Дорога домой. Выпуск ДД-14(08)а
История Русской Церкви.|
8 -- MONASTERIES
(1) Monasticism; (1.1) Origin of Monasticism; (1.2) Преподобный Antony the Great; (1.3) Eremites; (1.4) Communal Monasticism; (1.5) Significance of Monasticism;
(2) Киево-Печерская Лавра; (2.1) Преподобный Antony; (2.2) Преподобный Feodosy;
(3) Holy Троицкая-Сергиевская Lavra; (3.1) Преподобный Sergey of Radonezh; (3.2) Contribution of Троицкая лавра during Period of Impostors;
(4) Solovetsky Monastery.
1.1 Origin of Monasticism
From the very beginning of the Christian Church many believers desired to achieve the a higher spiritual and moral level [position]. Some voluntarily refused to own property and distributed it to the poor, others, imitating Приснодеву [Ever Virgin] Marie, Holy Предтеча [Forerunner] John, apostles Paul, John and Iakov [Jakob], took up a vow of chastity, spent time in constant prayer, fast and abstinence.
Monks felt that it was easier for them to carry out their vows away from the world. Therefore they would leave cities and settlements and live in the mountains and deserts. They were called eremites or [religious recluse, hermits].
During the persecutions of Christians, Christians had to flee and hide in various ways. This obviously promoted monasticism. When the persecutions stopped, many pagans began to convert to Christianity, without especial faith. The purity of Christian life began to weaken and this also promoted monasticism, since to achieve the Christian way of life, the believers began to enter monasteries.
1.2 "Преподобный" Antony the Great
Monasticism first appeared in the east, in Egypt. The father of monasticism is considered to be Antony the Great. Antony was born around the year 250 from noble and rich parents who brought him up as a pious person.
At first Saint Antony lived in the desert by himself. After twenty years gradually students [followers] appeared. Quiet, self-restrained, equally friendly to all, the старец [elder] soon become the teacher to many. Saint Antony died at a very old age (106 years, in the year 356) and for his merits received the name of "Great".
The memory of Holy Преподобный Antony the Great is observed on January, 16/29th.
Преподобный Antony founded отшельническое [eremetical] monasticism. Several eremites [religious recluse, hermits], being under the leadership of one teacher (abba - father, in Hebrew), lived separately from each other in huts and caves (скитах). There they prayed, fasted and were engaged in some work and helped the poor. Several small скит, under the direction of one abba were called a lavra.
1.4 Communal Monasticism
Even during the life of Antony the Great there appeared another kind of monasticism: communal monasticism [also called coenobitic]. Monks gathered into one community, worked for the common benefit and complied with the same rules. Such communities were called monasteries. Heads of these communities аввы [abbots] were referred to as archimandrites.
1.5 Significance of Monasticism
Despite the fact that monks left the world to achieve moral and spiritual perfection, the monasticism had a big beneficial influence on all of society. Just one look at the life of monks, lets people know where their true home is. The fame of the life and подвиг of holy подвижниках [monks], drew to them many people, who were looking for direction [instruction] and consolation. The visitors not only studied their piety, but also told others about them and wrote down their works (life) and sayings. The collection of works and sayings of the holy monks, became the textbook and moral guide for all Christians.
Monasteries were beneficial for the spiritual and moral good of people. They were the center and an example of piety, spiritual enlightenment, education and were the center of the pure and uncorrupted faith. But the main merit of monks for a society is a constant prayer about Church, country, living and deceased people.
Monasteries also helped in the physical welfare of people. Monks obtained their own sustenance and shared it with the poor. At monasteries there were lodgings for pilgrims, where monks hosted and fed the piligrims. Monasteries provided charity to the poor and the imprisoned in jails.
By helping the spiritual, moral and physical wellbeing of believers, monasticism helped the spread of the Christian faith and the final fall of paganism. The morally high way of life of the monks was surprising the pagans and was for them a proof of the sanctity of the Christian religion.
Seeing the high level of piety of the monks, hierarchs began to bestow on them the rank of priesthood. Later a custom developed that bestowed the high rank of bishop only on monks.
1. Why did believers began to enter monasteries?
2. Whom did the monks imitate?
3. What is a Lavra?
4. What other kind of monasticism is there?
5. How did the monasteries effect the other believers?
2. Киево-Печерская лавра
Киево-Печерская лавра [Kiev-Caves Lavra] was the model for all other monasteries and had a great significance for the Russian Church. From her walls came well-known hierarchs, zealous preachers of the faith and outstanding writers.
The first cave, where later the Киево-Печерская лавра [Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra] was established, was dug in 1051 by Saint Ilarion, the first metropolitan of Kiev of Russian origin, (3-7.2 - St. Ilarion). The Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra itself was established by Преподобный Antony and developed by Преподобный Феодосий [Feodosy, Theodosius].
Following the model of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra monasteries arose in other places of Russia.
1. What it the significance of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra?
2. How was it established?
2.1 Преподобный Antony
The founder of the Киево-Печерская лавра [Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra], saint Antony, was born in the city of Любече [Lyubeche], in the Chernigov губерния [province] (present-day Ukraine). From his early years he felt the desire towards the monastic life and decided to go to mount Афон [Athos]. In one of the monasteries on Athos he took the monastic vows and began an отшельническую [eremitical] life in a cave near the monastery.
When he obtained spiritual experience, then the abbot of the monastery gave him послушание [monastic task, obedience] to go to Russia and to spread there иночество [app. monasticism] and monasteries in this newly новопросвещенной [newly-enlightened] Christian country. Antony obeyed. When he arrived in Kiev there were already several monasteries established by the Greeks. Antony did not selected any of them, but settled in a 2 сажени [app. 4 meters, 12 feet][*] cave which was dug by Пресвитер [Presbyter] Ilarion in 1051.
[* сажень=2.13 meters, app. 6 feet].
Here Antony continued the подвигс of a strict monastic life; his food was black bread every second day and water in very small quantities. Soon his fame spread not only all over Kiev, but also in other Russian cities. Many came to him for spiritual advice and blessing. Some began to ask him to let them come and live with him. The first one he accepted was priest Nikon, and the second one was Преподобный Феодосий [Prepodobny Feodosy].
The memory of Преподобный Antony of Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra is observed on July, 10/23th.
1. Who was Преподобный Antony of Kievo-Pechersky?
2.2 Преподобный Feodosy
The saint spent his youth in Kursk where his parents lived. From an early age he was in church every day, diligently reading God's Word. Feodosy was known for his modesty, humility and other good qualities. Once he came to Преподобному Antony, but at first he did not want to receive him because of his young age.
When the number of сподвижников [eremites] of Saint Antony grew to 12, he departed to the adjacent mountain, dug a cave for himself and began to live an ascetic life in solitude. However Feodosy remained in the same place. Soon the monks elected Feodosy to be the abbot and he made an effort to initiate a proper way of communal life, based on the charter of the цареградского Студийского Monastery.
The main features of this communal rule were the following: all property of the monks belonged to everybody; time was spent in continuous labors (послушаниях [monastic tasks, obediences]); tasks were assigned by the abbot to each monk in accordance with his capabilities; each task started with a prayer and the blessing by the senior member; sins and помыслы [sinful thoughts] were confessed to the abbot confessor, who was everybody's leader on the road of salvation.
Feodosy himself was an example to all monks: he carried water, chopped fire wood, worked in the bakery, dressed in the most simple and shabby clothes, came before everybody to church and for monastic duties. In addition to his ascetic feats, Преподобный Feodosy was known for his great charity to the poor and love for spiritual enlightenment and tried to build interest towards them among his fellow monks [brotherhood].
Near the monastery he built a house for the poor, blind, lame and sickly and for their upkeep he took 10% of the monastery's income. Besides this, every Saturday he sent a whole cartful of bread, for prisoners in the jails.
The monastery itself was built above a cave. First the church was built, and then near it a proper monastery was built: a large church, келии [cells] and everything was fenced in with a wall. 12 years after construction of the monastery, Преподобный Feodosy decided to erect a more extensive monastery. Soon, on May 3rd, 1074, Преподобный Feodosy died and was buried in a cave under the old monastery, that is in the first cave that Преподобный Antony inherited from Ilarion.
The memory of Преподобный Feodosy, игумен [hegumen, abbot] of Kievo-Pechersky monastery is observed on the day of the transferring of his мощи [remains, relics] on August, 14/27th and on the day of his repose on May, 3/16th.
1. Who was Преподобный Feodosy, игумен [hegumen, abbot] Kievo-Pechersky?
3. Holy Троицкая-Сергиевская Lavra
The foundation of the Holy Троицкая-Сергиевская Lavra was laid in the middle of the 14th century.
3.1 Преподобный Sergey of Radonezh (+1392)
Its founder, Преподобный Sergey (in the world Varfolomey), was the son of boyars Cyril and Maria who first lived in Rostov, and then moved closer to Moscow, to the settlement of Radonezh. From an early age he had a strong desire to serve God in solitude, following the example of the ancient eremites; but he was held back by his family and love for his parents.
After their death he gave his inheritance to his younger brother Peter and together with the oldest brother Stefan settled about ten versts [верста app. a kilometer] from Radonezh, in the dense woods. Soon Stefan left him and Saint Sergey for about two years was living alone as an eremite. (Stefan later became the настоятель [prior] of the Богоявленского [Bogoyavlensky] Monastery in Moscow and the confessor of a Great Count).
The life and works of Преподобный Sergey have a special meaning in the history of Russian monasticism. He initiated the life of wilderness dwellers by establishing a communal monastery away from the city
Established on new principles, the Holy Trinity monastery in the beginning suffered great need in everything. The vestments were from simple крашенина [painted cloth], the sacred vessels were wooden and instead of candles light was from лучина [torch]. But the eremites were lit with a spiritual zeal. Saint Sergey was to his brothers-monks an example of strict abstention, the deepest humility and an unshakable hope in God's will. In duties and подвигс [ascetic labors] he was first and the brothers-monks followed him.
Several years after the establishment of the monastery, peasants began to settle around it. Near it there was the main road to Moscow and to the north. The financial means of the holy monastery began to grow. Just as in the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, he began to distribute plentiful charity and to accept the sick and pilgrims.
Great Count Dimitry Ioannovich respected Преподобный Sergey as a father and asked for his blessing for the fight against Mamai [Tatar Golden Horde].
Even during his lifetime Преподобный Sergey performed miracles and was privileged to have great revelations. Once the Mother of God in marvellous greatness appeared to him with the apostles Peter and John and promised to protect his monastery. At another time he saw an unusual light and many birds, sweet singing, and received a revelation, that many monks will gather in his monastery.
The memory of Преподобный Sergey of Radonezh, wonderworker is observed on the day of his repose on September 25/October 8th and on the day of the discovery of his мощи [relics, remains] on July 5/18th.
3.2 -- Contribution of Троицкая лавра during Period of Impostors [=4.7.2]
The Russian Church was always in close contact with the people and the state, it never separated from them and always served for their true benefit.
During the times of the impostors, all the Russian clergy rose to protect their faith and the fatherland. Especially great service to the Church and the state was rendered by the monastery called Троицко-Сергиева Лавра.
During the Смутного времени [Troubled Times] this monastery contributed 65,000 rubles (a huge sum for that time). Part of this money was sent to Moscow when the Lavra was defending the approaches to Moscow and itself underwent siege from the Poles. This siege lasted 16 months (from September 1608). The Lavra was besieged by 30,000 men, a well trained army, and in the monastery there were no more than 2,500. The defenders were exhausted from famine and illnesses but did not surrender. God's power, by the prayers of St. Sergius (who often appeared to the besieged) helped, and the Poles could not seize the monastery.
After the siege, the monastery gave shelter to crowds of looted and wounded peasants. The monastery, from a fortress, became a refuge (shelter for the poor and sick).
Just as patriarch Germogen sent граматы [dispatches] to all the cities, which called the Russian people to free Moscow from the Poles, similar dispatches were also sent from the Lavra.
When the келарь [cellarer, food-master] of the monastery, Avraamy, learned of the approach of the Nizhni Novgorod People's Militia to Moscow, he went out to them, and inspired them with fiery speeches.
4. Solovetsky Monastery
In the 16th century, in the far north of Russia, arose the famous Соловецкий [Solovetsky] Monastery. Her founders were Преподобный Zosima the abbott and Savvaty Slovetskie. Later the holy игумен [hegumen, abbot] Filipp [Phillip] labored there as well.
The Solovetsky Monastery until now (1911) serves as a stronghold of faith and piety in the northern outskirts of Russia. Many pilgrims visit her and in addition to the monks living there, thousands of Christians, particularly simple people, huddle around her as voluntary students and workers. Here they learn to read and write and learn crafts, carry out their vows and take from here useful edification [enlightenment] for their whole life and for their families and the outside world.
[П1] Notes in square brackets were not part of the original Russian text.
[П2] Russian Alphabet (SE-03)
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