesses Elisabeth and Seraphima in Gunnersbury Cemetery at 2 p.m.  
     (There will no longer be a Liturgy at Brookwood on this day.)
     May Mother Vasilia's rest be with the saints and her memory eternal.
     Please pray for her.

Loss of another Good Book

Acquisition of the Holy Spirit in Ancient Russia

See the difference between the 1988 edition and the 1996.  Parts III, IV, V, and the appendices are omitted in the newer edition.  Over half the book is just...  gone.  Why?  

comparison photos are here:

Is the 2nd half of the book not considered important anymore?

Fr. Seraphim used about 12 pages of Chapter 2 Part IV for the Introduction to The Northern Thebaid.  Apparently Fr. Seraphim thought it was important.  Parts III, IV, and V help us, the readers, by "placing the Russian desert-dwellers in their rightful historical context," showing their connection to the ancient Greeks of the Egyptian desert, permitting us to recognize "the Russian soul which had also characterized the ancient Greeks."

If Orthodox today studied this material that Fr. Seraphim provided for us, for one thing, there would be far less confusion about the so-called modern "elders" of today.

Today Amazon has 13 used copies of the original edition for $70.  And now it appears that Platina does not even offer the first half anymore.  I will lend out my copy by mail in the USA.  joannahigginbotham@gmail.com

"An evil faith and a false church is arising."
(Bishop Theophan the Recluse †)


√ Fr. James Thornton retires

√ New Reader tonsured in Odessa
17.02.13  In the Odessa Church of the Archangel Michael, 
Metropolitan Agafangel tonsured a new Reader, Elisha Morozov,
who is a member of the parish.

√ Satanic Hollywood:  Satan leaves his signature on a 1957 Real McCoys episode

Psychic Healing at Ephraimite Monastery

In a letter to the editor of The National Herald, a defender of "elder" Ephraim admits that the monastery is "a haven for psychic healing and meditation and enlightenment".  And it's a hotspot for tourists, "after the Grand Canyon and Sedona, this monastery is the most visited by tourists" where thousands of visitors go to learn about the latest conspiracy theories – monstrous acts and deeds that happen in our country.

See for yourself:

Пришествие Антихриста

Audio book in Russian

 St Ephraim the Syrian 
"Coming of Antichrist" 
in Russian

Пришествие Антихриста.mp3 - 16986kb
Send email request for the file:

Аудио книги на русском языке
Санкт-Ефрема Сирина
"Пришествие Антихриста"
на русском языке
Пришествие Антихриста.mp3 - 16986kb
Отправить электронный запрос для файла:

Meteorite Hits Russia

About 1,100 injured as meteorite hits Russia with force of atomic bomb
Story with slideshow:

Circus of Ecumenism

a REAL circus, this not just a metaphor

Chrétiens à Monaco
1 hour

From: Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery 
Date: 16 February 2013 02:22:16 GMT

To: Exarchate Clergy, Faithful, and Friends

From: Archbishop Chrysostomos

His Eminence, Bishop Photii, Chief Hierarch of the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, our Sister Church, sent the following link to one of our clergymen in Greece. It illustrates vividly the farce that ecumenism has become today, degenerating into silly displays that are almost a mockery of spiritual life. Quite appropriately, the aforementioned clergyman in Greece remarked:

"Now we know the true meaning of Ecumenism: a circus!"

The program ends with rather incongruous invocations by a Greek Orthodox Priest from Nice, a Romanian Orthodox Priest, and an Armenian Orthodox Hieromonk.

Though the text is almost totally in French, it can be easily followed, focusing on peace, social justice, and various humanistic ideas. There is hardly a word of spiritual depth in the presentation. Note, in terms of of the lack of sobriety, the clowns and circus animals featured on the vestments of the Roman Catholic clergy. (For a second time I can say, "No wonder the Pope resigned."

This sort of ecumenical claptrap does little to further actual religious toleration, pushes a naive and compromising form of religious syncretism, and assuredly does nothing to elevate the human spiritual impulse to a level of dignity and seriousness.

The only positive thing that I have to say is that the circus performers are amazingly skilled!

The publication note in French on the YouTube page reads:


For the 12th time, the Chapiteau de Fontvieille* in Monaco hosted the traditional ecumenical celebration on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Sundry choirs, the "Concert des Carabiniers du Prince",** as well as award-winning artists from the Festival du Cirque*** were backed by the prayer and songs of more than three thousand participants, joined by numerous ministers from the churches in the region.

* A famous permanent circus center. A "chapiteau" is a circus tent.
** The band of the Cavalry Company of the Prince of Monaco.
*** An international circus festival held annually at the the Chapiteau.

Saints Missing from MP Calendar

obviously it was sneaky and deliberate

Once again about missing the New Martyrs
Endangered martyrs
...the latest edition of the church calendar justify the worst suspicions.  It turned out that the Saints really disappear from the calendar.  His latest publication is not counted once 36 names new martyrs.
original Russian

machine English

from Vladyka Agafangel's blog

Evil Facebook
humanized machine translation

Walling off from the [outward/our inner] global love of sin, loyalty, tolerance, pluralism and all the likes – This is what our future would be like.

On Our Future

     In the world there is ever more freedom [settled] for some [things] (everything that is associated with humanism in its very unchanging understanding), and ever more limitations [settled] in association with those [things], which that vulgar humanism does not comply with. I, for one thing (excuse me for the example, simply – this what is “at hand”), had to close down my [little] page in “Facebook” inasmuch there they started demanding from me – as a condition of use of this page – not only personal information, but also information about my acquaintances. This is a bit too much [over the top]. Also they refused me to use “Google +” inasmuch I had no right to be registered there with the name Agafangel, but only strictly according to the passport [data]. Well, what [can one do], such are their rules. But similar rules are more and more down-limiting the spiritual freedom and gradually drive people into a system of total control.

     There is only one possible way out of this. Christians, true Christians, need undertake measures to ensure their autonomous existence – anyway, at some time shall come the time when we may no longer buy and sell. Christians need to stand out as a special people [against the background of people] of this world. We need to create our own closed groups that are capable to survive under the conditions of apostasy.

     For this reason, to date, I cannot quite understand the protests of some fighters against the e-passports [electronic] and the [personal] ID number [ИНН], inasmuch as in essence they are asking the Caesar for an alternative ([they] need to have a right – not only at the hand, but also on the forehead), but they ask, as servants of that Caesar. If we are the servants of God, then we need not persuade Antichrist but prepare in advance for ourselves a place “in the crevices of earth”. Moreover, [having in mind the fact] that the Holy Scriptures clearly indicate this. Christianity in the last times would be [exist] only there, while from the outside – global love of sin, loyalty, tolerance, pluralism and all the likes.
This is what, you see, our future would be like.

February December 2013, 19:15:53 UTC
Vladyka, bless. I [do] agree with your observation about the desire of the “strong of this world” to take all under their total control. But, forgive me Vladyka, I do not fully understand your words on setting up closed groups for survival. In my view, any group [that is] parallel to the Church would lead to setting up a schism sooner or later. And there are many examples for this. I think that the solution does not lie in isolation, but in [our] remaining Christians. The Revelation says of the Wife, who the Lord shall save from pursuers. The Holy Fathers say that this is the Church. The main thing is to remain in this Church. And this is the closed group of ours. Do you have in mind this output? Fr. Sergiy T.
• Reply

February December 2013, 19:35:20 UTC
Yes, of course. Christians must be present in the world; we should not withdraw and completely shut up in ourselves – after all, the Gospel preaching must continue until the last day. And on the last day of the world a [large] mass of people shall repent. But now the Christians are too much diluted in the world, they (and we, as well) do not have the [proper] due sense of unity, do not have their own life – a life different [distinguished] from the worldly one. Many do not even realize this and [they] demand that the world take them into account – just and only because they see themselves as an integral part of this world. The Church of the last days must be[come] like the Church of the first times. This is actually [strictly speaking] what I meant to say.
• Reply

February December 2013, 20:00:51 UTC
Thank (you) [May the Lord save – the finest Russian [Christian] way of saying “thank you”!] you for the clarification. “The Church of the last days must be[come] like the Church of the first times.” – I fully agree!
• Reply  

February December 2013, 22:19:51 UTC
I understand it lie this: someone has already established the last times, and maybe also a date shall come up again?
Let’s come up with a new means of communication for the Orthodox who do not wish to submit to the administrative structure of the state, and the issue will be solved!
Let’s look for another reason of the mal-structure and the impossibility to have spiritual impact on those who have power from God in this world! Those who – by God’s permission – have power!
The world is in sin, because there are people in the world! People whom no one can have positive influence upon with one’s example of assimilation of Christ! Darkness flees from the Light! If darkness is not fleeing, then it [comes out] we are not that kind of Light, i.e. we are not walking entirely in the Light! At night-time we walk and stumble, make mistakes, etc.
I do doubt in general that this message was written by our Vladyka; perhaps hackers have cracked [open] that site again!
We already do have enough of spiritually [and?] autonomously existing true [Orthodox] synods! Closed groups also suffice!
We should not try and persuade Antichrist, but are to fight against Antichrist in ourselves with penitence and contrition of our sins. In our contrition our God shall hear us!
Please excuse me for not containing myself, issues have boiled up beyond power!
• Reply
February 13 2013, 06:27:23 UTC
You, Fr. Alexy, have unfortunately simply not understood what the word is about. Between Christians there should exist Christian relationships, which in our times are almost not [never] observed. Christians have dissolved into the world and this is our main problem [right] now.
• Reply  

February 13 2013, 09:47:39 UTC
They say that your Synod is getting closer to the ROCOR (B-B). Is this true?
• Reply
February 13 2013, 11:27:53 UTC
No, unfortunately, we get closer with no one.  

February 13 2013, 09:34:00 UTC
Yes agree, the reason is not that there are people in the world, but it is [in] the fact that people have dissolved themselves in it! And again, there [still] is a reason for this dissolving! [If we] Learn to acquire [value] the Holy Spirit and not lose [waste] it, to have it in abundance, and then [for us] there will be something to share! What causes the diminishing of Love in us?
• Reply
February 13 2013, 11:27:01 UTC
“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke. 18:8).


Lost Chapter from Blessed John the Wonderworker

This was included in the first edition of Blessed John the Wonderworkerpublished while Fr. Seraphim was still alive.  Chapter 2.

"The "Discovery"
of Metropolitan Anthony

THE HOLY CHILDHOOD of Archbishop John, and his deep contact with the living sources of Holy Russia, were the foundation of the sanctity of his mature years.  But there was one man who guided, who inspired, and pushed him in the particular direction of serving the Church of Christ as monk, priest, bishop and theologian.  This was the great hierarch of the first part of this century, leading candidate to become Patriarch in 1918, and first Chief Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia:  Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky.

Young Michael Maximovitch came to Kharkov to attend Law School at the age of 18 in the very year (1914) when Metropolitan (the Archbishop) Anthony was assigned to be ruling bishop of this important city.  In the brief three years which Metropolitan Anthony spent at this post he so gained the heart and trust of the young student, and so inspired him with the ideals of service to the Church and to Russia, that one may well say that it was he who formed the future hierarch.  Later, in the years of banishment in Serbia, it was MA who tonsured him a monk and called him to be priest and then bishop, and who so grew to love him that he sent him to be bishop in Shanghai in 1934 "as my own soul, as my own heart."

The way in which MA inspired and influenced Archbishop John is best told in the latter's own words, in his article based on personal experience, describing Metropolitan Anthon's years in Kharkov:

(Translated from Orthodox Way Jordanville 1950, pp. 6–9.)
     "A special love and concern was evoked in Archbishop Anthony by young people.  The students of the Theological Academies who passed through Kharkov made use of the Bishop's House as their own...  Vladiika received them all with great cordiality, furnished them room and board and even money for innocent amusements.  And in the evenings, having finished his diocesan business, he would call to his quarters all the guests and would spend time with them in instructive conversation until late at night.
     "The seeds sown by Vladika fell deeply into the young souls.  After leaving the hospitabole Kharkov Bishop's House, they often remembered it later, many entered into correspondence with Vladika, told their friends about him, and they likewise strove to enter into personal or written contact with Vladijka.
     " Vladika strove to influence the working out of an Orthodox Christian world outlook in the students of secular institutions of learning also, and in every way possible he aided their moral education.  When visiting the house churches of the educational institutions and celebrating Divine services there, he would always deliver profoundly instructive sermons directed to the mind and heart of teachers and students.  Even young people who were far from the Church felt the spiritual gaze of Vladika directed upon them.  This is why, when in 1914 the threatening events moving against Russia and the Slavic peoples evoked a patriotic enthusiasm among the youth, the student demonstration was directed precisely tot he Bishop's House.  Coming out onto the balcony of the second floor, in which the Bishop's Quarters were located, Archbishop Anthony addressed the students with a profound talk in which he expressed his view of Russian young people and his faith that in the depth of their soul they were always grateful and patriotic, while the contrary currents among them were only an imported temporary phenomenon."

Above all young Michael was influenced and inspired by Archbishop Anthony's religious enthusiasm and loving pastoral care for young people.  He continues his account (speaking of himself, although in the third person):

     "Being concerned for the raising of the general moral level of young people, Vladika did not leave without attention each separate young person whom he happened to see; he would speak warmly with such a one.  And if he happened to discover that anyone was so inclined that he might receive special benefit from himself, Vladika strove to seek out and see this person.
July 28/August 10, 1936
     "Once Archbishop Anthony was informed that one of the leading representatives of the gentry of Kharkov province had as eldest son, a student, who was very interested in spiritual questions.  Vladika did not delay in asking the father to bring the son to him.  This was an unheard-of thing in Kharkov at the time, for not just anyone even among those of public position would dare to go to the Archbishop himself, who always had a number of visitors on business...  Some months passed.  The Archbishop's invitation was forgotten.  Archbishop Anthony was invited to serve a moleben at one gathering in which the above-mentioned representative of the gentry participated.  At the end of the moleben he went to receive the Archbishop's blessing.  'Why are you hiding your son from me?' Vladika asked.  'Are you afraid I will make him a monk?'  Thunderstruck that the Archbishop should remember his son, the father affirmed that he was not hiding him, but that he had not considered it possible or convenient to bring a young person to an Archbishop so overburdened by important business.  'No, you must absolutely bring him; only then will I believe you,' Vladika said.  Returning home from the gathering, the father told this news, which astonished everyone...
     "Somewhat upset by the situation, the father now decided to bring the son to the Archbishop, but it was literally as if something were hindering this.  First the son became ill, then the father had to go away from Kharkov on business.  And the visit to the Archbishop was put off to some indefinite time.
     "Once Archbishop Anthony was giving a lecture in the Landowners' Hall.  Among the listeners was that same student.  During the intermission, he went to receive Vladika's blessing.  Those standing around Vladika indicated that this was the one about whom Vladika had spoken with his father.  'So it's you whom your parents are hiding from me!' Vladika cried out, embracing him.  The latter replied that they were not hiding him at all, a proof of which was his very presence at the lecture.  'Then tell your father that he must absolutely come to me with you.'
     "After this nothing was left for the father but tog o to the Archbishop with his son.  Archbishop Anthony was not long in returning the visit and, not finding the parents home, but discovering that the children were home, he entered the house all the same, blessing the children and conversing with them,
     "From that time on this whole family began to be in close contact with Vladika, coming to love their Archpastor warmly, and for all the years that followed they were spiritually guided by him.  The young man whom Vladika had 'discovered,' having been spiritually educated under his guidance and direction, is now a bishop of the Russian Church Outside of Russia."

Archbishop Nikon of Washington and Florida, another spiritual son of Metropolitan Anthony, in his memoirs of Archbishop John (in the Chronicle of Bishop Savva, ch. 29), notes that the younger hierarch put into practice the pedagogical method which he learned from Metropolitan Anthony:  "The essence of this pedagogical method consists in a personal concern, and education filled with care for each student, and the uncovering of spiritual life in his soul.  The young Hieromonk John assimilated this method completely and joined it to a limitless labor of prayer..."  And indeed, religiously-inclined young people who knew Vladika John can testify to the great interest and care he took in inspiring them with Orthodox fervor and drawing them into the service of the Church, igniting in them the flame which had been kindled in his own soul by the warm heart of Metropolitan Anthony.


*The first edition of Blessed John the Wonderworker, printed while Fr. Seraphim was still alive, contained the chapter, "The Discovery of Metropolitan Anthony," concerning Metropolitan Anthony's great influence on Vladyka John.  This was omitted in later editions.  Another chapter, "Fearless Champion of True Orthodoxy," containing Vladyka John's defense of the Russian Church Abroad, was also omitted in subsequent editions.
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