Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

29 July 2015. Let Him Deny Himself, and Take Up His Cross

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The Holy Mountain of Grabarka is one of the most sacred spots in Orthodox Poland...

BMD

Monday, 20 August 2012

Patriarch Kirill Visits the Holy Mountain of Grabarka on the Feastday of the Transfiguration

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On Sunday, 19 August, as part of his official visit to Poland, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias prayed at the Holy Mountain of Grabarka, along with thousands of pilgrims, as Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated the feastday of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Grabarka, first mentioned in 1710, is the holiest location in Polish Orthodoxy. Legend has it that during an outbreak of cholera in the region, a man had a revelation from God that the disease would go away if the believers, each carrying a wooden cross, would climb Mount Grabarka, put their crosses up on its top, drink from its creek, and serve a molieben. As soon as they did that, the epidemic subsided. Later, believers built a chapel on the summit, and they established the tradition of planting crosses on the mountain. In 1947, the mountain became the site of the Convent of Ss Martha and Mary. By the way, the Russian aristocrat Sofia Nekhlyudova, who was a childhood playmate of the last Russian tsar’s children at Tsarskoye Selo, had an important part in the history of the convent.

The First Hierarch of the Church of Poland, Metropolitan Sawa Hrycuniak of Warsaw and all Poland, addressed the gathered believers before the service, “For us, this holiday has a special meaning. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, whom we’ve been looking forward to seeing for a long time, has arrived. He came to see our faith, to give us his blessing, and to pray not only for us, but also for our families, for our children, for our Motherland, and for the world. His visit is a great joy to us. He’s the closest and most akin Orthodox First Hierarch to us, to whom we’re linked by close spiritual ties”.

Patriarch Kirill said, “I’d heard much about Grabarka and about the constant stream of pilgrims going there, but I couldn’t really believe it all until I saw it with my own eyes. My soul rejoiced at the sight of the seemingly-endless convoy of automobiles, of the many radiant and joyful people coming here, atop this holy mountain, gathering for common prayer. That means that you, Polish Orthodox Christians, who’ve walked a unique and torturous path through history, not an easy one, who kept your faith through all difficulties, felt the need to be together and to pray together. I bring you the love and blessing of Holy Rus, of your brothers and sisters in Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and other countries, who share our common history, ethos, and faith”.

Whilst he was in Poland, Patriarch Kirill visited many other locations. Wherever he went, crowds of people gathered to greet him with great joy. Believers waited for hours just to catch a glimpse of their “Holy Father”. An Orthodox believer named Tatiana told VOR in an interview, “For me, it’s a real spiritual boost. It’s an inspiration to know that, after Patriarch Kirill’s visit, Polish Catholics will look upon Polish Orthodox Christians as equals. They’ve had their Pope visit them more than once, and, now, our ‘Father’ has come. Of all the patriarchs, none other is closer to us”.

At bookstalls around the cathedral at the monastery in Supraśl, there was a brisk trade in a book translated into Polish entitled, Patriarch Kirill. It was printed in a high-quality edition, and some of the buyers even kissed the image of the Patriarch on the cover. An Orthodox believer, Sofia, who came to Supraśl specifically to see the Patriarch, told us, “I’m glad that I bought this book, for I’ll learn more about Russian Orthodoxy and about Russia. Our Churches and our faith are very similar, but we still know so little of each other. At present, the politicians have done much to reconcile our countries, but it’s necessary to emphasise that the efforts of ordinary people, of believers, are also necessary. For a long time, we had no opportunity to communicate with one another, although we very much longed to do it. Now, everything is different. We’ve signed a reconciliation pact, which opens a new chapter in our history. To bring this about, we need to get to know and understand your people better”.

A new page in the history of our two peoples begins with the celebration of the feastday of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. It’s a great occasion, symbolising a transfiguration of our souls, peoples, and Motherlands, entering into the hearts of all believers.

19 August 2012

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2012_08_19/Patriarh-Kirill-vstretil-Preobrazhenie-Gospodne-na-svjatoj-gore-Grabarke/

Editor’s Note:

My hope and prayer for us in the American, Canadian, and Alaskan Russian Orthodox diasporas is simple. The outmoded Cold War structures of the OCA, the MP/US, and the ROCOR are now corroded and beyond repair. It’s time to leave our wilderness wandering and to enter the Promised Land. We should gather together as one, as a single Church body, formally united, under the aegis of the Mother Church (that is, separate unified Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Districts for the USA, Canada, and Alaska). If the konvertsy wise up and want to come with us, that’s fine; if they wish to play around with “religion” and “culture wars“, to putrefy and degenerate in their American phyletism, so be it, we should give them what they want. I pray for the day when HH comes to St T‘s, and we gather about him as the Polish believers gathered at Grabarka.

I’m not alone in longing for that… God wills it…

BMD

Sunday, 19 August 2012

19 August 2012. A Photo Essay. The Feastday of the Transfiguration at the Holy Mountain of Grabarka with HH… It’s the People!

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“It’s the people”… it’s not the bishops… it’s not the clergy… it’s not the buildings and property. That’s what Christ’s Church is all about, kids. It’s US… not excuses for bishops like Matthias Moriak and Benjamin Peterson (nepotism and drink driving are NOT part of the Apostolic Deposit)… not slippery clergy like Iggy and Eric Tosi… not arrogant snotties like Freddie M-G and Patrick Reardon… not clueless neophytes like Rod Dreher and Terrence Mattingly… not scheming apparatchiki like Lyonyo and Lebedeff… not overblown empty suits like Mark Stokoe or Vlad Berzansky Jr… not snooty academics like John Behr and Vassa Larina. It’s why I believe that things will work out in the end in the American Russian Orthodox diaspora. The people will have the final say… even if it’s only “voting with their feet”. Remember, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and do remember WHO said that. Our Lord Christ would’ve been right at home in Endicott NY, Mayfield PA, or Parma OH… he’d take the cat o’ nine tails to SVS, Jordanville, or Syosset. You have made my Father’s house a den of thieves… reflect on that…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 19 August 2012

Feastday of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Albany NY

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Patriarch Kirill Will Pray with Believers and Sign a Document of Reconciliation Between the Russian and Polish Peoples during His Polish Trip

Pilgrims at the Holy Mountain of Grabarka, the focal point of the patriarchal visit

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A video on the Holy Mountain of Grabarka… the holiest spot in Orthodox Poland

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On 16-19 August, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias will visit Poland at the invitation of the First Hierarch of the Church of Poland, Metropolitan Sawa Hrycuniak of Warsaw and all Poland. On Tuesday, Deacon Aleksandr Volkov, head of the patriarchal press service, told Interfax-Religion, “This the first official visit of [Patriarch Kirill] to the Church of Poland, and, no doubt, this event will be of paramount importance in maintaining good Christian relations between our peoples”.

In the course of his visit, the Patriarch will serve together with the First Hierarch of the Church of Poland and his clergy. On 16 August, on his arrival in Warsaw, His Holiness will serve a molieben at the Cathedral of St Mary Magdalene. The principal services of the visit shall be on the eve of and on Transfiguration, on 18/19 August, at one of the most sacred spots in Poland, the Holy Mountain of Grabarka. Deacon Aleksandr told us, “Every year, a large number of pilgrims come to this place on the feast of the Transfiguration. The First Hierarchs will serve together on the feastday, which shall be the main event of the Patriarch’s visit”.

Besides this, Patriarch Kirill will visit parishes and monasteries in Poland, where he’ll meet and pray with Polish believers. Deacon Aleksandr went on to say, “Taking into account the importance of protecting traditional Christian values ​​and culture in modern Europe, and our common concerns in this regard, His Holiness and the President of the Polish Episcopal Conference (RC), Metropolitan Archbishop Józef Michalik of Przemyśl, signed a joint message to the peoples of Russia and Poland”. He told us that the document would urge development of fraternal relations between Russians and Poles, “as they’re peoples who find the Christian Weltanschauung imperative”. In addition, as is customary, the Patriarch will meet with the highest levels of the Polish state leadership.

14 August 2012

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=46993

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