Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Stalin Memorial Unveiled in Siberia

01 Joseph Stalin Soviet Poster


On Wednesday, a KPRF official said that a bust of Soviet leader Iosif Stalin was unveiled in the northeast Siberian city of Yakutsk. The 2.5-metre (8.2-foot)-tall bronze bust was unveiled on the grounds of the Almazi Anabara private diamond company on the eve of nationwide celebrations to mark the capitulation of Nazi Germany in Europe in 1945. As of Wednesday afternoon, a company spokesman wasn’t available for comment. The company offered to host the bust after local authorities denied the communists permission to erect it on a square in the city.

Stalin, whose prison camps and security services took the lives of millions of Soviet citizens during his almost-30-year reign, remains a popular figure with many Russians. Critics accused President Vladimir Putin of attempting to bolster Stalin’s reputation. In recent years, school history books now describe Stalin as an “effective manager”, and the city of Volgograd temporarily reverts to its World War II-era name of Stalingrad for several days a year to mark celebrations linked to crucial events in the war.

A survey by state pollster VTsIOM last year indicated that 33 percent of Russians viewed Stalin positively, whilst 25 percent disapproved of him. The poll surveyed 1,600 respondents. Historians estimate the total number of victims of Stalin-era political repressions at anywhere between 3 million and 39 million. According to historians, tens of thousands, at the very minimum, of GULag inmates perished in the building of the “Road of Bones” that connects the port of Magadan to Yakutsk. Their bodies were laid under or around the road, which was constructed on permafrost.

8 May 2013





Russian Icons at Knights of Columbus Museum

00 Unknown Artist. Mother of God 'of Konevskaya'. 19th century Russian.

Mother of God “of Konevskaya”

Unknown Artist

19th century



Orthodox Christians revere Russian icons as sacred devotional pieces. However, to others around the world, they’re magnificent treasures, collected and cherished for their beauty, artistry, and history. Simply put, the appeal of Russian icons is international, extending beyond religious or ethnic background. With this in mind, the museum at Knights of Columbus International Headquarters in New Haven CT (where the organisation was founded) is presenting Windows into Heaven: Russian Icons and Treasures, which will run for more than a year… through 27 April 2014. The exhibition opened in time for Orthodox Easter on Sunday, 5 May. Many Orthodox Christian churches, including the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches, celebrate Easter Sunday based on the Julian calendar.

The exhibition features about 325 icons and liturgical pieces, most of which are on loan from a private collector who requested to remain anonymous. A few pieces are from the museum’s permanent collection. Museum Curator Mary Lou Cummings said the exhibition is visually stunning, no matter how one views iconography. The exhibition points out that iconographic customs have endured for more than a millennium and that they “offer a story of spirituality, tradition and cultures, shaped by the triumphs and struggle of Russian Christians through their country’s 12 centuries”, according to information provided in the exhibition.

The museum said in a statement, “Orthodox Christianity, adopted from the Byzantine Empire (sic) in Constantinople (now Istanbul), was instituted as the state religion in Kiev by Prince Vladimir in 988 AD, and spread across all of Russia. One of the most important elements of the Orthodox faith that followed from Constantinople was the sacred art of iconography. These highly-venerated images spread across Russia … fostering religious understanding and devotion among the people of Kievan Rus in the present-day Ukraine, Belarus, and northwest Russia … with nearly every home having a sacred (or prayer) corner containing one or more icons. … Iconographers historically prayed or fasted before and during the creation of an icon”.

According to the exhibition’s introductory text, Prayer to, and veneration of, icons “was understood to be an encounter with God, His saints, and angels”. Cummings added that Orthodox Christians consider icons as conduits for prayers or “windows into heaven” and they “aren’t created to be artwork”. She said that many of the icons on view are centuries old, thus, predating the Bolshevik Revolution of the early 20th century.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said, “Icons have been synonymous with Christian prayer and practice for centuries. One of the great traditions of Eastern Christianity, icons are less-well-known here, and we’re pleased that this exhibit will enable residents of the Northeast to grow in their understanding of the history and religious significance of these windows into heaven”. According to the museum, “Traditionally, icons were painted in egg tempera on wood and often accented with gold-leaf or covered with ornately-gilt metal covers called rizas. Rich in symbolism, they’re still used extensively in Orthodox churches and monasteries, and many Russian homes have icons hanging on the wall in a ‘Beautiful (or prayer) Corner’. Today, Russian Orthodox icons are renowned throughout the world”. Cummings said that the exhibition has four distinct sections, each devoted to specific icons:


Knights of Columbus Museum, 1 State St, New Haven CT. Open daily from 10.00 to 17.00, admission and parking are free. Call (203) 865 0400 or visit kofcmuseum.org.

2 May 2013

Phyllis A S Boros

Connecticut Post


8 May 2013. It’s Still Bright Week… Keep on Partyin’… Lent’s OVER

00 Easter 01. Cossacks. 08.05.13


It’s still Bright Week… ain’t no fasting or abstinence allowed at all, kids. Have a smile on yer face… Christ is risen and the demons are fallen, as Chrysostom put it. Sometimes, it seems otherwise, but the plug-uglies won’t win in the end. Even the nogoodniks in riassas won’t pull a fast one on God. Chrysostom said something else… that the lampstands of Hell were bad priests… reflect on that one. Remember… the people are the Church… not the bishops… not the clergy… not the buildings. Keep the faith and believe… they won’t bedevil the Church forever… God said so.

Христосъ воскресе!


8 May 2013. Here’s the Official Schedule for the Memorial Day Pilgrimage at St T’s

St Tikhon's 05.12


Here’s the official listing for the Memorial Day Pilgrimage at St T‘s (there’s an article for the monastery in the Russian Wikipedia, but NOT in the English one… it looks like SVS/Syosset is trying to whitewash history):

Monday, May 27, 2013

  • 07.30 Divine Liturgy, Monastery Church
  • 10.00 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
  • 12.00 Veteran’s Pannikhida and Memorial Service, All Saints Bell Tower
  • 13.30 Akathist to St Aleksei Tóth in the Monastery Church (NB: The Russian Wikipedia article is more complete than the English one is… shame on the OCA)
  • 14.30 Molieben to the Most Holy Theotokos and Anointing of the Sick,
    Infirm, and all Pilgrims at the Monastery Bell Tower
  • 16.00 Vespers and Matins in the Monastery Church

All times are Eastern Daylight Time

For the entire schedule of the weekend, click here. God willing, it’ll be better than the last couple of times. Of course, the question remains… is Mollard going to allow Feodosy and JP to serve with him? Is Mollard going to have some sort of role for his sugar daddy Herman? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…



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