Betraying fear. Memory of Archpriest Pavel Adelgeim

“The father, Paul said that outside of the Ordinances, he’s about as Christian as everyone else. In the path of shepherding the main thing he believed the preaching about the Risen Christ and live”. About life and death reflects the unique priest friend of father Paul, the philosopher, the writer, editor of “Sceptic” Professor Vladimir Sharonov.

Father Pavel Adelgeim. Photo: Lev Shlosberg / Facebook

  • He was not of your kind. About the life and death of father Pavel Adelgeim
  • The shepherd of humanity
  • The house, which was always open
  • Father Paul Adelgeim – prayer, the ascetic, the good shepherd
  • Faith Adelgeim: a Year without father Paul

Dedicated to the 80th anniversary since the birth of
and 5 years from the date of death of the Archpriest
Pavla Adelgeim

Outside of the Sacraments a Christian, as all

In a small Russian city for nearly 40 years lived a simple Orthodox priest. Friends and acquaintances, meeting him in the street, greeted him with special respect. But many other passers-by could not help paying this man attention. The reason was not so much a noticeable limp, which was guessed the presence of a large prosthesis, and not a cassock, and a beautiful face with regular features, his friendliness is dramatically framed by a common concern and frequent moroseness. The eyes of the priest shone with joy and did not slide over ambient, as it happens in humans, tired of life. His eyes kept attention, children tend to are ready to gape wide open to the wonder of the world.

Everything else in this very modestly clothed man it was hard to imagine someone whose opinion on a variety of issues — from religious to secular — will be important for an increasing number of people, including very well-known and significant living in Russia and in many other countries. His sudden martyrdom was the impetus when he began to reveal the true magnitude of his personality, and he becomes the greater, the more deleted the day of his death. Of course, one of the reasons for his current notoriety was biography, styanuvshih your site too much: a long wandering and suffering of those who survived the family executions, unjust persecution for the faith, amazing resilience shown them to conclude…

All this has not once written. But let us not forget that the external events in the life of any of us expressed the inner essence, and therefore to better understand why the name of Archpriest Pavel Adelgeim A. has gone down in Larger history of the Church, you must look at his relation to himself and his business.

The father, Paul said that outside of the Ordinances, he’s about as Christian as everyone else. In the path of shepherding the main thing he considered the preaching of Christ Risen and alive. But here in front of us with the inevitability raises a fundamental question: is it possible to speak to modern man about God, and if possible, how? In most cases, the answer is a phrase: “Me, this topic just does not interest”.

Someone will refer to an especial intimacy of a personal relationship with the Creator. There are many those who are beginning to prove that all our troubles are due to the fact that “men loved darkness rather than light” (Jn. 3:19), and has long had a hundred times more likely to talk about the importance of the Church and is not ashamed to spread Christianity for the good of the people and the future of the country.

Father Paul was convinced that to speak about the main thing for a person of the Savior is absolutely necessary, but it is so difficult and responsible, and religious subbase identity is so vulnerable that it is extremely dangerous to substitute spiritual attention to human declarative pious but idle talk. And worse, when the words of God spoken from the position of the aggressive defender of the Church and faith.

Pavel Adelgeim
Photo: Vasily Popov / “”

Father Paul was convinced that the hostility of the Christians to every heterodox and dissent is the constant companion of the indoctrination of a creed or a consequence of stupidity. Any ideology seeking to use the name of God and the Church, Christianity itself, such as phyletism (heresy in preference to the national interests of the Church – approx.ed.), servilism (servility, deviation from the principles of morality and Canon law in favor of the state authorities – approx.ed.) and other doctrines “isms,” he is considered extremely dangerous and real threats to individuals and society.

The attacks on ecumenism, insults against other faiths father Paul saw the desire to compensate for a lack of faith and pride to rise due to the belittling and humiliation of one’s neighbor. His position was identical to the opinion of St. Philaret (Drozdov), who said that he never dares to call a heretic who acknowledges Christ as the Son of God.

“Our Church has fewer and fewer places for Christ,” sighs father Paul shortly before his death. As for stupidity, encountering her, he recalled the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer about the impossibility – in contrast to evil is to fight it and even resist it.

Every time, getting to write another sermon, father Paul it was considered the most important task of life and therefore utmost care was looking for words that could accommodate his heart and experience the result of reflection. But it would be wrong to liken this to the efforts of the athlete giving their all for the top results and proving to himself and others what he’s capable of, because father Paul never intended to set any “records” with someone “compete”, someone to “win”. His sermons were only one expression of grateful love to the living Christ, and to every man in whom he always saw the image of God.

Calls to treat each other with love we long ago turned into a stream of words flowing around, but not touching, the life. However, when conscience is suddenly stopped, each of us in another life turn and ask his question about the reasons for the manifestation of the cruelty, indifference or meanness, we are anxious to justify themselves before our inner judge, the usual arguments: “Everything is live”, “Not we such — life such”.

Next to father Paul such self-defense was impossible, as it became evident that not “all” and “so”. He did not allow himself to sacrifice dignity, and in a small not inclined to evil, took endless trials in addition to old and it was so convincing that everyone was clear: we don’t live like it, because of personal unwillingness to pay his own righteousness as the way of the Cross. I think that’s why many met father Paul people, though, and was amazed and delighted by his personality, but unconsciously after some time distanced. It was a “small Exodus” of those who understood that genuine confession of faith in their life can enter any threats to their lives — the harassment, loss and all that brings suffering. From the depths of the life of the shepherd silently, but persistently sounded the reminder is firmly following the Savior, expressed by father Paul in poetic lines, dedicated to the victims of political repression:

Not of earthly gifts
And having believed in Your covenants
Rejected mortal fear
The Holy martyrs and poets
Burned at the stake.

For him, these words were yet another confession of his faith. Either before or especially after the test conclusion, attacks, gangrene, loss of legs and a lot of it he did not forget: Christ is the One who, in the words of the Apostle, came to “liberate all those who, in fear of death, was all his life subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15).

Approaching the father of Paul, many were distant because soon began to realize that his radical spiritual and moral position strongly and personally puts them before a choice: either radically change your life and be prepared for possible hardships, or return to its former, relatively more affluent well-being.

Photo: Vasily Popov / “”

In this confrontation of two different types of faith need to see more substantial than merely a hasty banal assessment of the “one faith is strong, the other weak,” here we have an example of a rare meeting of two different characters of religiosity. When we hear that father Paul was a unique priest, lies behind this intuition is not meaningful in the desired degree. You must see this feature is simple, which distinguishes it from the many who flocked to the Church after its liberation from oppression consistent atheistic state ideology.

In the second case we have a weak, but still the analogy with the time when Christianity was given the status of state religion and to the Church, rushed the enormous mass of people mostly of a different “quality” of faith, than those who stayed in it earlier and who died for the sake of Christ.

The movement of people to the religion at all times one of the defining values belongs to motive well-being, to preserve it or to reject it. But if earlier it was limited to basic salvation from the imminent violence and death, in our time – this is preserving the comfort of life, when the opportunity to go to the temple to participate in ceremonies, to be involved in the traditions of their ancestors, etc. were considered often as a “makeweight” to the usual tidiness and comfort.

But the temple is a special place, and every movement to God does not remain without consequences. In different ways, but He speaks to the heart of the one who made the first steps to Him. And the root of the situation is that in the case of father Paul was a contact religiosity, people brought up and raised in a godless, secular culture, someone who’s largely made his Ministry a valid religious tradition.

Seminarian Pavel Adelgeim. 1956

Examples of faith, Paul’s father took since the childhood, when a religious man is still very organic. It grew with his growing up near those who have represented the continuity of the tradition, including the most outstanding figures in the history of modern Orthodoxy.

In the list of persons seeking to invest in the extraordinarily gifted spiritual sensitivity a young man, contained the names of the famous in the future the monk Sevastian of Karaganda (Fomin), the community which was adopted by twelve-year-old teenager, Archimandrite Boris (Kolcheva), Archbishop Ermogen (Golubev), sharemarket Theophilus (Rozsokhy), hieromonk Theodosius (Serdyuk), Reverend Kukshi Odessa, nun Eugenia (Miller) and her lifelong companion since the days of the camp the nun Apollonia (Drinkboy), etc.

They are like live links, firmly joined his father Paul are so different on the spiritual ranks of the Confessors of the faith, as St. Nectarius of Optina, the new Martyr Sergius Mechev and the righteous St. Alexy Mechev, St. John of Kronstadt. Further, the threads of connections are increasing, going back centuries, and its continuity with his father Paul experienced as acutely as the father of Boris (by Holcim). Both are never tired of talking about personal meetings and communication with the righteous as the great granted them the mercy of God.

The theme of the separation of believers was not relevant for him

The development of the wealth of secular culture, understanding the formation of tastes and rating scale Paul’s father followed the faith, but not BEFORE its discovery as the majority of our contemporaries, and this sequence is essential. Our education system is already a century almost everything relies mainly on natural-scientific approach, from: “Children, science, physics, and chemistry will teach you to unravel any mysteries of the world”, and concludes with the worship of science as the highest value.

Personal identity is instilled ahead of the habit to approach everything rationally and with as a hostile question. All what a person faces, subjected to merciless analysis, the quality of which is directly dependent on education, and after the committed intellectual “massacre” the results of the self-willed are constructed in the submission of speculative-speculative manner.

Powerful acquired reflex doubts suppresses the ability to trust yourself, your mind and heart, direct understanding, delegating personal faith in external authorities, primarily science or its surrogates. Picture of the world in which everything is decided by the hidden “mechanisms” of nature, consisting of a set of completely head models, covers from man his ability to see in the world the Mystery and Wonder of learning, the Love of God, stay in “the substance of things hoped and confidence in the invisible” (Heb. 11:1).

Photo: Vasily Popov / “”

These learned habits to understand all informative, soaked TO step to the faith, playing with a person of bad jokes. Some indiscriminately immersed in reading books written at the dawn of Christianity addressed to monastics and monks. Someone becomes a victim of reflection and trying to expel not only the recent unbelief, but also to eliminate any suspicion of atheism, does not notice, as makes atheism is based on faith. It is from the ranks of those and other media read this “book” of the Church is recruited the vanguard of all sorts of defenders of the Orthodox Church.

Zealous not according to knowledge adherents of the faith have long recorded the Pskov priest modernists, not knowing that they are themselves. Proclaiming a return to the days of the fathers and doctors of the Church, at the same time designing artificial stencils separating the believers in “clean” and “unclean”, they do not realize that thus do not accept them violate the freedom and sobriety of thought, the variety of forms of Church life – all that is different from the atmosphere of the first Ecumenical Councils. The aspiration towards catholicity, therefore, immediately replaced by the desire for group cohesion.

Father Paul believed such extremes, as well as bezbashennosti society and culture, the loss of the Christian worldview and a return to the old Testament, and often to the pagan mind.

Commenting on the theme of the newly-minted guardians of the Church, father Paul had to be reminded that a feature of all heresies is the desire to find a convenient coupling between personal rational understanding of Church teachings and his personal faith.

Strictly speaking, the subject of the separation of believers on the modernists and Orthodox, to some other group for the father of Paul was not relevant, he felt involvement in the dispute is invalid the temptation of ideology, enthralling person outside the faith, but not derived from faith. If he had divided the people by some groups, only on the grounds that had a spiritual origin. So, for example, pointed to “angry Christians” in articles against appeals is significant to deal with tough girls, perturbing the society by their actions in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Nevertheless, the collision of these two positions revealed a categorical distinction between direct BELIEF IN GOD and the desire to KNOW ABOUT FAITH IN GOD, especially when it focuses on getting to KNOW HOW to BELIEVE IN GOD.

Father Pavel Adelgeim. Photo: Lev Shlosberg / Facebook

The dogmas and canons were his Foundation, not a slab, hanging over a man

Science father Paul was treated with great reverence, his erudition in humanitarian and natural disciplines have surprised many, but the scientific information he stood in second place, while the ground has always been faith in the Savior and attention to Scripture. So all he thought about, he translated into the language of spiritual concepts, specific details for him was important only to the extent that they could correct the relationship of good and evil, mercy and cruelty, justice and injustice.

His huge library, barely fit in large rooms two-storey house, has the distinguishing characteristic that almost all books marked personal bookplate, with the writings of the fathers and doctors of the Church, the ascetics of Christendom, Church history, dogmatic and comparative theology, Canon law have personal neat pencil notes. He never questioned the value of Tradition and grieved that “from the canons of the embers were left alone”.

In the study of father Paul. Photo: Sergei Chapnin

Even more bitter for him was that after the recent intense interest of people to Orthodoxy when, for example, around the second-class compartment in which he and his father Vladimir Tsvetkov was sent to Leningrad, then was going almost the whole car, when all that is asked for and eagerly listened to, “today, no one will come, even if you stand on your head.”

For him convincing any opinion polls about the attitude of the Orthodox faith was that in comparison with the “perestroika” years, the proportion between the baptized and otpevanie turned into its opposite, when one incoming in the earthly Church began to have three or even five departed to the other world.

The dogmas and canons of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy by father Paul were understood as the Foundation, but not the plate hanging over the man and threatening to crush him with the weight of his great authority. He recalled the words of another of the Pskov priest father Sergei Zheludkov, figuratively expressing love for the Orthodox faith “for the fact that our Orthodoxy high ceilings, no pressure, and because the shower is easy to breathe.”

Photo: Vasily Popov / “”

Father Paul was convinced that at least, even long-accepted rule is necessary to uncover the meaning, and a dull, formal performance dead letter kills the spirit of the law. When, after a single case of genuinely respecting him, but very far from the Church people offered the gun to have it disabled on the prosthesis, to protect the Schoolgirls, who were escorted through the dark streets, the easiest way to answer that ordained you can’t take up arms. But the risk someone else’s health and even life was too noticeable, so father Paul, not being confident in the solution proposed to this situation to think about.

On the search for the answer took a few days, but he found the answer first: to take up arms would mean that evil is ALREADY defeated, forced to play by their rules.

The issues, reasoning and reflection, addressed to the other party, along with the ability to listen carefully to people were the main educational tools of father Paul. He was devoid of all moralizing, believed in self-responsibility, so, for example, explained that we should not be surprised and even more so to judge when a believer for a long time looking for a Confessor.

At the same time sympathetic as to all sorts of ill treated those who are looking for a “special” man, generously as the sower from the basket, spreading enlightenment, healing and prophecy. Not doubting the reality of miracles, pointing to effective prayer, father Paul was still convinced that people can not dump personal responsibility before God and must not escape to whimsical religious fancy. For Adelgeim, all myth-making is the substitution of the spiritual world of the soul.

On the question of how to pray to begin to understand life, he answered exactly like his father John (krestiankin): “Life teaches life itself”. Contrary to what many people do not know the details and circumstances took him almost a fighter for a cause, father Paul was very peaceful. He never came, was only “Oborona”, guarding the purity of thought, conscience and faith. Sometimes even convinced myself for the sake of business and of the world to go on a difficult compromise for him.

At the source of the well-known conflict, but various abominations against the father of Paul, which then evolved into some voluptuous persecution of the shepherd and the killing of all his endeavours, he was still hoping that all will be limited to demanding bribes. Accept it was against his views on Church getnewstate, but for the sake of shelter, schools, and other cases from the desire for a peaceful outcome to the Orthodox pastor tried to convince himself that “from a Horde of paid off, pay off and from A.”.

But I could not follow this, at some point, that delighted his wisdom.

And all because we came to the conclusion: even a small wrong action, even for a good cause, with the inevitability of the law of gravity draws conceded in the viscous muck of lies.

Lie to each other and the friendship will fade, no matter what external reasons for this later. Change in love and she just leaves. That was the optics of his spiritual view of our harsh reality.

The realism of the faith of father Paul

Biography of father Paul with her cruel experience of the camp has brought a vision in which the invisible majority were more realistic and meaningful than what we used to consider reality.

The main conclusion, which made father Paul from prison, where in his example, understand what sadism is that the law cannot be withdrawn grace. That compassion and forgiveness is every time a miracle born in the heart of a sympathetic and forgiving.

He did not get tired to remind you that only by accepting Christ, you can hold the miracle of grace that God is merciful to all of us.

This, he said, and when confronted with the theft, including his personal belongings, and when the event occurred, which had a wide resonance, when the media was filled with a polyphonic alarm words about the necessity of severe punishment, under the slogan “without repentance there is no mercy.”

Absolutely amazing it was and how without guile father Paul talked about the period of detention. In his account there was a way light time, and even to his tormentor, the commander of the camp, the person absolutely pathological, cruel, and he found some good words. And what is it without intent “accidentally” placed on the bunk in the corner of the barracks, who took the most hardened criminals.

It is worth considering HOW were supposed to be a young man of twenty years, to some of these people are bringing terror to the whole camp, after some time, began to call him by Pavlik, but the prisoners Uzbek — Russian Mullah. In this case, “morality thieves” in relation to what is happening in society at the mouth of father Paul have always been synonymous with the utmost baseness. He placed it on the pole opposite to that in which were concentrated the commands of Christ.

The mystery of the solitary prayers of a prisoner of Adelgeim to Him are hid, but the echo of the sufferings and hopes can be heard in the poetry camp period.

To the bone, to the soul Nude
Days and nights
We wolock,
Like the chains.
No urine,
No clearance,
No greeting,
Death there is no life present.

The realism of the faith of father Paul unusually vividly expressed in how he preached and the words of the prayer. But ordinary, before any regular meal, it is so deeply, personally and without the admixture of any artistry appealed to the here and now present with all of Christ that is passed down praying and filled them experience His immediate presence. As for the sermon, all those who heard it, know the time instant of the seriousness of the pulpit, in which father Paul was focused as if he were staring at himself, and then sounded his first word.

Father Paul Adelgeim
Photo: Vasily Popov / “”

A distinctive feature of his sermons — an indication of the inextricable link of heaven and earth, their semantic integrity: “Seek heaven!”

His own aspiration to God was embodied in the liturgical practice of the priest: “the Eucharist is my greatest joy.”

When it became possible, for the liturgical practice followed by a growing string of various practical cases and projects. You should have seen how this strong, beautiful man with a prosthetic leg, tossing a bag of cement on his shoulder, slowly and methodically walks along the boardwalk, rises to the second level of scaffolding and so over and over again. Even it felt like it had the unusual ability to father Paul to relive the good fortune to live and create.

Practice and any other specific business has always been to father Paul above any theory. He knew and took religious philosophy, but he preferred not to theorize. It would be wrong to call him a theologian or theorist in any field, although his lectures easily kept the attention of a very large and different audiences. New theological course he, a man of traditional religion, was unclear.

In his circle of friends was very serious thinkers who tried to involve him in the famous correspondence of father Sergei Zheludkov, but most of the response was reduced or “don’t understand” or “was not able to see the problem here”. However, father Paul was accompanied by his reaction recognition of the gift of philosophic thought in some of his friends.

In contrast, only confusedly smiled, patiently listening to when one or the other hothead was taken to prove that “Jesus was not the only source of knowledge” that “Christ was one of many great initiate,” or, on the contrary, boldly undertook to interpret one of the pillars of Orthodoxy. He have seen many times that even the incorrect sort of way with sincere interest in the faith will not be left by the Savior knew that God opened different paths to Him and we should see the meaning in any question about God.

Priest Paul Adelgeim in 1975. Here he is 37 years old

Father Paul knew very well that it is one thing to be under fire of the enemy in a real fight, to look death in the eye, and quite another to be a participant in the historical reconstruction of the storming of years later, and then discuss what they could feel and think the participant of the battle. In his long pastoral Ministry, he had seen many times, as all have alluvial character, quickly showered, when man begins really to move towards practical Church life when it is not a lonely dreamer, and begin to votserkovitsya in the community will turn to God and the Lord will not leave him in His mercy.

Even after the death test did not leave his name

It would be a mistake to see the life of father Paul through the pink veil, as a continuous series of spiritual victories and various accomplishments to serve people. His path had always been through the accompanying harassment, intimidation, including the assassination of many in the camp and many years after him. Abundantly it was his failure, loss, and most of all slander.

The expert on Church history and Tradition of Ecumenical Orthodoxy, he clearly saw as defenders of the Church forgery to create a false representation about the Church and false suspicions against those who expose these forgeries. Against the father of Paul was a lot of vile slander. But she neither believed themselves scoundrels, lepicie lumps of this mud, nor most normal people, is that unhappy in his folly the poor guy.

Even after the death test did not leave his name, and, as is often the case with all of us, the blow fell in the place which he considered himself the most important — in the spiritual realm – in the practical side of life, in the real concreteness in his own home and family.

Father Paul Adelgeim his wife Vera Mikhailovna. Photo: Vasily Popov / “”

His preaching was his life, and life is one big confession of faith with many projects: the creation of communities, construction and reconstruction of churches, schools, Regents, shelter, parish manufacturing, communicating with thousands of Internet audience, etc. For many people it has become the ideal of the honest, open, intelligent priest. But in this wonderful, bright way, as it turned out over the past five years, is not the place of simple human care for those who were to father Paul the most expensive people.

Orphaned house in Krasnogorskiy street of Pskov for most admires his father Paul is only a symbol of worship.

Alas, for the majority of this house is not the place where he lives and weakening and in need of medical care and daily assistance of Vera Mikhailovna, with Christian humility and love of people carrying his cross, and Mary, the good completely defenceless in their openness to the soul.

They have to dig up the garden, to contain a two storey building, to cook for themselves, even more so to those frequent guests, and many more. Strictly speaking, almost few pointed visits over the past five years happened. One time Orthodox “advocates” insistently pestering Vera Mikhailovna persuasion on turning the first floor of the Museum, and she herself, in her 75 years, to move with Mary to the second floor. Later came from such fans — carefully taught Vera Mikhailovna, who grew up among the authentic fixtures of Orthodoxy, the “right to pray”. Apparently, after the capital of the seminar.

Thank God, there is a small circle of real friends who all these five years just take on the part of the endless worries of the inhabitants of the orphan house father Paul.

Vera Mikhailovna with daughter Mary at the table in the kitchen, where he was killed father Paul. Photo: Sergei Chapnin

No matter how to look at the current situation, we have to admit that this is even not the final defeat, albeit temporary, but still a defeat and his father Paul, and all those who consider themselves involved in it to memory. The responsibility is on all those whom he gave his love and friendship, taking in the temple and at home, who never tired of answering in social networks.

Is it possible to discern a positive sense in the external, still continuing injustice, when the name of the father of Paul is celebrated on special exhibitions and events, when it is inscribed on the flags, but abandoned in the Vale of the indifference of relatives and favorite people? He is, and that father Paul invisibly continues to give us lessons of Christian love and humility, waiting patiently for a different kind – efficient memory, as meekly and humbly belonged to the poor at the Cathedral of the Holy myrrh-bearers, it is always smelly and often harmful, including him personally, people the “bottom”. With the same truly Christian humility, he continues to believe in us, he believed always that those who have stumbled and even fallen man is able to realize and repent.

But it is a mistake to look at the life of father Paul on him like a chain of endless tests and torture, as the man who persistently breach the wall of his forehead misfortunes. In the principles of our Church life it is really impossible to be moved, and the arguments “waving your hand on them,” “be smarter”, “it’s useless”, etc., broken his confidence, like waves on a cliff. But he thought he was and really was a happy man, was surrounded by the love and respect of so many worthy people, it is abundantly filled with glorious joy of the fullness and beauty of life.

Father Pavel Adelgeim. Photo: Lev Shlosberg / Facebook

The happiness to live, to breathe, to create, to be the right people – all this was reflected in his eyes, a quiet joy so that someone called him “the man with the eyes of an angel”.

He was always grateful to God for the gift to hear His Word, and through him by his word to touch many other hearts. And let, according to the word of the poet, we cannot predict how it will respond, but if Vera M., met at the grave of father Paul two Uzbeks and asking why they approached her, hears in response is significant: “This is HIS grave. HE baptized me” means to guess and not necessary.

Simply and clearly: the faith of father Paul, his spiritual sensitivity and daring soul opened up to this young man, like many others, a living Christ, a chance to see Him as their Savior.

Orthodox priest Pavel Adelgeim has chosen his path to Christ quite young and not made a move to go with assignments for yourself direct route or at least a brief rest on the roadside. Uttering the Holy Baptism: “I Believe Him as King and God”, he confessed said. “Man is worth as much as his word” – often repeated it.

In this statement the surrounding heard a moral appeal to him, but it was his reminder to himself. People never forget to see Christ before you, ready to follow Him even at the cost of so dear to each of us the earthly life, in Church language is called the Holy Confessors of the faith.

Kaliningrad – Moscow – Kaliningrad

Vladimir Sharonov

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