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New Martyrs of Optina Pustyn

2 bytes added, 18:48, November 5, 2008
Monk Ferapont (Vladimir Pushkariov)=: add link
Trofim had been ringing the bells, summoning all for Easter midnight service when the satanist by the name of Nikolay Averin struck him in the back with a ritual knife. Thus ended the almost three-year-long monkhood of Trofim.
==Monk Ferapont (Vladimir Pushkariov)===
Monk Ferapont was the third victim of the horrendous act by a satanist on Easter night in 1993. He lived to be but 35 years, 7 months old. In secular life his name was Vladimir Pushkariov.
Another quotation from Father Isaac the Syrian: "Silence is the secret of life of the future century."
The world inevitably cultivates a pre-conceived notion of monastic life, and can have an oppressive influence on the monastery. In newspaper publications one is immediately confronted with their groundwork thesis: the monks are useful to society since they take care of the needy and sick and take gifts to foster homes. Of course, all this is a part of the routine at Optina Pustyn. Still, to assess the value of monkhood by deeds of charity is akin to assessing the merits of a microscope for cracking nuts. This is a debate that goes way back when—on the social merits and Christian love. The archives of great Russian writer [[Fyodor Dostoevsky ]] contain a letter by violinist of the Imperial theatre, who censured Christ for not having turned stones into bread. The violinist wrote with indignation that one should first feed humanity and only then talk of Love and Christ. In a reply letter Fyodor Dostoevsky roughly outlined a picture of sated humankind, without any belief in God, and asked if we would not then be in danger of turning into overfed swine, unable to raise our heads to the heavens? And then prophesied: "bread shall then be turned to stone."
As for monk Ferapont, he strove for the principal monastic deed: prayer for oneself and all of mankind. He particularly liked to pray in solitude, in one of the small chambers of the church, where the relics of one of the Optina elders were kept. Church service would be over, yet monk Ferapont would still be there in front of the relics, praying.
On Easter night, before the murder, monk Ferapont was standing in church, not in his usual place, but near the table, where services for the repose of the souls are usually conducted. He stood, as if immobile, head bowed in prayer and sorrow. There were a great many people in the church. He was being shoved and crowded, yet he seemed to notice nothing. Then, he set off for the last confession of his life. A satanist struck him with a ritual knife when, together with monk Trofim, he was chiming the bells.
*Tatyana Shvetsova. [ New Martyrs of the Optina Pustyn], Voice of Russia, 05-04-2007.

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