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


Prayer Request


Please pray for Mary Lewis, the grandmother of Philaret (Christopher) Jackson. She is in
the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at North Suburban Medical Center (Thornton, Colorado) and
has pneumonia.

Why We Exist

Our ROCA under our Beloved Vladyka Metropolitan Agafangel:

A very concise Exposition:

First of all, this short exposition, is meant to simply clarify and enlighten all, not as an attempt to 'argue' with anyone, or to unnecessarily offend anyone, etc.

Our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, led by our First Hierarch, Metropolitan Agafangel, is the sole canonical and genuine continuation of the old, pre-2007 MP-union ROCOR; and when the pro-union group within it, led by Met. Laurus Shkurla, apostatized to the MPtwo ROCOR bishops, Daniel and Agafangel, formed a CONTINUED-ROCOR church administration.

The pro-union betrayers, uncanonically, LEFT US!  We did not 'leave them'.  ROCOR/MP is thus, from their signing of that tomos in Moscow in 2007, part of Stalin's uncanonical and bogus MP, and no longer ROCOR, at all.

Our ROCA is thus, THE one and only continuation of the old free ROCOR.

As regarding other claimants, such as ROCiE (the 3 or more divisions), RTOC or ROAC, all of them have zero sound canonical/historical claims to legitimacy or canonical foundation. They are all schisms, and thus graceless, just as is the MP. They have lost Apostolic Succession, just as has the MP, which was founded by Joseph Stalin in 1943.

Their episcopates are without canonical basis, and thus, bogus. However! as anyone can easily read, who bothers to read what our ROCA puts out (but mainly in Russian), they can see that our Met. Agafangel has endlessly reached out his sincere hand of friendship to all of these, to sit down, and talk with us, which he is more than willing to do (though, he will NOT violate canons, but he is open to economia, when it can be applied)...

All of them, to even make the outrageous claims they do, HAVE violated many many canons.

All of them consistently rebuff his friendly offers, (nor do any of them, sit down with each other and unite with each other!. WHY NOT?), and yet they continue their malicious unfounded attacks on us...and against our sister churches,  and on each other as well.... all to the joy of the MP and the KGB.

As to our current ROCA's relations/intercommunion with the Greek SIR Synod, the Romanian Old Calendarists and the Bulgarian Old Calendarists, (all of which are our full and Sister churches) – we MAINTAIN the same warm intercommunion with them now, that the old free ROCOR did years ago. Nothing in that regards, has changed, nothing at all.

ROCOR/MP under orders from Moscow, they did break with them all. *When they helped us, by co-consecrating another bishop for us, they were SIMPLY RETURNING to us, (whom they recognized as THE legitimate continuation of the old ROCOR), what the old ROCOR originally gave them, (in fact, gave to all the Greek Old Calendarists!), a legitimate & canonical episcopate.  With two functioning bishops, our ROCA could canonically consecrate more bishops, and CONTINUE, which it has and is now doing.

*But, ROCiE, (all infighting divisions of them), RTOC and ROAC... they have all broken communion with these sister churches.

 ROCiE, RTOC and ROAC have invented, for their own power reasons, their private & weird & ignorant-of-Patristics, non-Orthodox accusations against the SIR synod, mis-labeling them (& thus our ROCA too), as in 'heresy'.  That ridiculous charge has been disproven, over and over and over. It is pure malicious nonsense.

The Greek Synod in Resistance, and all those sister churches with them, including our ROCA, are fully Orthodox and fully anti-Ecumenist and anti-Serganist. None of us, are 'heretics'!... nor are we schismatics either. (No matter what the great all-knowing, never wrong, Professor Vladimir Moss preaches or Victor Melehoff, etc.).

My final thoughts here: Is it possible, that so many of our so-called 'True Orthodox' brothers and sisters, who are also with us, as anti-Ecumenists and anti-Sergianists, etc., have nevertheless, gotten their canons and church history all wrong/mixed up?... and that they are being deliberately misled, by those whose real motives in attacking our ROCA, have more to do with the old saying:

'Throwing a cat amongst the pigeons', i.e., letting themselves, the victim pigeons, be used & scattered in fright, by the enemies of our faith, in the end, mainly the neo-soviet KGB rulers still in power in the Kremlin and in their MP 'church'?... to divide and scatter all opposition to their world-wide aims for domination?

"Divide and conquer" has long been a tactic of successful warfare, and the KGB/FSB is well versed in it's application, ever since their predecessors took over old Russia.

This is my short exposition of my ROCA, and what it stands for.  And, this is to the best of my knowledge and as to what I see as  what my ROCA holds to, as its foundational basis.  Yet, this exposition is my own, and not an official ukaz of my church.

See some related links below, to our ROCA sites, in both Russian and English.
Rd. Daniel Everiss

St. John June 29/July 2

Reader Daniel sharing

Our Fr. John Hinton, whose patron saint is St. John S&SF, was told by one of his parishoners who knew Vladyka John, and who was a resident of San Francisco at the time of his repose that St. John knew beforehand when he would die, he said it would be "when they will wear red hats." 

I... and Daniel Olson, (coming up from Los Angeles for some other reasons), and the San Francisco Convent nuns & Abbess Ariadna and clergy, etc.... met Vl. John's body at the San Francisco airport, when it came back from Seattle where he had just reposed.

At the San Francisco the airport then, were hundreds of red-FEZ hatted Shriners, as they had their national convention in San Francisco then.  And, when the body was transported from the back of the plane, to the edge of the field, with a funeral procession behind it, with icons and incense, etc. where was held a pannychida, and the coffin opened by MOB demand.  The Shiners looked down on the airfield tarmac, (from the overhead glass walk way), and took off their fez hats, and placed them on their hearts, in respect.

Living Orthodoxy magazine

March-April 2013
subscribe  http://sjkp.org


Constantine Alexander

Ukaz of Vl. Agafangel

Archpriest Roman Radwan appointed in charge of ROCA church matters in Israel and Palestine, with the co-blessing of Pat. Irineos 

Imported Image 1.tiff 27 .06.13. Decree of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR, Metropolitan Agathangel Rev. Roman Radwan appointed representative of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops in the Holy Land. With the Decree can be found here

Update on Fr. Alejandro

News from Matushka Liza. He has been exonerated, the accusation retracted and yet not released!

See below.  Appalling.  They have a retraction of the allegation and yet they do not release him!  What do they want?!  Hard to 'swallow' for family and Padre Alejandro.  I find myself really angry with this news. In any other country he would have been released.  How much is he to endure?  His kids?  His Matushka?  His aging parents?  PLEASE consider writing to the Uruguayan Ambassador 
Good evening ,Good morning, good afternoon etc to all!
   Sorry for writing so late , but I just got the full news. (It is way pass midnight in Buenos Aires)
   As announced earlier, today was the court hearing. But there was no confrontation or face to face 
   According to what the defense attorney told father Valentin, the judge made the decision to question Mr. Meharu but not to confront him with Father Alejandro. 
   The Authorities took Father to the courthouse, but he did not participate at the hearing.
   This employee answers to the lawyers questions was: that at that time (2006/07) as there was no official way on how to report unusual operations (ROI), he made a suspicious transaction report (STR), but he cannot assure or prove that the money came from illicit activities.  So Mr. Meharu retracted what he reported to the Central Bank of Uruguay.
   Fr. Alejandro's legal representation said that on July 19 a meeting with the District Attorney will take place, but they (Defense lawyers) cannot guarantee or predict anything.
   On Monday a new Judicial break of 20 days begins in Uruguay. (yes again) 
   May God have mercy on us!
   Thank you all for your prayers ! your concerns for Fr. Alejandro and family's well-being and welfare and your interest in all the new and latest developments
In Christ, 

Report from Mountain View

Mountain View English Liturgy Sunday of the Fathers
Reported submitted by Ilarion Marr

Many attended the Services.  Quite surprising was that 25 persons came for the All-Night Vigil and 50% of the readings and singing was in English!  For Sunday 40+ attended the All-English Divine Liturgy with Vladyka officiating with Father Nikita Grigoriev serving and 5 altar servers.  The choir sang beautifully and was directed by Matushka Joanne Grigoriev.  An excellent trapeza followed.  Glory Be to God!    

And here is Father Nikita's Sermon on the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council - long but most edifying and spiritually fulfilling:  

Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council 
June 16, 2013
Church of the New Martyrs of Russia, Mountain View, NY 
Father Nikita Grigoriev
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we are celebrating, as always on Sunday, the Resurrection of our Lord, but today is also a very special Sunday because it actually falls between the Ascension of our Lord into Heaven and the coming down of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  This is, in fact, a rare event and it even coincides with the feast of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.   This is a very late season of Pascha and for that reason we have sort of a constellation of great feasts that fall on this day. 
So it is a very special day when we commemorate the Apostles being gathered in that secret room where Christ told them to wait.  When Christ ascended into the Heavens, He told the disciples to go and gather and be together and pray in one room until the Holy Spirit would come down on them.  And that is what they did.  They sat for ten days, from the Thursday of the Ascension until the Sunday when the Holy Spirit did come down, 10 days later,  and that was  Pentecost.  And that is what we will be celebrating next Sunday, God willing, the Descent of the Holy Spirit.  But for these ten days, including today, the Apostles sat in that room and waited for the Holy Spirit to come down. 
And this really emphasizes to us the uniqueness and specialness of the Holy Church of Christ.  The Holy Church is not just a teaching. The Holy Church is not a philosophy.  It  is not even  a lifestyle.  The Holy Church of Christ is literally like a new nation.  It’s a nation that is made by God in his own image.  It is a nation that is separate from the world.  In the world, we have many different nations but they are all of the world.  And yet God himself came down and made a whole new nation and this nation is eternal.  This nation will not die and perish and its history will not rise and fall like all great empires eventually rise and fall and go into oblivion,   into history.  But this nation that God is creating, and has created, will live forever and will never decay but will inherit the eternal kingdom of God.  This is a separate nation, just as every nation on the earth is a separate nation from the others.
In other words, if you want to be an American, you have to be recognized by the government and go through certain procedures to be an American.  And when you are an American you have your duties and responsibilities, and you have your privileges, and your advantages, but you are an American when the government recognizes you and then you are an American.  Then you are an American.  Just because you are living in some other country and think like an American and consider yourself to be an American, does not mean that you are an American.  You have to actually go through a process  by the American government in order to be actually made an American and then you are an American.
It’s the same with the Church and this is one of the problems that exists in the world right now.  The people do not know what the Church is.  They think it is basically up to everyone to determine their own church and their own criteria. They think that they’re in a Church, so then they are in a Church and that everybody has their own understanding of the Church. 
But it is not like that.  God made only one Church and He made the Apostles in charge of it.  And the Apostles made rules and there are a lot of Apostolic rules that most of the world has not even heard about.  But those are the rules by which a person becomes a member of the Church and then remains a member of the Church if they maintain and live up to their responsibilities.  Then they are a member of the Church.  And then they are a member of this special group of people that God has called out of the world and made into His Church.  And as we heard in the Gospel reading today, wherein the Apostle John describes how Christ prayed to God the Father right before He went to the Cross.  He says that He prays not for the world and this is very significant to realize this, that Christ Himself says, I do not pray for the world but I pray for those whom Thou has given Me out of the world. 
So this is that group of the Apostles that He has given Him out of the world and then He says I pray not only for you but I pray for those who will come to believe in Me, from your teaching, from your word.  So it is not enough to just believe in Christ, you have to actually go through a process to become a member of this special group that Christ has called our world, called the Church.  So this is the group that He prays for.  He says I do not pray for the world, I pray for those whom  My Father has given Me out of the world.  And that is the Church and that’s  a very special and separate group. 
It does not mean that they can’t live in the world and be perfectly good citizens of every country, but it means that they are a special group that has been called out of the world to become a part of this nation that is destined for eternity,  to be members of the Kingdom of God.  It is a new nation, a new kingdom that God is making and we are all called to be a part of that. 
So we really need to understand that the borders and the boundaries of the Church are not fuzzy and blurry, and they are not subjective and they are not up to everybody’s interpretation.  This is why we are celebrating today the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Councils who actually met for the first time in the Church’s history when the persecutions were all officially stopped and the Church had for the first time an opportunity to gather the whole Church all together and that happened in the year 325 in the city called Nicea  in what is now in the region of Greece and Turkey.  
When those people gathered, there were 318 Bishops that gathered, they defined exactly what the Church is.  One of the definitions of the Church was the Creed, what we call now the Creed.  It is the prayer that we say every day.  I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible... and all the rest.  And that I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and in the Church.  Those are the definitions and they said no one is to add or subtract anything from this definition of what we believe in.  And that faith ... that is the fence that basically defines our Church, that faith.  If anyone does not believe something in there, in the Creed, then they are not part of the Church.  Or if someone believes something extra, in addition to what that is not in there, then they are not part of the Church.  So this is kind of the boundary of the Church and they defined that. These are the Fathers we are glorifying today - because that Church only came to be when the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost. Then that same Holy Spirit created the Church through the Apostles and the Fathers gathered in Nicea.
 And this is why we believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.   And this is the definition that the Church defines itself as.  First of all, it defines itself as one, not many churches.  So there is only one Church, one God and one faith.  The Church defines itself by the Holy Spirit as being only  one and then it defines itself as being Holy because  the Holy Spirit lives in it and breathes in it and guides it.  And then it is Catholic means it is not just dependent on any one person but it is universal.  It means the decisions are made by the Holy Spirit and all of the Church when it is gathered.  It means Sobornost in Russian and Catholicity in Greek.  It means the whole universal Church gathers and the Holy Spirit speaks through the whole Church not through just any one individual. 
So that’s how the Church has always been defined as being Catholic in the sense of universal.   All the decisions are made by the Holy Spirit through the whole Church being  gathered together, not one individual.  And then it is Apostolic and Apostolic means that not anyone can decide to make a Church on their own.  The Church was made by the Apostles and whatever the Apostles defined the Church as,  and how they guided it, that is how the Church is conducted.  And nothing has changed from that.  And there is only one Church that has remained that way, that is, Apostolic.  There is only one Church that has always been One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and that is the Church that is known as the Holy Orthodox Church. 
Orthodox means right believing.  Like an orthodontist or an orthopedic surgeon, it means they setting things straight and right.  And orthodox means rightly glorifying God, rightly as opposed to wrongly.  So there is only one Church, one right way. And the Church is not up to personal interpretation ...  where one can choose to worship this and not that.
The Church is not like that, it is like a nation with its rules that were made with the Apostles and the Holy Spirit and that is what defines us.  This is what we are celebrating today and we are getting ready to celebrate a week from now. When the Holy Spirit comes down on Pentecost - it is actually the birthday of the Holy Church, the Apostolic and One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  And this is the Church that we are very fortunate to be members of by the grace of  God.
And this is a Church that is open to everyone.  It’s not that it’s very exclusive. It’s exclusive in the sense that only those who believe correctly and who are willing to abide by the definitions and the rules of the Apostolic Canons of the Church are members of the Church.  And anybody who wants to, can be, and everybody is invited.  It is open to everyone.  But like Christ said, many are called but few are chosen.   People themselves do not want to be members of the Church.  Those people who do not want to be and want to make their own Church on the side, those are not members of the Church. 
So only those who abide by the grace of the Holy Spirit and the Canons of the Church are members of the Church.  And those are the ones that Christ says, I pray for not for the world but for those that You have given Me.  And those will be the ones who will inherit the Kingdom if they follow Christ to the Cross.  If they take up their cross and follow Christ.  And it’s not just enough to be a member of the Church, you have your responsibilities.  You have to actually live the life of the Church, and that is, you have to take up your cross and follow Christ. 
Christ says, not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will inherit the Kingdom. Because on that day when He comes for the second judgment, many will come to Him and say, but Lord we preached in your name, we’ve done miracles in your name. And He says, I will say to them, truly I say to you “I have never known you, depart from me, I do not know who you are”. 
Now that is a very scary thought.  So let us not fool ourselves into thinking that we are followers of Christ just because we belong to a church.  We have to belong to the Church in spirit.  Not only by definition ... that we’re Orthodox and have been baptized, we have to actually belong to the Church in spirit.  And, to be in spirit, we have to worship God in spirit and in truth. That means - do not admit any hypocrisy, do not admit any guile into your life and into your faith, do not bear false witness, basically fulfill all the commandments of God and love your neighbor as yourself and God with all your heart.  And that way, when there is a temptation, you know you have to take up your cross and follow Christ to the Cross. Tthen you will be a true member of the Church and you will be a member of the group that Christ has defined as a new nation for whom He has prepared an eternal kingdom.
 Next English Services • mark your calendar
The next Service will be on Sunday July 14 at ten a.m.  For those who want to arrive the day before there are 10 spacious and comfortable rooms available at Mountain View - some with private bath-first come, first serve. Contact me.  Thank You. Also, Vladyka will then be officiating again and Father Nikita will be serving also.   All are welcome!

   In the meantime for those who are not aware, Father Nikita has written an excellent book: 
Faith and Delusion published in 2011, 231 pages in paperback form.  
   Published by: Trafford Publishing and available from Matushka Irina at Holy Trinity Church, 25-36 37th Street, Astoria, NY 11103 
   as well as at:
Amazon.com - only three are in stock now but Amazon says more are on the way.  It is also available in 'KINDLE' form.  
    I have read it and can recommend this powerful and enlightening book to everyone.
    P.S.  I have been informed that this book is in the process of being translated from English into Russian. You will be informed here of its arrival. 

Fraternal Festal Visit

Fraternal Festal Visit, of GOC Met. Pavlos and Bp. Christodulos for the Parish Feast of The Holy Trinity, ROCA Astoria, New York

ROAC criticizes Bp. Joseph's retirement

(refer to Meeting Minutes May 28, item 5)


This is a public criticism from ROAC against us.  It's in Russian, you need to paste the link into a translator.  http://translate.google.com/#  Typical super-correct blah-blah-blah about canons, it ends with saying that we are crucifying Christ afresh.  [Give me a break.]

Something is really wrong if ROAC thinks it can criticize how we run our church.  What's it to THEM if we retire Bp. Joseph?  WHY are they not instead eager to scoop up this bishop they think is so wonderful for themselves?

That ROAC comes to Bp. Joseph's defense in this manner is very suspicious.

This is so unbelievably absurd.  We don't answer to ROAC!  Who are they to presume to speak to us as a if they were a valid sister church, daring to admonish us?!  The presumption of this uncanonical schism is unbearable!

Orthodox Life Magazine

Blog in progress:

check it out • maybe you can help

Some articles are already available in back issues of other magazines such as  Living Orthodoxy and The Orthodox Word

Many of the articles are scattered around the internet.

If you find the index for the 1980's, please share it with me.
Also we are seeking issues from year 1952:  #1, #3, #4, #5, #6.

Please everyone with home libraries, please arrange to will your library to St. Nicholas Convent.  It is very sad to see the heirs selling these old out-of-print books and magazines on ebay.  [By the way, all back issues of Living Orthodoxy are still available, for now, through sjkp.org]


New Calendar Apostle's Fast

By the Ever-Memorable Archbishop Averky of Jordanville  

Apodosis of Pascha

Sermon by Archbishop Simon (Vinogradov, +1933)
of Peking and China:
On the Apodosis of Pascha

Today is the Apodosis of Pascha, that is, the last day of this holiday. According to Divine establishment of Old Testament holidays, all of our great holidays have an “after-feast,” that is, the singing of the holiday’s prayers are not only sung on the feast day itself, but over the next several days, and on the final day—the “apodosis”—the services of the holiday are repeated almost in their entirety.
The Paschal songs are sung until the fortieth day, that is, until the Ascension of the Lord. The continuation of the celebration of Pascha until Ascension signifies that the Lord Jesus Christ, over the course of forty days of his Resurrection, appeared to His disciples.
And so today the Paschal Feast comes to an end. In daily life, the end of this holiday brings a degree of sorrow: the rejoicing ends, the abundance of food is replaced by a regular diet, in other words, weekday life begins and those who love Pascha are saddened. But our feast days are not like that: they bring us from one glory to another—the holiday is glorious, but even more glorious is the spiritual fruit that the holiday creates in the souls of believers.
Here is how the Church expresses the glory of the fruit of Pascha: “Taught by Christ the new and pure way of life, let us all strive to preserve this well to the end, that we may receive the coming of the Holy Spirit” (First troparion, 9th song on the 4th Sunday of Pascha.)
Holy Scripture says: “When a man has finished, he is just beginning” (Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach, 18:6). The purpose of a Church holiday is not within the feast day itself, not in the description of the event being celebrated, but in “but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).
The Son of God appeared in the Flesh not in order to live on earth and organize daily life (Luke 12), but as we hear in the Creed, “for us men, and for our salvation.” His appearance in the world, His sufferings, death and resurrection brought new life to mankind, opening for us a path to eternal life. And so it is with Pascha. We say that Pascha is the mysterious appearance to us of the resurrected Christ: not only the appearance in the form of an image, not only to remind us about what had once happened, but to set us upon the path of eternal salvation.
The Lord told the Apostles during his farewell: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7). And so for us, too, the eternal bliss with Christ in His Kingdom has not yet commenced—this is merely our hope—but not because the Kingdom of Heaven is not yet ready, but because we are incapable of eternal bliss: we need another podvig under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
For this reason it is impossible for us to turn our entire life on earth into the celebration of Pascha: on earth, Pascha only occurs during a specific time. But when the unfading (eternal) day of the Kingdom of Heaven arrives, then our Pascha (that is, beholding the Face of the Lord Jesus Christ) will be never-ending, and we will no longer celebrate its apodosis.
May 10/23 1928

Another ring in the Circus

Baptists have “uncovered the treasures” of the Orthodox tradition, 
and mix them into their Evangelical Baptist services.

The Baptist Bearing Robes and Incense
please cut&paste, the link is not activated on purpose
Warning: unbearable presumption
photo source

Are There Tortures in Hell?

An Account by N. A. Motovilov
from Orthodox Life 1970 #5

N.A. Motovilov, the "humble servant of Seraphim", as he liked to call himself, who was granted a miraculous healing and later witnessed with his own eyes the illumination of St. Seraphim with the light of Tabor of the grace of the Holy Spirit, was a man with a flaming and true heart.  In order to truly serve the memory of Father Seraphim, he decided personally to travel to the birthplace of the great starets in Kursk, to collect material concerning his childhood and youth, and also to visit the Kievo-Florovsky Convent .  This journey had immensely bad consequences for Nikolai Alexandrovich: with the leave of God he became ill because of the devil, who poured his vengeance upon him for the work which had served for the canonization of the Saint of God, Father Seraphim.

The circumstances which preceded the illness of N.A. Motovilov and which explained its cause were the following:

Once, in a conversation with St. Seraphim, the talk turned to the attacks of the enemy upon man.  Having had a secular education, Motovilov did not fail, of course, to doubt the reality of the appearance of an evil force.  Then St. Seraphim told him about his terrible battle with demons during the course of 1001 nights nights and 1001 days and, by the power of his words and the authority of his sanctity, in which there could not even be a shadow of falsehood and exaggeration, he convinced Motovilov of the existence of demons, not just in delusions or in dreams, but in the very present bitter reality.

The spirited Motovilov was so inspired by the account of the Starets that he exclaimed from his soul:  "Batiushka, how I would like to fight with the demons!"

Father Seraphim frightenedly interrupted him:  "Why, your Godliness!  You don't know what you are saying.  If you knew that the smallest of them could turn the whole earth over with his claw, you would not offer to battle with them."

"Can it be, Batiushka, that the demons have claws?"

"Ah, your Godliness, your Godliness, and what don't they teach you in the university!  Don't you know that demons don't have claws?!  They are pictured with cloven hooves, claws, horns and tails because nothing uglier than this sight can be thought up for man's imagination.  In their hideousness they are really like this, for their self-willed falling away from God and their voluntary struggles against divine grace has changed them from angels of light, which they were until the fall, into angels of such darkness and abomination that it is impossible to portray them in any human image; but an image is needed – hence they are pictured as being black and ugly.  However, having been created with the strength and properties of angels, they possess a might so invincible to man and everything earthly, that the smallest of them, as I have already told you, is able with his claw to turn the whole world upside down.  Only the divine grace of the All-Holy Spirit, freely granted to us by the divine merits of the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, can nullify all the wiles and machinations of the enemy."

Dread fell upon Motovilo at this time.  Under the protection of the Saint he was able not to fear the wrath of Satan.  However, the heedless and daring challenge did not remain, with the leave of God, without its consequences – it was accepted.

After the death of Starets Seraphim, when Motovilo journeyed to Kursk, he did not succeed in gathering there much information concerning the childhood and youth of the holy monk.  Of the close relatives who remembered Father Seraphim in his early years, some had died, while others answered that they had already forgotten.  Even the home in which the Saint was born and brought up had been destroyed and in its place new buildings had risen.  Only one old man, of the same age as Batiushka, was found and he gave Motovilov some information which is now included in all the editions of the life of the Saint.  The journey to Kursk and his sojourn in it went perfectly well.  A storm was imminent on the return trip to Voronezh.

Motovilo was forced to spend the night at one of the post office stations on the road from Kursk.  Remaining completely alone in a room for travellers, he took his manuscripts out of the suitcase and began to examine them under the dim light of a single candle, which barely illumined the spacious room.  One of the first notes happened to be concerning the healing of a possessed girl of the noble Yeropkin family at the sarcophagus of St. Mitrophan of Voronezh.

"I began to ponder," writes Motovilov, "how it could have happened that an Orthodox Christian who communicated in the Most Holy and Life-giving Mysteries of the Lord, suddenly became possessed by demons, and for such a long period of time – some thirty or more years – at that.  And I thought: Nonsense!  That cannot be!  I would like to see a demon dare to take his abode in me once I frequently turn to the sacrament of Holy Communion."

At that very moment a frightening, cold, evil-smelling cloud encircled him and began to enter through his spasmodically closed lips.

No matter how the unfortunate Motovilov fought, no matter how hard he attempted to protect himself from the ice and foul smell of the cloud which was creeping into him, it all began to enter into him despite his superhuman efforts.

His hands were as if paralyzed and they could not make the sign of the cross; his mind, which was in a state of shock from the horror, could not remember the saving name of Jesus.  the repulsively horrible had happened, and a period of the most painful tortures began for Nikolai Alexandrovich.  A manuscript written with his own hand gives the following description of the tortures which he experienced.

"The Lord granted me to experience truly in myself, and not in dreams or hallucinations, three tortures of gehenna (hell):  first, the fire, lightless, and extinguishable by nothing but the grace of the Most Holy Spirit.  This torture lasted during the course of three days and nights, so that I felt myself being scorched, but did not burn up.  Sixteen or seventeen times a day the soot of gehenna, which was visible to all, was taken off me.  These tortures ceased only following confession and communion of the Holy Mysteries of the Lord, the prayers of Archbishop Anthony of Voronezh, and the ektenias for 'the ill, noble servant of God, Nicholas' which he ordered in all 47 churches of Voronezh and in all the monasteries.

"The second torture in the course of two days and nights was the cruel tartarus of gehenna; fire could not only not burn me, but could not even warm me.  By the wish of His Grave, the archbishop of Voronezh, Anthony, for about half an hour I held my hand above a candle and it became covered the utmost with soot, but it did not even warm up.  This certifiable experience I recorded on a whole sheet of paper and onto this description I placed my hand which was covered with the soot from the candle.  Through Communion both these torments allowed me at least the possibility of eating and drinking and sleeping, and they were visible to all.

"However, although the third torture of gehenna was shorter by half of a day and night, for it lasted two days and a night and hardly any longer, great was the horror and suffering from something which is indescribable and incomprehensible.  I marvel that I remain alive following it!  It also vanished after confession and Communion of the Lord's Holy Mysteries.  This time Archbishop Anthony communicated them to me with his own hands.  This torture was the undying worm of gehenna, and the worm was not visible to anyone besides myself and Archbishop Anthony, but I was myself over-filled with this most evil worm which crawled throughout the whole of me and inexplicably frightfully gnawed at all of my insides; having crawled out through my mouth, ears and nostrils, it again returned inside of me.  God gave me power over it and I could take it in my hands and pull on it.  I am declaring all of this through necessity, for God did not grant this vision from above to me in vain; and let no one think that I dare to use the name of the Lord in vain.  No!  In the day of the terrible judgment of the Lord, He Himself – God, my Helper and Protector – will bear witness that I did not lie concerning Him, the Lord and the work of His Divine Providence performed in me."

Soon after this frightening experience, inaccessible for an ordinary person, Motovilov had a vision of his patron, St. Seraphim, who comforted the sufferer with the promise that he would be granted healing at the uncovering of the relics of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, and that until that time the demon which had taken up his abode in him would no longer torture him so cruelly.

Truly, in slightly more than 30 years this event did take place, and Motovilov lived to see it; he lived to see his healing according to his great faith.

On the day of the uncovering of he relics of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Motovilov stood in the sanctuary, prayed and bitterly wept over the fact that the Lord was not sending him the healing which according to the promise of St. Seraphim of Sarov, was awaiting his tortured soul.  During the singing of the Cherubic Hymn he glanced at the high place and saw there St. Tikhon.  The holy hierarch blessed the weeping Motovilov and became invisible.

Motovilov immediately felt himself healed.

Services Scheduled in Central Mid-west

These ROCA isolated area services are scheduled in July:

Mon/Tues 22-23 July, St. Peters MO (NW suburb of St. Louis)
Tues/Wed 23-24 July, Oklahoma City (near north central)
Wed/Thurs 24-25 July, Denver (west central)

In each city vespers & matins in the evening, hours & liturgy in the morning.

Anyone who wishes to join us for services is most welcome.  Please contact Fr. Gregory Williams at SJKP.

Divine Liturgy in English

from ROCANA news


The next Divine Liturgy in English at the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia Church (2781 Route 145, Schoharie NY) will be held on Sunday June 16 at ten a.m. which is the Sunday after the Ascension of Our Lord and the Sunday before Pentecost.

For those who wish to come to Mountain View the day before, there are a limited number of simple accommodation rooms available on a first-come first-serve basis. Please contact Ilarion Marr. If you need any more information please write. Thank You for your attention.

The Saturday June 15 All-Night Vigil will be in Slavonic. It is hoped that, in the future, as more people attend there will be more added in the English language.

On the Eve


On the Eve ~ by Dimitri Gontscharow

On May 17, 2007, the Act of Canonical Communion will be signed between the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). All attempts to appeal to the pastoral conscience of the pro-union adherents have failed to move their hearts. Instead, they have unleashed inquisitions, purges, denunciations and threats. Sadly, we will probably also witness show trials after May 17th, as all remaining opposition is weeded out and eradicated. Discussions about sergianism, ecumenism and all the other critical issues have been swept aside in this desperate attempt to repudiate the past. As a parting word to those who still support this union, it is important to consider the following.

            On April 25, 2007, in an advertising supplement to The Washington Post called “Inside Russia,” an interview appeared with Met. Kirill about the coming union. Met. Kirill starts with a short summary of church history and says, “In the 1920s, some bishops and parishes of the Russian Church Abroad broke off with the hierarchy of the Russian Church .” That is it. That is all you need to know why union should not occur at this time and why no ROCOR member should agree to it. This is not an over-simplification, most truths in life are quite basic. When the Act is signed, we will be accepting, approving and giving credence to the MP’s false version of church history. This will be an injustice of monumental proportions.

In taking this action, we will defame the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Tikhon and all those who came before him, along with the founding hierarchs of the Church Abroad, and most dangerously, the Holy New Martyrs of Russia. There is an icon of St. Tikhon, the Patriarch of Russia, in the church of St. John the Baptist in Washington , DC . On it, St. Tikhon holds a scroll in his hand containing the words, “Чадца мои, несходите с пути крестнаго низпосланнаго нам Богом.”  (My children, do not stray from the Way of the Cross sent down to us by God.) As with many such messages, there can be several meanings, but one can be relatively assured that one of them would be that St. Tikhon would expect us to continue preserving the Russian Orthodox Church. 

But what of the fear of God? 

The pro-union side often invokes the notion that the union is God’s will. In this way, they can stifle legitimate debate and intimidate those who do not understand the details. But what of the fear of God? There seems to be very little mention of that. Is the notion too old-fashioned for these progressive times? Is it no longer possible that the God who is Love can also punish His errant children? The New Martyrs died defending His Truth. They did so in opposition to the godless regime, and in many cases, they did so in opposition also to the Moscow Patriarchate. If we now negate their sacrifice by agreeing to the MP’s version of the past, is it not possible that we will bring down the wrath of God upon us? 

We also hear constantly that we must be obedient to the bishops, but are we not supposed to be obedient to the Holy Canons, the Church’s teachings, and the many councils that came before? Or can we casually overlook them in our emotional rush for union with the Motherland? Are we to be ruled by our feelings, as is so prevalent in these amoral times, or are we governed by the Law of God and the laws of the church? 

Sadly, many of the motives for forcing this union are earthly, but there are those among us who have little interest in the here and now and dedicate themselves to the service of God and the hereafter, our monastics. They are the conscience of the church and a great majority of them oppose the union. We ignore their warning of the dangers that lie ahead at our peril. One shudders to think what surprises the MP has in store for us in the future. God help us all.


Gospel reading for the feast of the Ascension
Mark 16:9–20
  ... After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
  And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them....

The Worst Best Thing

Prayer Request

6/6  Please pray for Gabriella who is baptized Orthodox, but has abandoned the Church.  Arrested on drug-related charges.  I know God is trying to save her.  Please pray for Gabriella.


6/12 "This is the worst best thing that has ever happened to me."

6/13  Released on bond.  God works His wondrous merciful care for Gabriella.  Please pray that she now be brought back to the Church.

Related post on nun Vera's blog.  Miracle of St. Xenia in America
   understandable machine English
   original Russian

Freedom for Fr. Alexander!

Hope in sight

Updated & Whole History of this Entire Case Against him: Latest update: FREEDOM FOR FATHER ALEXANDER IWASZEWICZ. Includes: New court date this month & Good summary thus far.

Thursday, 13 June 2013 8:32 PM

Below is a great summary of the situation so far. It fills in some gaps in our knowledge of the process around  what has happened to Fr Alexander.   But the best news is that a new court date has been set for 26 June with a significant witness ( the alleged accuser) has been subpoenaed to appear.  Please pray for the best news we could possibly hear: FREEDOM FOR FATHER ALEXANDER IWASZEWICZ   ************************************** Pablo Iwaszewicz      FREEDOM FOR FATHER ALEXANDER IWASZEWICZ La proxima audiencia a la que ha sido convocado el Sr. Meharu tomara lugar el 26 de Junio.

Следующее судебное заседание, к которой был вызван г-н Meharu состоится 26 июня.

Mr. Meharu has been summoned to a hearing which will take place on June 26.
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Despite his fragile health, fr. Valentine visited his son at Comcar prison last Saturday. Fr. Valentin confirmed that one of F Alexander’s cell mates health is deteriorating at an alarming pace. The young man is in very poor health and weak . According to his sentence, young Walter has 5 months left in prison. According to prison doctors and fr Alexander's visitors (many of them physicians), without the proper care and nutrition it will take Walter a long time to recuperate.

Uruguay officially denied clemency, therefore not allowing the sick man to see his family. Let it be known that this prisoner lost contact with his family as Uruguayan judges changed his place of detention several times and his family does not have the means to afford a lawyer or to travel. Many in the prison believe in Walter's innocence. Walter is not accused of killing or a violent crime. Remember that nutrition places a very important role in any kind of illness. Deadly or not... 

At the present time Uruguay promotes its image as champions of justice and human rights via TV adds and UN talks and presentations. 

Let’s pray for Walter’s health and for his prompt meeting with his family.
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In 2007 as a result of international banking policies Uruguay Justice blocked the account whose owner was BLYTHE SA , company for which Father Alexander worked and was the senior employee., because of a complaint from a bank employee, who without any basis charged ( accused) Father Alejandro, stating that the origin of the money from the escrow account came from money laundering. Based on these circumstances the Uruguayan Judicial System acted.
Later the Uruguayan courts accepted the baseless complaint as a fact .The current reason that denies freedom to Father Alexander. During this process, prosecutors have required the presence of Father Alejandro, who at all times made his persona available to be present and declare in court. (5 in total)

June 21, 2008 Father Alexander was cited for the sixth time, unable to attend for health reasons. However it seems Uruguayan justice has not taken into account, the willingness of Father Alejandro at all times to deal with this problem and be available always or his well documented health condition. The Court took disproportionate measures ignoring Fr. Alejandro precedent conduct, being that June 21/ 2008 was the only time he could not go to court with amply justified reasons (health) .Uruguay resolved to issue an international arrest order.
The trial judge, Dr. Norberto Oyarbide ( Argentina) after careful examination established that the reasons Uruguayan justice alluded to request the extradition do not constitute a crime in Argentine justice and denied the extradition.

Rather for political than legal reasons, Uruguay appealed at the Supreme Court, who revoked Judge Dr. Oyarbide decision. As a result of these unclear political motivations and interpretation of law we are at this instance.

29 Oct 2012. INTERPOL comes to Holy Trinity Cathedral in Buenos Aires for Father Alexander and deports him to Uruguay.

1 November 2012. Hearing of the case in Montevideo, Uruguay, where the public prosecutor, Adriana Umpierrez, decides to institute a case against Father Alexander and to confine him in prison. At that same instant, they convey him to the Central Prison in Montevideo, where he remains temporarily cut off from the outside world until 6 November 2012, when they transfer him to the prison COMCAR, Ciudad de Santiago Vázquez, Montevideo, module 8, sector A1, celda 13. Later on, they transfer him within the very same prison to sector A2, cell 13, where he remains up to the present time.

This decision to institute a case was not answered with an appeal for the following reason: to submit an appeal meant that he would necessarily spend six months in confinement awaiting its outcome, when there was almost complete certainty that the Court of Appeals not only would not give the appeal a chance, but on the contrary, would confirm the institution of the case.

11 November 2012. A letter is presented to the Argentine consulate in Uruguay, signed by all the parishioners, with a request to obtain Father Alexander’s transfer to the Central Prison until the case goes forward. The consulate agreed to do this and pleaded for almost four months; but the result was not obtained. The response to the consulate was that the prisoner is supposed to remain in COMCAR.

December 2012, January 2013. Non-juridical days. The defense lawyers undertook nothing. They confirmed that the judicial courts of justice are not working under any circumstances…

February 2013. Carnival; the courts of justice are not working.

March. Opening of the manifesto (the period of time, during which it is imperative to present evidence).

Counsel for the defense. They ask for a confrontation with the lawyer for Surinvest Bank (Martin Maharu), who made a delation to the Central Bank of Uruguay, and with the head of accounts, Elena Nazarenko. They demand to summon, in the capacity of witnesses, Basil Kouznetsoff (BK), the owner of the implicated firm, and his father – Alexander Kouznetsoff (AK) – to make depositions in Argentina.

Prosecutor. She does not present evidence during the period of time designated for this. She supports the demand for a confrontation and, moreover, asks that Basil and Alexander Kouznetsoff appear in Uruguay to make depositions, and not in Argentina, like suspects. In this way, she counts on receiving evidence. This hearing of the case should take place on 25 November of this year.

In March, Holy Week also occurred, or as it is called in Uruguay, the Week of Tourism, when the whole week is vacation time. On the other hand, the judge was hospitalized for an attack of asthma and returned to perform her duties only after fifteen days.

April. It was expected that the confrontation would occur.

25 May 2013. The confrontation between Elena Nazarenko and Father Alexander. The public prosecutor Umpierrez did not take part in it, but another.

The employee of the Surinvest Bank not only did not add accusations, but disassociated herself from any accusations directed against Father Alexander. The lawyer Martin Meharu did not appear in accordance with the subpoena; according to the lawyers, they did not manage to find him. A new confrontation is expected. All the efforts undertaken by the lawyers to date will be taken into consideration and analyzed with the aim of considering possible changes in the tactics of Father Alexander’s defense.

Meanwhile, extrajudicial measures continue by means of appeals for help to diplomats and non-governmental organizations, with the aim of accelerating the case in order to obtain recognition of Father Alexander’s innocence. Through various testimonials of persons, to whom his conduct in all areas of everyday life are well-known.

It is worth amplifying that we have limited ourselves in the present communiqué to a description in general terms of the status of the case, avoiding a juridical analysis of it in order to avoid confusion and premature conclusions. Nevertheless, the multitude of questions generated by the jurisdictional approach which is imparted to this case do not bear any relation to Father Alejandro’s guilt or innocence. To such questions as: why was a conditional release not requested; why was he confined in the given prison; or why was an appeal not submitted at a certain point – it is impossible to respond specifically and categorically since these are matters that are conducted by those supposed to do this: both the defense lawyers and the organs of justice, without going into an appraisal of their importance regarding the consequences which they themselves cause.

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