The publishing house “the Past” was published documentary novel “About the Russian tragedy of the twentieth century: before and after 1917. Memories of his mother. 1903 Saint Petersburg – 1937 Sofia”. The author – Princess Vera Dmitrievna Lobanov-Rostovsky, part of the circle of the aristocracy. Her eldest son was killed by the Bolsheviks, and the family was forced to flee the country. “Pravmir” publishes an excerpt about visiting the elder at Holy cross monastery on the eve of departure from Russia.
Prince Ivan Lobanov-Rostovsky and his wife Princess Vera Dmitrievna. Geneva, 1903
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Welcome back, mother Princess! If You do not want to go first to Your room, and then mother abbess wishes to see You.
I thanked him; through the great hall and living room I entered the third room. Novice put my bag, took to shake the dust from my suit, and the other gave me to wash. Five minutes later I was ready and I was asked to wait in the living room. Everything in this house breathed peace, peace, perfect purity and age-old way of life.
The room was tall and very large room had four Windows, and in my room and in the living room there were two, appeared in the overgrown garden. Double glazing has already been inserted, despite the fact that the air felt at least eight or ten degrees Reaumur. Tiled stoves were slightly protoplennoy. In the living room stood two large sofas, two or three tables, and around them a few chairs and soft chairs. On the walls hung portraits of spiritual persons in nice oak frames. The building inside was well plastered, the walls are covered with rather dark Wallpaper, and the doors and Windows were perfectly adjusted. In short, the building gave the impression of a building which was erected not out of fear but out of conscience.
I felt like I was sitting in the Bishop’s house of a provincial city and is waiting for the appearance of the Lord. Still bore the imprint is barely past, but the irrevocable passing of time. Silently the door opened, and as silently entered the room an elderly nun with eyes full of peace, Forbearance and kindness. She was short in stature and rather full but quiet, calm and her movements were filled with dignity and aroused the feelings of sympathy and respect.
— I’m glad to meet You, Princess, and how happy I am that You came to worship our Shrine. Princess Elena (real name — Princess Anna Lobanova-Rostov (ur. Of Shablykino, in the first marriage of Shenshin), Your mother-in-law, came to visit us with Your sisters-in-law. She is the deceased mother had gamepal. Will otheweela used to freshen up and get back to him. And youth and gardens, and Dale walked to the river and the meadows used to go. And Oh, as soon as they had our seats all loved! Your coachman and postilion helped our work Tonya pull Yes on the mushrooms to go. Mother, yeah You sit back here, you are welcome here and tea will deliver.
We sat down. Mother clapped his hands twice, and waiting right outside the door the novice instantly appeared with a tray. Everything is spotless: there were two cups of tea, butter, homemade bread, cherry jam, sugar, sardines. No matter how delicious it looked, but I looked at it in horror, knowing what it all costs. My opinion was right, so expressive, that the abbess noticed it:
— Please do not worry, Princess, everything You see, I was at home: white bread we baked for the Holy angel to the orphans, whom we educate with mother kaznachey, a box of sardines has remained with us ever since the feast day, but the jam I ordered to cook for important guests, among them say about You. I was Treasurer when Your gamepaly we have, and a lot of them saw greetings and affection; I pray You, for Christ’s sake, do not give up now and our love. And if You have a birthday girl today, Princess?
Well, mother, today is the day my angel sister-in-law, Duchess Sophia Nikolaevna, You know, and besides I was born on September 17 (17 (30) September — day of remembrance of the Holy martyrs Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov and their mother Sophia) and came here to spend the day, to at least celebrate it away from the Bolsheviks. This is the best gift that I could afford to deliver. Even my family is aware of it, let me go.
Eyes of abbess sparkled with tears.
— You me incredibly pleased. Let it be according to Your faith, Yes beg You our late elder, blessed John, whose remains repose here, under wraps, a gift from heaven for the spiritual benefit and solace of heart (if true is specified the name of blessed Recluse, John, it seems, we are talking about the monk John, Hermit Sezenovsky, the Holy fool-for-Christ († 1839), which was founded in St. Cazenove, on the right Bank of the river of Squire (left tributary of the don), 12 km from Lebedyan’, convent — now it’s called Sezenovsky John the Kazan diocesan women’s monastery). May the Lord bless Your husband and children that they understand Your condition and do not spoil Your mood, a desire to keep You.
The story of the mother superior of Holy cross monastery
Then the conversation naturally glided to the theme of mutual experiences. I talked about life in our city, and the mother abbess has told about itself, about the sorrows of his monastery.
— I was brought up at the orphanage my great aunt in the convent “Shield and buckler”, where she was an abbess; a monastery, this also at our river, but at 25 miles downstream. I was 20 years old when my benefactress-grandmother departed to the Lord. After that, I moved here at Holy cross monastery, where saved for nearly 45 years.
However, at heart I never ceased to stretch and to his former monastery, and therefore used to go there on pilgrimage to the feast day.
Here, 35 years ago, brought to relaxed a young peasant — legs he had stopped moving, and hands — only a little possessed. Parents left him at the monastery on the mend. But no amendments came out, and became even worse: the hand and they went numb as not your own. But he was well competent, quiet meek Yes.
Loved it all in the monastery and began to notice that it rests on grace and that he, though young, but wise and strong in spirit. The more intense his illness, the more refined his spirit, and he became at first a little, and then, from year to year more and more make sorrowful and weeping of the servants of God and serve them consolation not for its strength.
And for forty years he has already ascended to great spiritual heights, took secret monastic vows and began to startactivity. As he did not possess any arms or legs and was immovable, then it went unchallenged for two sick sisters. As God leads, five years ago he moved to us in the monastery of the abode of the “Shield and buckler”. With him moved here and Montana nun Paraskeva, who knew all the care of him. That’s how we live, and run from the bounty of the late elder John of blessed memory (he often us from heaven sends, darling, the news is different because that is the way), and then requested the blessing of the Sick John. To him, into the cabin sent not to act arbitrarily, which more than anything should fear of the monk, firmly remembering that obedience is higher than fasting and prayer.
“A great misfortune: ran Commissars…”
But, before the Great Day happened and we have a great problem: ran some commissioners but bosses. The priest is Aching after all unanswered, and we — that we take — nuns. Here and attacked us.
We started with him, and let him torture you. Why, they say, and conjure people bother? Now, they say, proved that it’s a witch’s magic and deceit, moreover, of God, then your not at all. Show, they say, show me what powers you people fooled. Yes its a sick head knocking and banging on the wall. Lost here Aching feelings, fuck and blood through the nose and mouth. They thought I died — gave up and went to work for us.
Really questioned, interrogated, frightened, groping too, searched — all the flour, all the stocks have polymolecule. One of the novices took, but they promised to send a Commissioner to manage the abode. A lot of us here have cried!
The Bolsheviks in Russia punishment
All holidays, all the meat eater until Trinity was sick our dear father. We thought — just left without him, but the Lord has pardoned, and by the first day of the holiday he came to himself and prayed for a long time, and on spirit day sent mother Paraskeva me to say, “No God’s permission, to the monastery of the Bolsheviks opposed. They are sent to punishment the whole of Russia, and to suffer the punishment should be as the laity and monastics, and only in matters of faith everyone should stand up to the shedding of blood to death and not to yield an inch.
If order to live a commune, to live. The monk did not have and already have, and the opposition in this case rasarit the enemy to bitterness and shed a lot of excess blood. When will come time, the Lord Himself will cleanse Russia from Satan and Satan’s tribe, and now a handful of monks can not do this”.
We listened to him and refused to rule a monastery as soon as sent to us high Commissioner. We met him peacefully, and he knows now the products and manages the feeding sisters. However, he announced to the sisters free and without beginning, explaining to them that more nobody heads that to obey the mother superior is a relic of the dark. However, three or four of novorochennyh sisters were offended by those words broke off, but the rest more tightly around me, and my word is weak now for them is stronger than ever.
At first I was very embarrassed by the presence of the Commissioner, and so it was very hard, but then as the weights I fell, and obedience to the elder I got rid of the unbearable currently, the hardships to feed 600 sisters. However, the Commissioner and his assistants hurt us, insulted first game on harmony and different indecencies, but we all endured with patience, and now they visit us every service in the Church, and do exactly entered a monastery. That’s what it means to obey elders! But in the abode of the “Shield and buckler”, something different happened as the sisters gathered, interpreted, resented against the villains, but arbitrarily. That broke up two thirds of the sisters. Is there a dispute and disorder: afraid that and very the convent was closed and I’d never do that, as it is in their language called a club or a meeting in the Shrine of the temple…
The sweet face of mother abbess became sad and pensive: it is clear, it hurts her to remember the convent, so well known and famous, where she grew and was educated, where every stone and every tree was familiar to her and nice.
— Another Cup of tea, dear kniahynychi, — said the abbess, so trying to shake off the dismal memories, and do not wish to the priest? He lives not far from here is the novice You to him and holds.
— I wish, dear mother, but I’m afraid that will be too late — because it is now quarter past eleven, ‘ I said, glancing at his watch, and tomorrow I have to go back. Now scared for an hour, family leave, and I’m going to be gone with the way of three days is already a long time.
— God is merciful and will spare You and Your family for Your location to our elder.
Mother again slapped his hands twice. The novice she was assigned to escort me to the elder, and she, passing through the hall to the porch, temporarily said goodbye to me.
From The Sick John
We went with the novice past the cloisters and gardens, but in about three minutes thought and an apiary with a small house-a cabin that looks clean and cozy. Colorful autumn leaves low down and caressed the walls and the roof. Eyes followed me, the novice knocked on the door and when he went high, older, but still slim and very friendly nun gave me to her and, before, hurried back.
— Come, mother, in a room, you are welcome. Aching our father how happy it will be! I now rolled; I was dressed up, but ventilate the room.
From the hall we entered a small room with two Windows, all filled with images. Before them burned a lamp, and the wall stood two desks and several chairs. Behind the partition, which went to the nun, there was apparently another room. Here the door opened, and seemed wheelchair with the elder. Mother Paraskeva with a force pushed wheel through the door. I got up to help. When we all had finished and approved the chair in the room, the Aching in whispered barely intelligible voice:
— For a long time you waited, good of you to come!
— Brought to You from myself and my husband, dear father, our gratitude for Your prayers about the older son and younger daughter. Now I have come to consult You: I am in big trouble and I don’t know what to do.
The priest strove to say something, but he could not. The mother meanwhile sat me at the table.
— Precious is our guest here, sit down, here’s a pencil and paper, write all Your questions — everything you want to ask, and place in turn… You get the habit it will be hard with the Aching to say so, in the beginning I’ll tell you what he says. I got used to it and all dismantled, and many spervonachalu do not understand. Our father became ill to speak from his Bolsheviks tortured.
At these words the mother stood up.
— While You write, give me a little — in the upper room will be removed, and Aching our time.
The decision of the elder: “you can’t Stay”
And mother Paraskeva moved to the next room. I involuntarily looked at the old man: he still rested immovable on the chair, but now with my eyes closed. I looked at the sad picture: he clearly had hydrocephalus. He was sitting a swollen, motionless, dressed in a dark robe of our late leader Ovchinnikov (taken by Maria Stepanovna) shod in high boots.
Its white waxy small, but swollen hands also immovable lay on your lap, and poor head was supported by a leather bandage a couple of inches width, padded with black velvet. The ends of these leather strips were threaded through the upper part of the chair back where they were attached to the turntable, release and natjagivanii them. Head, apparently, could not stay alone and without support fell on his chest. The Sick face was badly swollen, but still, as his completely dark hair, testified not advanced yet. The old man, in appearance, did not seem more than fifty two or three years.
Imbued with a deep sense of compassion for this terrible weakness, I am completely distracted by the thought of the forthcoming recording of the questions and only with difficulty focusing, finally, gathered my thoughts and wrote:
1. To leave us? If you leave, then how and when?
2. If you stay, how to live and what?
3. Sir, the fate of Russia.
4. The fate of Nikita and Lena.
5. Will bear Mama and Peter are moving, if he will have?
6. Order Santsevich, Zorina, etc.
When I came to write, mother Paraskeva came back and sat down next to Bolshemu.
— Well, mother kniahynychi ready a little list? I know, I know, it’s all noneshnim ask how to live! And before happened otherwise difficult, and now has all come to nothing in body and spirit. If you’d like to read the first to ask the Sick? He, our dear, see for yourself, all You feel any better. True, sir?
As if the half-smile ran across his swollen face Sick. I took the paper and read my first question. Sick lips moved and she bent down to him. He spoke in a whisper, but occasionally broke words that are understandable to me. It was obvious that the Priest was making a great effort to speak. It seemed something is choking him.
— Aching will not allow You to stay, but tells him to leave with the whole family and says that the Lord will help You and You will be able to leave.
The old man tried to say something. Mother fell silent, we started to listen.
Finally, she came in his slow, hollow words, first less and then more clear. Mother explained to me neposlushnoe, first more and then less and less.
To stay you can’t: you are chasing, like a wolf after a sheep, and if you stay, you and your husband will suffer from the blood. Take the whole family and with God go. Your way at the end will be difficult, but don’t be shy. Yes, in the end it will be very hard!
There is definitely a shadow passed across the face of the Sick, and he stopped. Mother became hard for me to whisper:
— Ask the priest went with You.
— But how, mother? — I replied, too quiet.
— Prayer, native, prayer. To go with You — so, all the while begging the Lord for You. Ask, ask, — she hurried me insistently and wholeheartedly.
Finally, I gasped:
— Father, I beg You to come with us.
— You’re one of us, Knyaginya not leave, go with them — begged his mother.
“The Lord hath Satan for time and time to begovat in Russia”
Aching spoke again:
More about it can not say anything. Today I will pray for you: that the Lord is willing to reveal to me, sinful, and give it to you. Come over tomorrow morning early. And now I’ll tell you what. All of us suffer, by God’s permission, for our sins. Many times the Lord has warned us but nobody listened to Him, and, finally, the time has come for punishment. The Lord hath Satan for a time and the time to begovat in Russia and to tempt the people in punishment for our sins.
After all, the Bolshevik power — the demon power: demon trained demon and act. And all their ways and all their tricks — all one war against our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan hates it, fears It, and It rises. And all that Satan has taken that all leads to the same, for this fight and is prepared.
And the throne of the king, knocked Satan for that, poisons people and some others all for the same, and to make it easier to approach him to God’s Church that is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.
But the people repent immediately, and suffer the Lord internecine strife, and rise up brother against brother — and have already risen to bloodshed and will still flow. But this does not repent of the people, and suffer the Lord of pestilence. And will die in the villages and in the cities and on the roads. But after that repent people. And suffereth the Lord of hunger, and will die by the hundreds, the thousands, hundreds of thousands or more.
And will many of the villages stand empty, and when you see Lord, that measure of the fulness of punishment took the Russian land and began to ponder, to understand and repent the people will stop punishing His hand, and will have mercy on Russia.