“The death of sinners is fierce. And here the righteous lived with a smile, with a smile died”

In a “Pravmir” were audio recordings of the memories of a young novice of the monastery of Optina, referring to the beginning of 1990-ies. Eyewitnesses described to them the events confirm their reliability.

Photo: optina.ru

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The novice novel – he was always hanging in the Church, put candles and straighten the lamps. Once during the Liturgy the choir sang the stanza: “Come, all ye prazdnovali and clean rachitele”. Rubbing his hands with a cloth, slowly walking up to me, Roman asked, cunningly narrowing his eyes: “And who is prazdnovat?” Categorically waving his head, I answered: “Ves”. “Oh, I get it!”


Father Iliodor – the deacon liked to show the breadth of his vocal abilities, he had growl on the low notes before reading the gospel, we climbed to the ceiling of their voice capabilities, for example, on lithium during the morning and screamed so loud that they start to rattle glass pendants chandeliers. Then he was pleased to look back on the still trembling chandelier. In gromoglasnoe and the range of his father the archdeacon was not equal. Shout it could only father Tryphon, and in the short time of his hyperactivity.

But to us in the abode sent for correction Moscow priest from mount Athos monastery. It was a man with an unstable psyche, quick-tempered, unbalanced, prone to all kinds of eccentricities. Once they together with the father Iliodor served the Liturgy, and when the father deacon impressive on the very lowest notes said: “Luke the Holy gospel read,” from the altar he flew a tone lower: “let us attend”. Father Iliodor soon wilted and have a normal voice, read the daily gospel.


I don’t know why it happened, but I couldn’t stand social events, starting with the rite of Panagia and ending with the common tasks like harvesting potatoes or haymaking. Once passed, I saw resting in the hayloft of the brethren, four or five priests conveniently collapsed on the stacks of hay, and father Zosima with the expression in the faces read “Taras Bulba”.


Hieromonk Zosima lived in the city of Kaluga, where he worked as a taxi driver, then was ordained a priest and then became a monk. It was a huge man, almost completely gray, with a long beard. Carried skete obedience, and sometimes came to the monastery and shouted at the choir. I remember his one sermon, I knew he to her carefully prepared, as a guide used Handbook of a priest. And now it was his time. The sermon was about death and the fate of the righteous and the wicked.

A small piece of the sermon I remember almost verbatim: “the Death of sinners is fierce. And here the righteous lived with a smile, with a smile died. Soul flew away, a smile left for you.”

We laugh just spread to the choir, especially these awesome intonation: “the Death of sinners fierce!” and threatening look over his glasses.


As father Zosima was sick like a sore throat. I decided to visit him, taking with him a small collection of herbs. Father Zosima met me unfriendly: “You what?” – said he to me. “Here – I say – Daisy is brought”. – “What kind of chamomile? Tell Hilarion, to bring me alcohol.” The visit ended.


Father Theodore even before the monastery for many years was a lay priest, he was a good herbalist, and his whole cell was literally littered with various brooms. What happened was that he fell and broke his arm. In Kozelsk in the military hospital established a displaced fracture and asked him whether to reduce a fracture, if again broken arm. But father Theodore flatly refused, despite the fact that doctors supported Abbot Eli, strongly recommending to follow their tips about what father Fyodor replied that he would be treated by herbs. The arm healed fine, and later father Theodore had made no complaints.

He loved to converse on the topic of herbal medicine and to help the needy. Once we walked with father Fyodor, along the walls of the monastery and came across a small Bush of chicory. Then I have absolutely no understanding of herbs, so playful question father Fyodor: “And what is that plant?” – after a pause, said cornflower. Father Fyodor, his eyes bulging, gasped with indignation, then he retold many of the situation, ending with the phrase: “Imagine, cornflower!”

I have some time in the monastery was a heart problem and father Theodore was trying to help me. One evening he excitedly knocked on the door of my cell. Brandishing a small booklet, he triumphantly said, “Now found! When no funds help, recommend this,” and handed me pumpkin seeds. “Well, I thought, will not recover, at least eats a little bit.”


I happened to carry out their obedience in the refectory on duty during lunch. Every participant relied on one chicken egg, and it lay near the plate. When the meal has already started, he approached me and the assistant cooks and explains the situation, namely that it can come rotten eggs, and so I went and greeted each of the brothers announced. But I answered “you should, and you tell me.” The novice Sergiy Moroz did.

At the end of the meal I calls monk Silouan and says apologetically: “Look, I didn’t know it was rotten egg and I ate it. Can I normal?”

Nodding his head and laughing inwardly, I went to the kitchen and told our conversation to the novice Sergius. Without a moment’s hesitation he handed me the egg. Here’s a circus.


I will end this subject is not a cheerful story. In the spring of 1991 from the monastery were expelled Hierodeacon Seraphim – why, really do not understand, but it is likely, suspected of having links with the female. It was a man of exceptional warmth, almost blind, he, possessing a beautiful voice, sometimes regentova in the choir. If he served the vigil or morning service, it is usually instructed to burn incense to the temple at the ninth song. When he sweetly proclaimed: “the Theotokos and mother of Light in pesnej will magnify,” the father Theodosius clutched at his heart in admiration and whispered: “what’s he doing!” Father Seraphim was a young man, he hardly had more than 30 years, around him revolved a pilgrim, which he apparently taught.

Why I think it is possible incorrectness of his exile? Much later had a similar case with the deacon Hilarion, when out of worship to him in the temple began to stick one of constantly living near the monastery of women. He was treated very rudely and apparently offended, she slandered father Hilarion. Father Benedict did not understand, he called the deacon and sent him to pafnutiev-Borovsky monastery.

Audio source page the monk Raphael “Vkontakte”

A set of text “Pravmir”

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