The baptism of Russia and the baptism of the man: “No on the earth such a spectacle and beauty of this”

In this seemingly personal event like finding faith, a five year old girl late twentieth century and the medieval Prince was very similar, says the nun Eugenia (Senchukova) his own baptism. But surprise no special. All clear: not only 1030 years ago, the Lord has called to serve this medieval Prince, but today He calls all of us.


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The Nun Eugenia (Senchukova)

The year is anniversary – 1030 years the baptism of Russia, and this number, like every jubilee is a good occasion to reflect: what is important for us to remember the episode, what role has had in our history… is not necessary to Argue: the Baptism of Russia became for our country and state-and nation-defining, culture-and event. But I would like to talk about what happened for ten centuries before our birth, and that each of us shared with the Holy equal to the apostles Prince Vladimir. In the end, personalistic Christianity and how faith affects a particular person – is no less important than the question of its historical significance.

I will talk from their own experience. So graphically.

Thirty years ago, in my house there was a thick art book dedicated to the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus. On the cover – the famous Novgorod icon of “St. George and the dragon”, and the last – “Saint George” by Wassily Kandinsky. I don’t know what there could be in five years, only learning to read, to understand in Russian art, but this album I was looking for hours. Temporal rings from the X century to Suprematism. From shards from Old Ladoga to the “Philosophers” Nesterov. Silver and gold censer, icon “in Thee rejoiceth”, the tabernacle of the eighteenth century, do not understand the phrase “Deesis rank”… Fascinated.


Pretty soon I was asked to take me to the Church and to baptize. I think that was my first conscious decision. Faith even in the naive “aesthetic” is an important stage of growing up. About the same religion acting in history. In the hagiographic literature are a lot of strange episodes: delicate dreams, strange coincidences, strong emotions, under the influence of which people turn to God is not a rational comprehension of reality, and just thrills. While the person is young and inexperienced, not very good with logic, or does not want to use it, he builds his Outlook is on the bright impressions.

Young, including historically, young people would become the hero of the anecdote about the search for Parking spaces: “Lord, if You help me to put the car into the Parking lot… And, no, thanks, I found”. A coincidence for him is always a miracle. Young, including historically, a young person could enter the Holy Sophia in Constantinople, as a tourist in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul – and just admire the beautiful mosaics and architectural perfection of the building. Beauty for him is sacred, she is Heaven on earth.

It’s not stupidity or naivete. It is if you want childishness. A great therapist Natalia Yining explains that man is not straight, which marked the events of the past and the present, matryoshka doll, inside of which is a basic “I” – a child who gains experience and Matures, but remains all the same. I agree with this definition. Faith and appeals to our basic “I” – dorcadodium, prelogical, Direzionale, even pre, so the appeal through personal experience before any analysis worthy of no less respect than treatment after reading of Maimonides, al-Ghazali, Gregory Palamas and Karl Marx with the aim of choosing the most correct religion.

If we recall the circumstances of the baptism of Prince Vladimir, according to the “tale of bygone years”, then we won’t see them for almost anything “reasonable”, although, in principle, to choose the faith he tried very soberly: listened to representatives of different religions, sent their ambassadors to explore… However, the decisive factor is not the mind, and heart.

The first argument of ambassadors is based on aesthetics: “There is on earth such a spectacle and beauty.” Last refers to the authority of “wise grandmother” – Saint Olga. Korsun Vladimir is already going to be baptized. Skeptics, of course, will shrug their shoulders: what Christianity is, if their own co-religionists war you can go Yes, and to win the victory is not quite an honest way. It’s very simple: Christianity is still unformed, naive, natural, namely, that irrational. We could become more wisdom mind and soul is the Prince after baptism, and not the last role in it the Church will play probably a Greek wife, Anna, no wonder the brothers send her to marry a “barbarian”, arguing: “Maybe I will turn thee God of the Russian land to repentance.”

We will not now raise the question about the detailed accuracy of presentation – most historians believe that things were not quite right. The canonical version of a useful description of the models and systems that are relevant ultimately for any age. It is amazing and illustrative, and valuable in this seemingly personal event like finding faith a five year old girl late twentieth century and the medieval Prince was very similar.

And surprise no special. All clear: not only 1030 years ago, the Lord has called to serve this medieval Prince, but today He calls all of us. So if faith is “caught up” – don’t be afraid of it contradictory and “strange”. The neophyte may safely trust his religious sense – as true love, it at first does not require proof.

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