Protopriest Alexander, a former member of the State Duma, was hangedon the gates of his house in Cherkassy.
(Source: Vladimir Rusak, Pir Satany, London, Canada: "Zarya", 1991, p. 24)
Archdeacon Clement of the Kiev Bratsky monastery was transported outof town and drowned in the Dnieper in mysterious circumstances.
Hieromonk Mily of the Kiev-Transfiguration hermitage, a meek person,was dragged out of his cell and killed in the woods. His jaw was pulled out.
Fr. Michael Ivanitsky died in prison, and the priests Frs. Demetrius
Ivanov and Michael Olabovsky died in exile in 1920 (no further details known).
The priest Fr. Nicholas, of the Resurrection Brotherhood, was shot in Kiev in 1924.
(Sources: Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Noviye Mucheniki Rossijskiye, Jordanville, 1949-57, part 2, pp. 172; Za Khrista Postradavshiye, Moscow:St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1997, p. 582)
At the end of 1924, the Bolsheviks transferred the Kiev-Caves Lavra to the renovationists. Many of the brothers were imprisoned. On being released, some settled in different parts of Kiev, while those who were not able to hire themselves out as workers settled in the Kitaisky or Kitayevsky Hermitage, which belonged to the Lavra.
Archbishop Leontius of Chile, a novice of the Lavra at the time, recalls: "Those of us who were able to work were driven by the local authorities in the frost and snowstorms of winter into our Goloseyevsky monastery wood to saw firewood for them and cut down trees at the room. From morning till late at night we had to work up to our knees in snow, in the frost, without food or water, in old clothing. To quench our thirst we would heat up snow in a can, and our food was whatever any of us could get hold of ...
"Once Fr. Innocent, the assistant to Fr. Seleucius [who was in charge of the work-house], a great faster and a man of ascetic disposition, fell mortally ill. His situation was hopeless. Then Fr. Seleucius, seeing the state Fr. Innocent was in, on the advice of one hieromonk, went into the common barracks of the brotherhood in the work-house and addressed the fathers who were there with the following words:
"'Holy Fathers! Fr. Innocent is dying. You know how we need him, and that without him I am as if without arms. Perhaps one of you will agree to die for him?'
"Two were found who were willing: Fr. Paul and Fr. Gordius, who began to have an affectionate quarrel about who should die first. Finally they agreed that Fr. Paul should die, since he was the first to volunteer. And it happened to them in accordance with their faith... Two days had not passed before Fr. Innocent recovered and Fr. Paul reposed in the sleep of the righteous."
Hierodeacon Gordius died a martyric death. He had been blessed to work as a watchman at the Holy Trinity church, and settled in the sacristan's house, where he was pierced with the holy spear when a band of thieves broke down the doors and began to rob the church.
(Source: A.V. Psarev, "Zhizneopisaniye Arkhiepiskopa Leontiya Chilijskago", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', N 3 (555), March, 1996)
Archpriest Vladimir Zacharievich was the rector of the church in the town of Borovika (according to another account, Brovikhi) in the provinceof Kiev. In 1927 he was arrested and placed in solitary confinement in the Kornilov region; during interrogations they constantly demanded recognition of Metropolitan Sergius; when he categorically refused, his hands and feet were broken and he was thrown back into his prison cell overflowing with arrested people, where he died His Matushka Susanna was not given his body, and it was buried in the local cemetery in a common pit with all those who had been shot.
(Source: "The Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia", Orthodox Life, N1, 1987, p. 37; Lyudmila Dzhozovskaya, "Igumen Irinej (Dzhozovsky) i drugiye", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', 49, N 2 (590), February, 1999, p. 15)
The priest Fr. Alexander Kryzhanovsky graduated from theological seminary in 1917, and became a priest in the Gaysinsky village, Kiev province. He served as a priest until 1928, being in opposition to Metropolitan Sergius. Then he was summoned to an antireligious debate, at which he completely defeated the atheist speakers. In the summer of 1928 he was summoned to another debate, which ended in his death. A plank was placed on his back and he was beaten with heavy objects until blood flowed out of his mouth. In this condition he was handed over to his matushka, and three months later he died, leaving two orphaned children.
(Source: Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Noviye Mucheniki Rossijskiye, Jordanville, 1949-57, part 2, pp. 173; I.I. Osipova, "Skvoz' Ogn' Muchenij i Vody Slyoz", Moscow: Serebryanniye Niti, 1998, p. 313)
A large group of priests was rounded up by the chekists in Kiev, in a house by the Dnieper. And it was proposed to them that they recognise Metropolitan Sergius as the head of that "church" which recognised the God-fighting, antichristian State. A chekist gave a short speech, but his accent showed that he was not Russian:
"Whoever does not do this and recognise Metropolitan Sergius and does not submit to him is an enemy of the people and of the Soviet State. For such as these our speech will be short. Everything has already been prepared!"
When he had said this, he pointed with his hand to a platform planked on the sides and with a roof on top leading own to the waters of the Dnieper. After this he began to call out each priest in turn and put to him the question:
"Do you recognise Metropolitan Sergius, who is recognised by the Soviet authorities, as head of the Russian Orthodox Church? Will you sign that you are obliged to obey the metropolitan?"
Whoever replied with a refusal had his hands tied behind his back and was led away onto the covered footbridge. After some time a courageous martyr of Christ appeared on the open platform.
"And we saw," recounted one of the priests, "how the chekists, going into the water behind him, pushed him down, and he did not appear above the water again." All those who were faithful to Christ God and refused to betray Him and sign were thrown into the water and drowned, leaving only the fainthearted, who signed. It was one of those who told the story. He wept, bowing his head low. Then he said goodbye and left.
(Source: Schemamonk Epiphanius (Chernov), Tserkov' Katakombnaya na Zemlye Rossijskoj)
Protopriest Nicholas Dzhozovsky served as the rector of the church in the town of Datsk, in the province of Kiev. In 1933 the sergianists seized this parish. Fr. Nicholas moved to the suburbs of Kiev, where his wife, Matushka Valentina, lived. In 1934 he was arrested for not recognising Metropolitan Sergius, and taken on foot through the forest to Boyarka station, from where he was to go to Vasilkov. On the road, in the forest,he was tied to a tree, mocked and brutally tortured: the tormentors cut off his fingers, tore out his hair, stabbed, cut, and finally shot him Matushka Valentina died from hunger.
Igumen Irenaeus, in the world Archpriest John Dzhozovksy served as a priest in Kiev and other parishes in Kiev province. His last parish was the village of Leshchinka, the church of the Exaltation of the Cross. In December, 1920 some Bolshevik units burst through the village plundering and shooting and entered Fr. Irenaeus' house. His matushka fainted and died from a heart attack. At that time Fr. Irenaeus was at a diocesan assembly 20 versts from his house. They buried Matushka Pelagia in the grounds of the church. In the middle of 1921 Fr. Irenaeus and his daughter Lyudmila fled from the Bolshevik persecutions by night and went to the Korsun-St. Onuphrius women's monastery, where his other daughter Nina lived. In 1918 the Bolsheviks had brutally murdered Abbess Damar in a brutal manner. In 1919 they had murdered Igumen Macarius and Deacon Michael who come to serve onthe feast of St. Onuphrius. They were buried near the church of St. Onuphrius, and Abbess Damar - next to the church of the Nativity of the Mother of God. On arriving at the monastery, where Abbess Ilaria was in charge, Fr. Irenaeus was appointed superior of the church. Fr. Irenaeus was a great man of prayer, ascetic and preacher; he was an example for all. Tens of thousands of people, both clergy and laity, came to him for advice.
In 1923 his brother Protopriest Philip Dzhozovsky was also appointedto serve in the church. After the closure of the monastery he served in other monasteries and was arrested in 1935. He was exiled to Tobolsk, where he worked as a logger. He died there in 1939 at the age of 70.
In the middle of 1924, during a service attended by many worshippers, an order of the local authorities was read out compelling the monastery and its clergy to recognise the so-called "Living Church". If they refused to recognise it, both churches would be closed and everyone would be expelled from the monastery within a week. Igumen Irenaeus and Abbess Ilaria replied in the name of the monastery and the clergy that they would never recognise the "Living Church", upon which the Bolsheviks wanted to close the church immediately, in the middle of the liturgy. With difficulty they were persuaded to wait until the end of the service, when, to the accompaniment of weeping and sobs, the churches were closed. In according with the decree of Bishop George, the St. Onuphrius monastery was united to that of St. Nicholas in Boguslav, where everyone was moved. The abbess there was Matushka Euthalia (Pryashnikova). On arriving at the monastery, Fr. Irenaeus was tonsured.
A new phase in the struggle began with the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927. At the beginning of 1928 Fr. Irenaeus began to be summoned to the GPU in Belaya Tserkov, Kiev province, where there was a huge prison filled to the brim with clergy and laity who refused to recognise the Ukrainian autocephalist, renovationalist and sergianist churches. Fr. Irenaeus was kept in the prison in terrible conditions with 24-hour interrogations for two weeks. He was allowed home for one or two weeks. And then they summoned him again. This continued until the middle of 1929.
Then on August 1 he was again summoned to the prison; they wanted to break him, force him to recognise the declaration Fr. Irenaeus replied: "I recognise the last laws of Patriarch Tikhon and his locum tenens, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa. But I do not recognise Metropolitan Sergius and his renovationist church. I am an old clergyman (40 years in the priesthood), and now a monk, and under no conditions will I be a traitor to the Orthodox faith and the True Orthodox Church, which I swore to serve in faith and righteousness until death"
The chekists told him that because of his stubbornness they had already thrown out all the inhabitants of the monastery in the course of a week They had all settled in private apartments. All the entrances to the monastery had been sealed off with barbed wire, leaving only a narrow path to the church So when Fr. Irenaeus was released to go home on August 23, 1929, the day of his patron, St. Irenaeus, he arrived at the private apartment a sick man, exhausted, tormented, terribly out of breath, with his legs so swollen that his boots had to be cut off his feet. The doctor said that his heart was very weak and that he had water in his lungs; then he said thathe should be prepared for death The next day he received Holy Unction, and every day thereafter, after the early Liturgy, Fr. Gerontius brought him the Holy Gifts. Fr. Irenaeus was no longer able to walk and sat on the bed He said farewell to and blessed all the nuns and his spiritual children who came to him every day, telling them all to stand firm until death in the Orthodox faith and the True Church! He foretold "a distant journey" (exile) to many.
His prophecies were soon fulfilled - a telegram from the GPU ordering the person to appear immediately with his personal things meant exile. Fr. Irenaeus died on August 30, 1929. When the priests had vested his body and placed it in the coffin for transportation to the church (in the monastery), the GPU arrived to arrest him. They lifted the veil on his face and said:"He is very fortunate that he has died, otherwise he would have gone on a distant journey" Yes, the Lord had delivered His faithful servant from further torments and tortures. His funeral was on the third day in the monastery.The news spread quickly beyond the bounds of the district and more than 120 priests with their deacons and choirs came to the funeral. According to the wish of Fr. Irenaeus, he was buried behind the altar of the Pokrov church, which was about one kilometre from the monastery. The bells of the monastery and Pokrov churches sounded, the united choirs and thousands of laypeople chanted, and great weeping and sobbing drowned out the service. This was the last such burial Late cross processions were banned; the priests did not have the right to accompany the reposed to the cemetery.
On the third day after the burial the monastery church was closed And so all the nuns and monastery choir went to pray in the Pokrov church, which was open for another two years. And then they destroyed the church completely. All the nuns scattered, many were arrested and exiled. Fr. Irenaeus was buried next tothe priest Fr. Alexis and the mitred Archpriest John Lebedev, and a year after his death mitred Protopriest Innocent Volkov of the Pokrov church was buried next to him.
(Source: "The Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia", Orthodox Life, N1, 1987, p. 37; Lyudmila Dzhozovskaya, "Igumen Irinej (Dzhozovsky) i drugiye", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', 49, N 2 (590), February, 1999, pp. 16-19)
The sick brother Sergius lay ill in bed, and until his last day, the day of his arrest, no one except his mother knew that he was a monk. Everyone called him "Brother Sergius".
His whole life was spent in bed. In his childhood he contracted "child paralysis". And from that time, from his twelfth year, he was bed-ridden. He could work with his hands, but his whole body was paralysed.
He was a fervent believer as an adolescent and he remained such as a young man. His illness only strengthened this feeling.
With time a gift of clairvoyance was revealed in him. People came to see him from various parts. And he lay almost barefoot, in scandalous poverty... But he did not receive some of his visitors:
"Mama," he said, "go, some people are coming to us. What have I to do with them? Feed them and send them away!"
But he received others. Usually he spoke little, laconically. He did not always speak, but he gave the person to understand.
"I'll go to him, I'll go without fail, I'll show him," said one gossip to another. "Where did he get that from: 'you mustn't go to the church', he says?! How can one deny the church? You know, 'he who does not have the Church as his Mother does not have God as his Father!' But think of it - he says that we mustn't go to this church! But where will he get another church?! He should think a little. It's nice for him lying whole days in bed, it's alright for a corpse to think up such things... But if he lived with us and worked, then he would know what to say... But what's this? Some sort of heresy has really risen up amongst us?! I'll go without fail, I'll show him..."
Thus did the gossip get worked up... And then with the other gossip he went to the sick brother Sergius. They entered, crossed themselves in front of the icons, greeted him and sat on the bench... And now let this ill-starred zealot of the "church" speak for himself:
"Immediately I entered and sat down, it was as if someone had poured some boiling hot water over me. I was so stupefied. I couldn't say anything. Alexei Grigoryevich spoke and asked about his own personal affairs, but I couldn't utter a word... So I was like a dumb visitor in his presence and I went out with Alexei Grigoryevich. Then he asked me: 'Why were you silent?' But I simply couldn't understand what had happened to me..."
Brother Sergius warned everybody, he explained to everybody and besought them with tears:
"Don't go into the open churches. They're not ours. All the priests serving in them have signed to be obedient to the Soviet authorities in everything... You mustn't even step into the porch because you will hear the singing and reading and you will think: 'But it's all in the old style here!' And you will go in. And when you've gone in, that will be it. You'll stay there."
After the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927, many people were unsure: should they go into this "church" or not? Some would say:
"Of course we must enter!"
Others: "In no circumstances must we enter!"
One Kievan abbess was at a loss what to do. And she prayed fervently to the Lord to enlighten her. And it was revealed to her where she would obtain correct guidance. For this she was shown in detail where she had to go and was given the name of the sick Sergius... The abbess entrusted two faithful nuns with the task of going to this servant of God. They set off on the journey of some hundreds of kilometres on foot, as had been indicated to them, and they arrived without encountering any special obstacle. Brother Sergius already knew that they were coming to him from a long way away, and was waiting for them. When they entered his house he was the first to begin speaking:
"Tell Matushka Abbess: it is absolutely forbidden to go to this 'church'. Let her not to doubt or waver any more. There, in that 'church', is a terrible, horrific heresy. All the priests there have signed, have agreed and entered into complete obedience to the antichrist... Now we must live as in the last times. We can turn only to those priests who have not signed allegiance to the antagonist of Christ. But there are very few of them and they are persecuting and killing them. They will teach you what to do and how to act..."
One could say that this servant of God, the sick Sergius, prevented the whole region from accepting sergianist renovationism.
One day a woman arrived all in tears. She sat in the garden because she could not go in to him - she had killed her husband, not personally, but she had cooperated in it. A friend of the woman came to his house and said nothing about her:
"Mama, go into the garden, a woman is sitting there weeping bitterly. Bring her here!"
When the weeping woman came in, Brother Sergius did not let her speak. He calmed her, saying that her reposed husband had begun to lead a depraved life, and that his killing was allowed for her repentance.
Such was the divine gift of this humble ascetic.
An elderly woman, being on the point of going on a journey, came to say goodbye. And she began to explain:
"I'm going a long distance, brother - to Murmansk!"
And he replied: "Your children will go, but you will stay behind."
"What are you saying, brother?"
"They will go and return, but you will not go!"
"No, I'm going. How can they go without me."
"No, you will not go..."
But when she returned home, she thought: "Could it be that he was speaking about my death?! But am I really so old?"
But all this was forgotten in the bustle. A carriage was being prepared, and she went there to help with the preparations. There was no time to think of herself and the morrow... And suddenly she felt ill. She asked to go home. They took her. And within three weeks she had died. The children actually went to Murmansk, but they soon came back - they did not like it.
So the words of the sick Sergius were exactly fulfilled. But did he speak from himself? No, he spoke what the Lord revealed to him.
The authorities began to stop the flow of people going to the sick man. They came and had a look at him: terribly crippled, skinny, just bones, and around him - scandalous poverty.
"What are you - God or something?" they asked with intentional coarseness and mockery.
"No! The Lord is in heaven and... everywhere!"
"What are you then - a Saint?"
"No, I'm a sinful man..."
"You know, we shall give you some good work. You will earn money and be our correspondent. Will you write who comes to you and what he says?"
"What - I a correspondent!? And what should I want with money?"
"What do you mean: 'Why?' To live! You've got nothing!"
"But even so, as the Lord looks after me, I live..."
"Well, see that no one comes to you!"
One day in autumn, just before the feast of the Protecting Veil, he suddenly put on all his monastic clothes. And late in the evening the authorities came to take him. They put him in prison, in the prison hospital.
A nurse who worked in the hospital thirty years said of him:
"Never in our hospital was there such a patient. Never has anyone spoken as he did!"
From the Protecting Veil until Pascha they kept him in hospital. But on Holy Pascha they took him out of the hospital on a stretcher, loaded him in a car taking a spade with them. Then they returned the spade. It was covered in blood, the holy blood of a martyr of Christ...
Often his visitors used to say:
"The Lord save you, Brother Sergius, for your dear, golden words. When you die, we shall come to your grave!"
"Oh no! No one will know my grave!" he replied.
(Source: Schemamonk Epiphanius (Chernov), Tserkov' Katakombnaya na Zemlye Rossijskoj)
Hieromonk Palladius had been in the past a novice of the well-known Kievan hieroschemamonk Jonah of the Vdubitsky skete of the Kievan Caves Lavra, from whom he received the monastic tonsure with the name Palladius.
Father Palladius related how the Soviet authorities had brought the priests to submit to Metropolitan Sergius. That was in 1927/28 in Kiev:
"They collected about two hundred of us clergy on the third floor of a building in Kiev, evidently occupied by the GPU. They declared to us that we were all obliged to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), to whom the Soviet authorities had entrusted the government of the Orthodox Church in the U.S.S.R. This was the so-called 'signature of loyalty'. Whoever signed the required obligation would be received into the clergy by the 'bishop' and appointed a place where he was to serve. But whoever refused to do this would be looked upon by the Soviet authorities as having, by this refusal, committed an act of counter-revolution. And with such people, as with 'enemies of the people', they said, we can deal severely...
"And then they began to call us up according to a list... But they positioned us in such a way that we were well able to see both the table to which they called us up individually and the window, close by the table, and what was happening beyond the window, below, in the inner courtyard of this building.
"When they began to call out the names, no one faltered and not one gave his signature. One after the other they went up to the table and replied with a refusal. And immediately they threw the man who had refused through the window onto the concrete square. Some of these courageous martyrs for Christ, on falling from the third floor, were immediately killed and did not move. When others hit the concrete, their eyes fell out, but they continued to move... And immediately they picked each of them up and hurled them into a lorry... Seventeen clergy were thrown in in this manner. The queue now came to me - I was the fourth after these seventeen.
"I was in such joy, it is impossible to describe it," he continued. "Fervently I thanked the Lord: 'Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who hast counted me worthy to receive a martyr's death!...' But alas! at that moment, a chekist came in and gave the order to wait a little with the refusers... Apparently, they understood that with this method of punishment they would be able neither to shake nor to terrify any of the confessors of the Faith of Christ. And after seventeen had been thrown through the window, they stopped hurling down those who refused to submit to Metropolitan Sergius, and began to give them terms of imprisonment in camps from five to ten years. They gave me eight years' imprisonment in camps... At the end of this term, they gave me three years more in exile in Kirghizia..."
But Fr. Palladius did not live until his release from exile. A month before the end of his sentence they arrested him in the flat where he had been for three years. Saying farewell to his hosts, he fell to his knees and prayed fervently. Then in the presence of the chekists, he said to the believers:
"May the Lord bless you and keep you unshakeable in the Orthodox Faith. Save them, O Lord, for the great merciful kindness that they have shown towards me. May the Lord God reward you. I shall pray for you and on my part I promise you that if I am alive I shall tell you about myself... And if I do not write, then know that I am no longer among the living... The Lord save you and keep you! I bow to the earth before you with love in Christ!.."
That was in February, 1938. They took him away and he disappeared without trace. Apparently they shot him.
(Source: Schemamonk Epiphanius (Chernov), Tserkov' Katakombnaya na Zemlye Rossijskoj)
Protopriest Gervasius Sergeyevich Sinyachevsky before and after the revolution served the parishes of two villages in the Ukraine, somewhere between Kiev and Berdichev. Fr. Gervasius was first arrested at the beginning of 1938, after an unsuccessful attempt to incline him to the side of Soviet power.
During interrogations they broke his fingers by putting them into a door jamb. All the time they demanded that he sign certain documents committing him to work with them. Then they released him for a short time, but soon he was arrested again. Fr. Gervasius was tortured to death by the Bolsheviks in 1938 or 1939 either because he refused to recognize the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius or because he refused to join the renovationists.
Fr. Gervasius' fate was recounted to his relatives by his friend, who was let out of prison. He said that he had seen Fr. Gervasius on crutches with pieces of flesh hanging from his body. It looked as if he were already dead. No other information has been preserved.
Fr. Gervasius' sister, Elizabeth Sergeyevna, lived until the Second World War in Zhitomir and belonged to a community of the Catacomb Church. When the churches were opened under the Germans, she began to go to them. During the War she succeeded in leaving the USSR, and in about 1950 she arrived in America, where she later died. She was buried in the cemetery of Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville.
(Source: "Protoierej Gervasij Sinyachevskij", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', N 3 (602), March, 2000, pp. 8-9)
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