Bishop Joasaph, in the world John Ioannovich Udalov, was born on April 5, 1886, in the pious family of a watchmaker in the city of Ufa. He finished his studies at the Ufa theological school and the Ufa theological seminary. Wishing to become a priest, John Ioannovich entered the Kazan Theological Academy in August, 1906, and graduated with the degree of candidate of theology in 1910. On August 2, 1910, he was tonsured into the brotherhood of the monastery of the Theophany in Zhitomir by Archbishop Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Volhynia and Zhitomir, and on the next day was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Gabriel of Ostrog, the vicar-bishop of the diocese. On August 14, by a decree of the Holy Synod, he was appointed a teacher in the Zhitomir pastoral school in the name of John of Kronstadt. Fr. Joasaph was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Anthony, whose influence helped his rapid rise up the ecclesiastical hierarchy. However, he was helped even more by his righteous life and firm confession of the Orthodox Faith.
On September 24, 1911 Fr. Joasaph was appointed assistant inspector of the Kazan Theological Academy at the request of the rector of the Academy, Bishop Alexis (Dorodnitsyn). He was appointed president of the Council of missionary courses. He then worked in the Tatar mission and with the yedinovertsy. On July 11, 1912, by another decree of the Holy Synod, he was appointed acting superior of the Kazan Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery with promotion to the rank of igumen. With his fine mind and administrative flair and ability to get on with all kinds of people, the young igumen soon brought the community to a flourishing state. Here he began building a chapel in the Old Russian style over the relics of St. Ephraim, metropolitan of Kazan. (The chapel was destroyed to make way for a garage in 1972.)
In 1915 he was raised to the rank of archimandrite and appointed teacher of the Pedagogical Council and the Economic committee of the Kazan missionary courses.
In September, 1918 the Bolsheviks conquered Kazan. At that moment there were no bishops in the city: Metropolitan James (Pyatnitsky) of Kazan and Bishop Boris (Shipulin) had left with the Whites, while Bishop Anatolius of Chistopol, the rector of the Academy, was in Moscow at the All-Russian Church Council. It was at this critical moment that Archimandrite Joasaph took upon himself the burden of leading the church administration in the city. Arrests and shooting were taking place everywhere, and the majority of the churches were closed because of the departure of a significant proportion of the parish clergy - they were all terrified by the bestialities perpetrated by the Bolsheviks. Besides, almost all the members of the diocesan council were out of the city at that moment. So Archimandrite Joasaph was forced to take on the administration of the Kazan diocese alone.
On September 20, while he was celebrating the Liturgy in the Spassky monastery, a red commander burst into the altar and declared that the Kremlin was to be closed to the public and declared a military citadel. The Kremlin churches were closed on September 22, and Archimandrite Joasaph decided to remove the most venerated holy objects. The authorities allowed this on condition that a list of those taking part in the removal should be submitted to them, and that no chanting take place during the transfer.
Finally, with the help of the nuns of the Monastery of the Mother of God, the relics of Saints Gurias and Barsonuphius, the icon of St. Barbara with part of her relics, the icons of the All-Merciful Saviour and other holy objects were transferred in a silent procession to the Kazan monastery.
The Bolsheviks then began looting the churches in the Kremlin and shooting several priests in the Kazan region. News of these shootings reached the diocesan council headed by Archimandrite Joasaph, and he inscribed the martyrs' names into the martyrologies and diptychs. These acts were confirmed by Bishop Anatolius, who returned to Kazan on September 26 and took over the leadership of the diocese.
With the approach of Kolchak's armies, the Kremlin was again opened to the public. Archimandrite Joasaph took a leading part in the restoration work which then began. And it was he who served the first service in the cathedral church on March 25, 1920 (old style).
In April, 1920, Patriarch Tikhon learned that Metropolitan James was not intending to return to Kazan, so he appointed Metropolitan Cyril (Smirnov) to take his place. Metropolitan Cyril was met with great joy by the citizens of the city.
On July 12, Archimandrite Joasaph was consecrated bishop of Mamadysh, a vicariate of the Kazan diocese, by Metropolitan Cyril and Bishop Peter (Zverev) of Balakhinsk. He was appointed to live in the Kizichesky monastery and remained superior of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery.
On August 6 Metropolitan Cyril was arrested in his chambers and taken to Moscow. This greatly sorrowed the citizens of Kazan, but they were able to form links with Moscow and supply the metropolitan with all that he needed. The Orthodox in the region were now led by Bishops Anatolius and Joasaph, and on November 8 they consecrated Archimandrite Athanasius (Malinin), a lecturer in the Kazan Theological Academy, as Bishop of Cheboksary.
In the spring of 1921 the Cheka learned that the Theological Academy was still in existence under the guise of theological courses. So they arrested Bishop Anatolius, the rector of the Academy, and all the professors on the charge of organizing an unlawful academic organization. The professors were soon freed, but Bishop Anatolius was detained in prison in Moscow.
This left Bishop Joasaph once again in charge of the Kazan diocese. With the agreement of Metropolitan Cyril, with whom he maintained contact in the Taganka prison, he and Bishop Athanasius proceeded to consecrate Archimandrite Andronicus of the Seven Lakes Hermitage to the episcopate, transferring him to the monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Kazan. Moreover, in November he obtained the authorities' permission in effect to reopen the Kazan Theological Academy under the rectorship of Professor Protopriest Nicholas Petrov, the superior of the church of St. Barbara. The institute continued in existence for another two years until Bishop Joasaph's exile from Kazan in 1924.
Early in 1922 Metropolitan Cyril was released from prison and was met in Kazan by Bishops Joasaph and Athanasius and a large crowd of Orthodox, for whom Metropolitan Cyril already had the aura of a confessor of the faith.
In April, 1922 the Bolsheviks carried out a requisitioning of the valuables in the Kazan churches. Bishop Joasaph was able to save many valuable and ancient holy things from the Spassky monastery, but not the beautiful royal doors made of silver. In 1922, in connection with the confiscation of church valuables, 24 clergy of all ranks were killed by the Bolsheviks in Kazan province.
On July 12, 1922 Bishop Joasaph was appointed Bishop of Chistopol, a vicariate of the Kazan diocese.
On August 21 Metropolitan Cyril was exiled to Ust-Sysolsk, after which a representative of the renovationist schism appeared in Kazan. Hoping to overcome their "differences" with the renovationists, Metropolitan Cyril and Bishop Joasaph did not opposed the renovationists E. Sosuntsov and S. Spirin from joining the diocesan council on October 1. However, their attitude changed when they sent their "Archbishop" Alexis (Bazhenov) to Kazan to take the place of the exiled Metropolitan Cyril.
"Archbishop" Alexis arrived in Kazan on Great Thursday, April 5, 1923. First he occupied the metropolitan's residence, then he set off for the winter church of the monastery of the Mother of God and stood in the altar to the left of the royal doors. Vladyka Joasaph, who was celebrating the Liturgy and the washing of feet on that day, entered the church at "Glory...", vested and went into the altar during the little entrance. Here for the first time he saw Archbishop Alexis. He continued to serve the Liturgy, censing Alexis at the appropriate times as a hierarch. During the singing of the communion verse, Alexis went up to Bishop Joasaph, called himself Archbishop of Kazan and Svyazhsk and asked whether he would serve with him. Vladyka categorically refused, justly pointing out that such an appointment of a new hierarch in the place of the still-living Metropolitan Cyril contradicted the church canons. That was why he, as an Orthodox bishop and vicar of the Kazan diocese, being in obedience to Patriarch Tikhon and Metropolitan Cyril, considered such a decision of the renovationist authorities to be uncanonical. The firmness of Vladyka Joasaph made a strong impression on Alexis, who had expected nothing of the sort.
Meanwhile, Protopriest N.M. Vinogradov and other priests of the Kazan monastery went up to seek the blessing of "Archbishop" Alexis. At the end of the Liturgy Vladyka Joasaph carried out the rite of the washing of feet. That was a truly tragic moment, when the priests sang the verses about the traitor Judas and themselves prepared to betray their hierarch. For when Bishop Joasaph, in imitation of Christ Who washed the feet of His disciples at the Mystical Supper, washed the feet of these pastors, they had already agreed to submit to the false hierarch Alexis. In the evening the renovationist archbishop was already reading the twelve Gospels in the monastery, while Vladyka was serving the all-night vigil in the Vladimir cathedral, where Fr. Peter Grachev had immediately invited him. Most of the parish priests recognized Alexis, and after Pascha the Orthodox Bishops Joasaph and Athanasius were already serving in secret, commemorating the most holy Patriarch and Metropolitan Cyril. After Bishop Joasaph left the diocesan council, it became completely renovationist, and immediately reports were sent to the GPU denouncing him as an "old churchman, counter-revolutionary and ardent Tikhonite", who was not only anti-renovationist but also anti-Soviet.
Only two churches remained faithful to Orthodoxy in Kazan - the Pokrov church, where Fr. Alexander Gavrilov served, and the Peter and Paul cathedral, where Fr. Alexander's father-in-law, Protopriest Andrew Bogolyubov, served. Also faithful to Orthodoxy at this time were Hieromonk Theophanes (Yelansky) of the Saviour cathedral in the Kremlin, several academically trained disciples of Metropolitan Cyril from the monastery of St. John the Forerunner: Igumen Pitirim (Krylov), Hieromonks John (Shirokov) and Paul, and Hierodeacon Seraphim (Shamshev), the nuns of the Raithu and Seven Lakes Hermitages and the St. Theodore convent, and some of the nuns of the Svyazhsk monastery. By contrast with the parish clergy, the laity of Kazan refused to recognize Alexis. They appealed to him, as to a senior hierarch and a professor of the Academy, to return to the True Church, but all in vain. He began to serve in the parish churches.
On the night of May 25 to 26, on the eve of Alexis' first visit to the church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the whole city was filled with notices stuck to houses and telegraph posts declaring that Alexis was a wolf in sheep's clothing and appealing to the citizens of Kazan not to accept him. Alexis then wrote to the renovationist "Metropolitan" Eudocimus: "I am personally begin to regret that I came to Kazan. Since the council negative reactions to me, as to the usurper of Cyril's see, have increased... As long as Bishops Joasaph and Athanasius live here, I supposed that we shall not be able to create a single vicariate..."
Alexis also complained that the Soviet authorities were not helping him enough against his opponents. However, when, on May 24, the renovationist diocesan council petitioned the authorities for the removal of Igumen Pitirim, Hieromonk John, Hierodeacon Seraphim and Hieromonk Theophanes, the authorities responded by arresting them on June 14 for writing and spreading anti-renovationist proclamations and for maintaining links with Metropolitan Cyril in Ust-Sysolsk. A report to the GPU put the real reasons for the arrests as follows: "The whole of this Black Hundreds company headed by Archbishop Joasaph is the headquarters of every possible kind of counter-revolutionary intrigues. After them trudge all of the reactionary clergy and the believing masses, which is to the highest degree dangerous from a political point of view." It is interesting that Bishop Joasaph is named "archbishop" in this document; this showed how great was his authority among the believers.
Bishop Joasaph was for a long time Metropolitan Cyril's deputy in the Kazan region, and in the opinion of the Kazan renovationists he was "the undeclared administrator of the whole of the Kazan, Mari and Chuvash regions". The victory of the Orthodox over the renovationists in the Kazan region was in large part owing to him. Thus it was through Vladyka Joasaph's exhortations and his own sermons that Protopriest Theophanes converted almost the whole of the city of Yelabuga (his native town, where his father was protopriest in the Pokrov church) from renovationism to Orthodoxy. Again, when Bishop Andronicus was summoned to the renovationist diocesan council to explain his refusal to accept them, he said: "I don't want to separate from Bishop Joasaph." From 1923, according to one source, Bishop Joasaph was a member of the strictly anti-renovationist (and later, anti-sergianist) "Danilovtsy" and "Andrewite" groups, led by Archbishops Theodore (Pozdeyevsky) and Andrew (Ukhtomsky) respectively.
On June 30, the arrested monks were released; all of them had conducted themselves bravely under interrogation, and none of them said a word against Bishop Joasaph. The position of the renovationists was further weakened when Patriarch Tikhon was released from prison and issued his anathema against them in July. On July 17 an assembly of all the believers of the parish churches of Kazan was held in the main cathedral. It was organized by the circle of the zealots of Orthodoxy, led by the Academy Professor Plato Ivanovich Ivanov and the 28-year-old lawyer Alexander Sergeyevich Kozhevnikov, who were trusted followers of Bishop Joasaph. At the meeting it was resolved: "The community considers that the only lawful, canonical authority in the Kazan diocese is the deputy of Metropolitan Cyril, Bishop Joasaph of Chistopol..."
On July 19 about twenty of Bishop Joasaph's closest friends among the clergy and laity met in his flat. From 7 to 11 o'clock the new situation of the Church was discussed, and a rite of repentance was worked out for those returning from the renovationist heresy to Orthodoxy. Then, the next day, which was the eve of the feast of the Kazan icon, Bishop Joasaph served the first open service in the Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery together with the clergy who had been faithful to Orthodoxy during the persecution. Many people attended the triumphant service, during which flowers were strewn under the feet of the confessing clergy. Similarly triumphant services were served by Bishop Athanasius in the Theophany church and Bishop Andronicus in the monastery of St. John the Forerunner.
During the next two or three days almost all the renovationist clergy offered repentance for their sin and were received back into the Church by Bishop Joasaph. At the insistence of the laity, Bishop Joasaph served a lesser blessing of the waters in those churches which had been defiled by the services of "Archbishop" Alexis. When the main cathedral was blessed, the people rejoiced and wept. Alexis immediately ran to complain to the GPU. The last of all to repent were the priests of the monastery of the Mother of God, who were particularly compromised before the citizens of Kazan. The four of them came to Vladyka and were accepted benevolently, with the promise not to humiliate them in front of the diocese; and on July 21 Vladyka was already serving in their monastery.
The local GPU, annoyed at the defeat of the renovationists but not having clear instructions about what to do from the Moscow authorities, arrested Plato Ivanov and Alexander Kozhevnikov on the basis of denunciations by secret GPU agents who had been present at the parochial assembly.
After Patriarch Tikhon had repented of his previous anti-Soviet activities, Bishop Joasaph was in the difficult position of having to explain his own position to the GPU. (After all, it was said, if the Patriarch had repented, then his followers should also repent). He also wanted to help bring about the release of Ivanov and Kozhevnikov. So he composed an "address to the clergy and laity of the Kazan diocese", in which he said: "Insofar as I, as a religious follower of Patriarch Tikhon, in the conditions of life in our diocese in recent times have, by force of circumstances, been linked to the concept of 'Tikhonism', I shall with all the strength of my moral authority stand on guard for the practical realization of the [apolitical] direction of church activity that I have mentioned above".
This was considered enough by the GPU, and within a month Ivanov and Kovezhnikov were released.
On September 15 (NS) the authorities obtained Bishop Joasaph's signature to a statement that he would not leave the bounds of Kazan. But this did not prevent him blessing monks and nuns from the Kazan monasteries (who numbered more than 150 people) to go to the villages with sermons against the renovationist heresy. And he sent to the Patriarch a list of clergy and monastics petitioning that they be awarded for "firmly witnessing their devotion to the Orthodox Church", including: Protopriest Andrew Bogolyubov of the Peter and Paul cathedral; Protopriest Paul Mansurovsky from the village of Nikolsky, the only person to come out openly against the renovationists in the Arsky canton; the priest Fr. Anatolius Romanovsky of the Annunication church in Svyazhsk, who already in 1922 had been summoned to the authorities with Archimandrite Ephraim for teaching children the Law of God; and monks from the St. John, Raithu and Seven Lakes monasteries.
At the end of November Archimandrite Pitirim, Hieromonks John and Theophanes and Hierodeacon Seraphim were again arrested and sent to Solovki for three years. In January, 1924 Plato Ivanov and Protopriest Alexander Gavrilov of the Georgian church were exiled to Tashkent. And in March Alexander Kozhevnikov was sent to Moscow and imprisoned in the Taganka prison.
In December, 1923, the GPU intercepted some correspondence from Patriarch Tikhon to Bishop Joasaph about the awards he had asked for and other administrative matters and banned him from serving on the basis of the fact that "although he does not have permission from the civil authorities to organize a diocesan administration, he in fact rules the diocese". The nominal administration of the diocese now passed to Bishop Athanasius, although Bishop Joasaph did not cease to serve in secret and in fact remained at the helm of the diocese. But the GPU forbade Bishop Athanasius to perform any ordinations.
At the end of February, 1924, "Archbishop" Alexis consecrated some married priests as "Bishops" of Chistopol and Cheboksary - the sees occupied by Bishops Joasaph and Athanasius. So, on March 16 (OS), the Sunday of Orthodoxy, Bishops Joasaph and Athanasius, accompanied by a multitude of priests, deacons and laity, delivered these new false bishops to anathema in the monastery of St. John the Forerunner. By March 23, Tuchkov himself had been informed of the news, and on April 20, 1924 Bishop Joasaph was summoned to the GPU.
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.
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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