Joasaph, Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Chistopol And Those With Him 2 of 3

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On being asked why a bishop should work in the diocesan council and then leave it, Vladyka replied: "My agreement to work in the diocesan administration as a ruling bishop was dictated by my succession from Metropolitan Cyril and the promise of the diocesan administration not to introduce any church reforms before the Council and not to infringe my hierarchical rights in matters of church ritual... My departure from the diocesan administration took place not for political reasons, but because a new hierarch was appointed in Kazan and in connection with this I was retired. At the given time in political and ecclesiastical matters I share Tikhon's point of view as expressed in his appeals published up to this time..."

With regard to his services, Vladyka said: "I started to serve after the release of Patriarch Tikhon, since in this release I saw Moscow's permission for the existence of the Orthodox, but not of the renovationist hierarchy..." Vladyka denied that his struggle against renovationism in Kazan was political, for "every interference of the Church in the civil political struggle is undoubtedly incompatible with the mission of the Church. In this struggle she will be turned into an ordinary institution and will cease to be the highest impartial criterion of the life of man..." Confirming his conviction that the only canonical head of the Russian Orthodox Church was Patriarch Tikhon, Vladyka remarked: "I would like now, as in the past, to see in the person of my Patriarch an exclusively spiritual leader, directing the believers in their spiritual life..." As a man, Vladyka Joasaph could not agree with certain of the decisions of the Patriarch, but as an Orthodox hierarch and a monk he always recognized his Holiness' rights and followed the decrees of his ecclesiastical authority, which remained for him incontestable.

On April 30 (OS), the authorities summoned Vladyka from Kazan to Moscow. On the day of his departure Vladyka served the Liturgy in the church of St. Nicholas the Warrior. The deacon, Fr. Maximus Mikhailov, could not pronounce the exclamations from emotion, and the service was several times interrupted because of the general weeping. Patriarch Tikhon was commemorated, although by this time his commemoration was again forbidden. At midnight Vladyka Joasaph left Kazan station accompanied by a multitude of believers.

On arriving in Moscow, Bishop Joasaph went straight to the Patriarch, whom he had never met, in the Donsky monastery. On May 16, 1924 (new style) he presented himself to the GPU, and was immediately thrown into Butyrki prison. However, not finding anything to accuse him of, they released him on August 24 after securing his signature to a document declaring that he would not leave the city.

On April 12, 1925 Bishop Joasaph signed the act which transferred the leadership of the Church to Metropolitan Peter.

In Moscow, Vladyka Joasaph became the trusted representative of Metropolitan Peter, locum tenens of the patriarchal throne while living in the Danilov monastery. He took part in Metropolitan Peter's negotiations with the authorities concerning the organization of a Holy Synod, and warned the metropolitan in good time about the so-called Gregorian bishops. In the autumn of 1925 he composed a project declaration concerning the relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet State.

However, on November 18, 1925 he was arrested in the Danilov monastery in connection with the affair of Metropolitan Peter and was interned in the inner prison of the OGPU in Moscow. On May 21, 1926, the OGPU exiled him to Turukhansk for three years. In August, 1927 Vladyka Joasaph renewed his correspondence with Metropolitan Cyril, who was living in the same region. According to one source, in 1928 Vladyka Joasaph became bishop of Birsk.

In the summer of 1929, after a three-year exile, he settled in the town of Kozmodemyansk in the Mari republic, having been retired by Metropolitan Sergius because of his rejection of Sergius' shameful "declaration" of 1927.

Once Bishop Barsonuphius of Spassky, who recognized Metropolitan Sergius, invited Vladyka Joasaph to pray with him, to which Vladyka replied:

"No, you pray without me for Soviet power."

Bishop Barsonuphius said:

"But it's not I, it's the deacon who prays for it..."

While living in Kozmodemyansk, Bishop Joasaph did not break his ties with Kazan, and especially with the monastics there. Sisters Tersinskiya, Vitalia and Kaleria, the nuns of the monastery of the Kazan Mother of God, and the nuns Agrippina (Kukarnikova), Veronika (Busygina) and others went at various times to Metropolitan Cyril with assignments from him. They all brought food, letters and other things to Metropolitan Cyril, Archimandrite Alexander (the last superior of the Seven-Lakes desert) and many other exiled pastors and archpastors. And they organized meals for the arrested clergy languishing in the prisons of Kazan. Most of these nuns perished towards the end of the 1930s.

In 1930 (according to another source, the summer of 1931) he was arrested again in connection with the affair of the so-called counter-revolutionary, religious-monarchical organization, "The True Orthodox Church".

Also arrested in connection with this affair in July-August, 1930 were the following teachers at the Kazan Theological Academy: V.I. Nesmelov, Protopriest Nicholas Petrov of the church of St. Barbara (the first and last rector of the Theological institute that took the place of the Academy), M.N. Vasilevsky, E.Y. Polyansky, I.M. Pokrovsky; Bishop Nectarius (Trezvinsky), the priests Fathers Nicholas Troitsky, James Galakhov, Andrew Bogolyubov, Nicholas Dyagilev, Sergius Vorontsov and Eulampius Edemsky-Sovyezemtsev; the nuns of the closed Kazan monasteries, and laymen - 33 people in all.

Fr. James Yakovlevich Galakhov was a former professor of Tomsk university who in 1918-19 had been a member of the "Higher Temporary Ecclesiastical Administration of the Siberian churches". During the trial his diary was requisitioned, together with his notes under the heading "The Church in the conditions of apostasy". This, for example, is his entry for November 7, 1930: "This is cheerless, protracted, permanent spiritual blizzard, a demonic bedlam... The Church has already in effect been place in pre-Nicene conditions of life. She must go into the wilderness." "Persecutions have multiplied, martyrdom has begun, and continues to this day. The better part of the clergy and laity has landed up in prisons and exile."

Metropolitan Sergius' interview simply appalled Fr. James: "This interview produced the most repulsive impression on me, it is so shameful for the head of the Church that even now I have not recovered. It pains me to read it, it is a disgrace in front of foreigners, the renovationists and the sectarians."

Fr. James had a son, Nicholas Galakhov, who was also a confessor. Born in Bezhetsk in 1894, he was sentenced to execution by shooting in May, 1922 by the military department of the revolutionary tribunal of the Chuvash republic for resisting the requisitioning of church valuables. At his interrogation Galakhov said: "I doubt that the church valuables will be used to benefit the starving... If the question of their sacred character did not arise, these things could be requisitioned for the benefit of the starving... The famine has appeared as a punishment from God for civil war and fratricide." However, the presidium of the V.Ts.I.K. declared on August 18, 1922 that Galakhov's execution should be replaced by ten years' forced labour in strict isolation. In accordance with the amnesty of February, 1923, this sentenced was halved.

In March, 1929, Nicholas Galakhov settled in Kazan, and received from his father, who was at that time in exile not far from Metropolitan Cyril, who was at that time at Khankaika station, Turukhan region, the latter's correspondence with Metropolitan Sergius. He spread it among the citizens of Kazan. Many prominent professors of the Kazan Theological Academy met in the administrative building of the Arsky cemetery, which Nicholas was in charge of: V.I. Nesmelov, I.M. Pokrovsky, Y.M. Polyansky, M.N. Vasilyevsky, and others. Exiled priest were also often present. The main themes of the conversations were the situation of the Church in Soviet conditions and the question of how to evaluate the numerous bans which had been placed by Metropolitan Sergius on hierarchs, his interview with foreign journalists, and his declaration.

The majority (even of those who later submitted to Metropolitan Sergius) considered that such actions were undoubtedly inspired by the authorities, and that his expressed opinion concerning those who were in prison, that they were being justly punished for their supposedly criminal activities, was an immoral act unworthy of the conscience of an Orthodox hierarch. Everyone understood that right was on the side of Metropolitan Cyril. However, the tragedy was that Vladyka Cyril was in exile and could not exert a significant influence on the course of ecclesiastical events, in spite of all his unquestioned authority.

Nicholas Galakhov himself agreed with Bishop Nectarius' suggestion that he accept the priesthood and go to the village of Paderino to take the place of an arrested and exiled priest. However, the ordination did not take place. In August, 1930, there followed the first arrests.

The priest Eulampius Edemsky-Svoyezemtsev was born in 1893 in the village of Anayevskaya, Totemsky uyezd, Vologda province. From 1915 to 1918 he served as a corporal, and then as the director of the school of the Fifth Perm regiment of the Red Army. He also worked in the education system of Kursk province, and was even chief of staff of the First and Ninth Divisions. It was evident that a career awaited him, but... a spiritual revolution and a rethink of his whole life's course forced the 27-year-old young man to leave the service and accept the priesthood. He was priest in Mikhailovka sloboda, Kursk province, and then moved to Yaroslavl province. While serving as priest of the village of Orlovo in Rybinsk district, Fr. Eulampius was arrested by the chekists on November 27, 1922 for organizing a brotherhood whose aim was to teach children and adults the Law of God and help the poor. However, the GPU accused him of "counter-revolutionary Tikhonite politics", "undermining the authority of the organs of power" and "teaching the Law of God to minors", and in February, 1923 was exiled for three years to Zyryansk district. In March, 1926, Fr. Eulampius returned to the village of Orlovo, where he was greeted by the parishioners as a martyr for the faith. People began to come to him from other parishes to hear his wonderful sermons. At the beginning of 1927, Fr. Eulampius was again arrested, this time for creating a sisterhood, for conducting religious discussions and for preaching against the renovationists. The priest was held responsible for organizing and uniting the clergy to struggle for the preservation of foundations of the reactionary Tikhonite Church and against the renovationists, who were being used by Soviet power. He was exiled again for three years. It was apparently at this time that Fr. Eulampius made the acquaintance of Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan and began an animated correspondence with him. So it is not accidental that on serving his term of exile, the priest chose Kazan as his place of residence. He arrived there on July 30, 1929, and became close to Bishop Nectarius (Trezvinsky), whose views he shared.

During his interrogation on July 13, 1931, Fr. Eulampius, whose significant correspondence with Metropolitan Cyril had been seized, said: "I will not submit to the deputy of the patriarchal locum tenens until he dissolves his unlawful Synod. I will not submit also because I do not agree with his manner of ruling the Church, which he subjects to the demands of the secular authorities. I am deeply convinced that the less church people interfere in political affairs, and the less the State - into church affairs, the better it is for both sides... I think that the Church is being persecuted by Soviet power because a multitude of bishops and priests has been exiled, and several churches have been wiped off the face of the earth. All this sows terrible alarm into the hearts of true believers. I see only one escape from this situation: a genuine recognition of its errors by Soviet power in the form of a pan-national repentance (expressing myself in church language)... Soviet power is the enemy of religion, which greatly distresses me, but by no means excites me to an active struggle with the civil authorities... However, where the interests of the Church and Soviet power conflict, I will honourably declare that for me the interests of the Church are dearer."

Another priest who arrived in Kazan from exile shortly after Fr. Eulampius was Fr. Arcadius Volokitin, who had also been arrested more than once. In his interrogation on September 2, 1930, Fr. Arcadius declared: "In my home I arrange prayer services, the worshippers are citizens of Kazan. I refuse to say who they are and how many they are, I do not want to give them away... In general, I have no intention of telling the authorities about the worshippers who visit me. I do not have permission to perform Divine services and do not consider it necessary to let the NKVD know and seek permission from them." Fr. Arcadius said that since the death of Patriarch Tikhon he had submitted to Metropolitan Peter, although he considered Metropolitan Cyril to be the lawful heir of the patriarchal throne.

On October 2/15, 1937, Fr. Arcadius Volokitin was sentenced to be shot by a troika of the NKVD of the Bashkirian Autonomous Republic.

Bishop Joasaph himself behaved with great courage during his interrogations and betrayed nobody even by a single word. With regard to his adherence to Metropolitan Cyril and separation from Metropolitan Sergius he said:

"Since Metropolitan Cyril is one of the most senior hierarchs, and was appointed by Patriarch Tikhon as his first deputy after his death, he has the right to demand that Metropolitan Sergius give him documentary proof of his authority to convene such a Synod, and in the absence of such proof to place the competency of this Synod in question. He has the right to demand that this quarrel be referred to Metropolitan Peter, who is still alive and retains the privileges of the locum tenancy. This right of appeal to the head of the Church is guaranteed by many church canons. Therefore the resolution of the conflict that has risen between them by Metropolitan Sergius alone, his refusal to refer the quarrel to Metropolitan Peter and his imposition upon Metropolitan Cyril of repressive measures in the form of sending him into retirement, is in my opinion uncanonical and should be annulled... Metropolitan Sergius' usurpation of rights that do not belong to him, or which are, in any case, dubious until their authoritative clarification, the fact that he had no difficulty in imposing repressive measures upon Metropolitan Cyril and others (I stress that in his reply Metropolitan Cyril sharply and decisively rejects the idea that his disagreements are politically motivated and gives reasons for keeping to a strictly ecclesiastical evaluation of this quarrel), his accusing all the clergy who are serving terms of punishment, including, that is, myself, of political crimes - all this has forced me to distance myself from Metropolitan Sergius without separating from him."

On January 5, 1932, Vladyka Joasaph was sentenced to three years in a concentration camp by the OGPU. He served this sentence in the mines of Aralichev (Kuznetsk basin), where he was tortured, several times shorn and had to drag wheelbarrows full of coal for several years. On January 28, 1934, two years were added to his sentence in accordance with article 58-11 of the criminal code for supposedly participating in a "church-monarchical group" in the camp, recruiting new members, spreading "provocatory rumours about the position of the Church in the USSR" and conducting work among the prisoners "to disrupt the camp and blow up the camp's work".

In 1936 Vladyka Joasaph returned from the camps to Kazan. He lived in the outskirts of the city with his sick mother, and organized a secret church of 14 people, including one protopriest and three nuns. His sufferings in the prisons and camps had not broken his faith. He had not renounced Christ or separated from Metropolitan Cyril, with whom, according to one report, he had been for a time in the same prison or camp.

In the city, two diocesan councils, one renovationist and the other sergianist, were in control of the churches. Vladyka continued not to recognize the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and remained a bishop in retirement. He served only rarely in the church of the Yaroslavl wonderworkers in Arsky cemetery, and then only pannikhidas. Those close to him consisted mainly of clergy who were exiled or in sympathy with him. Also, the peasants of the Tatar and Chuvash republics, and the Mari region, came to the confessor bishop for advice and archpastoral instruction. However, the majority of the parish clergy were afraid to visit him, and if they visited him, it was in secret.

In April, 1936, when they began to destroy the ancient memorials and crosses, Vladyka angrily noted: "The people which does not care for its antiquities is good for nothing." And, after a short silence, he added: "However, Joseph Vissarionovich [Stalin] has nothing more to destroy, so the cemetery is his last support."

Once, when asked what he thought of Soviet power, he said: "One has to have been in the concentration camps to judge about Soviet power..."

Vladyka had very little to live on. But his spiritual children, monks and nuns from the destroyed monasteries of the region, continued to give him and his mother food and clothing, as they had helped his mother during his period in the camps. Vladyka kept very few of these gifts for himself, sending a significant part through trusted people to Metropolitan Cyril (from whom a letter to Vladyka dated September, 1936 has been preserved), to the exiled clergy and to the priests who were languishing in Kazan prison. Moreover, he often gave refuge in his house at 31 Tikhomirova street, flat 2, to people who were persecuted for their confession of the Orthodox Faith.

In August, 1937, an agent of the NKVD reported that Bishop Joasaph was persuading people not to go to Metropolitan Sergius' churches, and was serving pannikhidas in the cemetery church of SS. Theodore, Constantine and David. On November 30 he was arrested at the bedside of his dying mother for "organizing a counter-revolutionary church underground". Together with Protopriest Nicholas Troitsky of the church of St. Seraphim, Nuns Eudocia (Dvinskikh) and Stepanida (Makarova) of the destroyed monastery of the Mother of God and several people among those closest to him, he was thrown into prison.

Nun Evdokia was born in 1885 in the village of Chiganda, Sarapul district, Votsk region. From 1903 to 1929 she was in the monastery of the Mother of God. Then she worked in the church of St. Seraphim, helping Metropolitan Seraphim (Alexandrov) of Kazan (who was shot in 1937) to help the arrested and exiled clergy. In 1931 she was sentenced to three years exile in Archangelsk, returning to Kazan in 1934. She was among the closest adherents of Bishop Joasaph.


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