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

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Nun Stepanida was born in 1893, the daughter of a peasant in the village of Voikina, Spassky uyezd, Kazan province. She was received into the monastery of the Mother of God in 1900, and became a ryasophor nun in August, 1908, carrying out obediences on the cliros and in the weaving of gold thread. In the winter of 1935-36 she went to Metropolitan Cyril with a parcel and letter from Bishop Joasaph, and took back a letter from Metropolitan Cyril to Bishop Joasaph.

The NKVD accused Vladyka, on the basis of confessions extorted from tortured prisoners, of organizing a counter-revolutionary underground organization, of slandering the Church in the USSR and Stalin himself, and of sympathies with Fascism and the enemies of the people Trotsky, Tukhachevsky, etc. Vladyka courageously rejected all the charges against him. On November 16/29, a troika condemned Vladyka Joasaph and Fr. Nicholas to execution by shooting, and the nuns Evdokia and Stepanida to ten years' hard labour. At 20.35 on November 19 / December 2, 1937, the feast of St. Joasaph, the prince of India, Bishop Joasaph was shot in Kazan.

Among the closest adherents of Bishop Joasaph was the abbess of the Fyodorovsky women's monastery, Mother Angelina, in the world Anna Stepanova Alexeyeva. She was born in 1884, the daughter of a Kazan merchant. In 1902 she became a ryasophor nun in the Fyodorovsky monastery. In October, 1918, she was appointed the treasurer, and in February, 1923, after the death of Abbess Margarita, Mother Angelina was appointed superior of the Fyodorovsky monastery by Bishop Joasaph, who was at that time temporarily ruling the Kazan diocese. Energetic and clever, Abbess Angelina was among those few who unambiguously expressed their opposition to the renovationists when almost all the parish clergy had gone over to them. In July, 1924, during the re-registration of the monastery, the renovationists managed, by deception and with the help of the monastery priest, to take control of the monastery. But the nuns under the leadership of Abbess Angelina did not leave the monastery and called on all the parishioners not to visit the renovationist priest. After a time, being forced to serve in a deserted church, the priest repented and the monastery became Orthodox again. Mother Angelina stayed in the monastery until its closure in 1928. She was arrested in 1930 and sentenced to three years' exile, first in Archangelsk and then in Komyzyryansk regions. On being freed she settled in Kazan, where she acted as a courier for correspondence with Metropolitan Cyril. On December 8, 1937 she was arrested, interrogated on December 15 and on December 21 (according to another source, December 15/28) - shot.

(Sources: A.V. Zhuravsky, "Zhizneopisaniye Svyashchennomuchenika Ioasapha, Episkopa Chistopol'skago", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', 48, N 8 (559), August, 1996, pp. 1-25; "Oppozitsiya mitropolitu Sergiyu v Kazanskoj eparkhii", Pravoslavnaya Rus', N 10 (1535), May 15/28, 1995, pp. 10-11; Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Noviye Mucheniki Rossijskiye, Jordanville, 1949-57, part 1, pp. 213, 214, part 2, pp. 125, 180-181; M.E. Gubonin, Akty Svyatejshego Tikhona, Patriarkha Moskovskogo i Vseya Rossii, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1994, pp. 955, 976; Bishop Ambrose (von Sivers), "Istoki i svyazi Katakombnoj Tserkvi v Leningrade i obl. (1922-1992)", report read at the conference "The Historical Path of Orthodoxy in Russia after 1917", Saint Petersburg, 1-3 June, 1993; "Episkopat Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Katakombnoj Tserkvi 1922-1997gg.", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 4(8), p. 5; Russkiye Pravoslavnye Ierarkhi, Paris: YMCA Press, 1986; Reader Gregory Mukhortov; Lev Regelson, Tragediya Russkoj Tserkvi, 1917-1945, Moscow: Krutitskoye patriarsheye podvorye, 1996, pp. 579-58; Za Khrista Postradavshiye, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1997, pp. 513-514; I.I. Osipova, Skvoz' Ogn' Muchenij i Vody Slyoz", Moscow: Serbryanniye Niti, 1998, p. 278)


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