Miracle in Moscow


Miracle In Moscow

George Spruksts <[log in to unmask]>

Orthodox Christianity <[log in to unmask]>

Sun, 14 Feb 1999 00:57:33 -0800



text/plain (225 lines)


Just as the end of 1997 (the year immediately prior to the one that has
only just now drawn to a close) consisted of a multitude of ominous and
somber signs: the murder of Brother José Muñoz, the disappearance of the
wonder-working, myrrh-streaming icon of the Iverskaya Mother of God, the
murder of Fr. Aleksandr Zharkov, the fire in the [Synodal] cathedral in
Montreal, - so also did the culmination of this past year become a time of
miracles of Divine consolation.  On November 10th, the incorrupt remains of
Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesenkskii) - the third of the First Hierarchs of
the ROCOR [= Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia] - were discovered
at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville [New York, USA].  And just three
days prior to that, an ikon of the Tsar'-Martyr Nicholas [II] began to
exude myrrh in Moscow, Russia.


What is particularly significant about the manifestation of this particular
ikon is that it was presented as a gift to a devout woman - Alla Dyakova -
on October 30th, the anniversary of Brother José's murder.

As Anna Dyakova related to Elena Yugina, a correspondent for ITAR-TASS, the
miracle occurred on November 7th, the annual anniversary of the bolshevik
revolt, which brought a régime of fighters against God and of regicides to
power over a Russia that had turned away from her Tsar'.  The servant of
God, Alla, recalled that now (and this, despite the collapse of the
communist régime) there would be demonstrators carrying red flags along the
streets of Moscow - flags from which streams the blood of millions of New
Martyrs.  This very bloodshed was itself a sign of Divine wrath on account
of sin - of Divine wrath called forth by Russia's falling away from God's
Anointed One, from God Himself, and from obedience to the Orthodox Church.
On bended knee, and with a heart contrite, Alla offered up a tearful prayer
unto the Lord, that He might forgive Russia the sin of regicide.  And it
was precisely then that the miracle took place - the ikon began to exude
myrrh.  And from that moment on - on a daily basis and contrary to all the
laws of physics - sweetly fragrant, amber-colored myrrh has been flowing
along the face of the ikon - not downwards, as would normally be expected,
but from its four sides toward its center: toward that spot where the
Tsar'-Martyr is depicted upon it.

The myrrh-streaming ikon was transferred to the Moscow Cathedral of the
Ascension of the Lord, on Gorokhov's Field (Radio St., House 2), which
belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate.  It was in this cathedral that there
was preserved, at one time, a venerable copy of the ikon of the
Feodorovskaya Mother of God - the Protectress of the House of the Romanovs.
 The dean of the cathedral - Protopriest Vasilii Golovanov - immediately
placed the miracle-working ikon on an _analoi_ [= _analogion_ (an ikon
stand)] and provided access to it for hundreds of believing pilgrims from
the entire country roundabout.  According to the dean's testimony, the
myrrh is exuded by the ikon on an almost daily basis, and the fragrance
becomes particularly strong during periods of _panikhidas_ [= funereal
memorial services] for the Tsar'-Martyr.  (The faithful of the Moscow
Patriarchate who venerate the Tsar'-Martyr serve _panikhidas_ for him, as
the MP has not canonized him.)

Protopriest Vasilii himself is of the opinion that the myrrh-streaming of
the ikon speaks of the drawing near of the glorification of the
Tsar'-Martyr in Russia, so looked forward to, and hoped for, by so many.
[V~d-Inform: In fact, the holy and right-believing Tsar'-Martyr is already
glorified; one can speak only of the recognition of the unconditional (for
the Church) fact of his sanctity by the Moscow Patriarchate.]  The moreso,
as the inscription on the ikon states: "This holy Ikon hath been painted
for the glorification of the Tsar'-Martyr in Russia."

"The commencement of the miracle-working on the fatal day of the October
revolt," Protopriest Vasilii supposes, "is a sign of the fact that the
Russian people have been forgiven for their apostasy from God."  We are
eye-witnesses to the coming to pass of the hopes and expectations of St.
Ioann of Shanghai, who said: "If our hopes and prayers will be strong, the
Lord will empower the prayer of the Tsar'-Martyr, of Tsarevich Aleksii, and
of the Royal Women Martyrs; and they will shine forth as a radiant dawn
over our Fatherland, then washed clean by tears of repentance and by the
blood of martyrs."


The myrrh-streaming of the ikon of the Tsar'-Martyr has become a matter of
world news.  All of the largest information agencies - from ITAR-TASS to
"Reuters" - have reported on the miracle in detail in their communiqués.
This most certainly is a unique occurrence in the history of the world's
mass-media over the past several decades.  However, even this apparently
fails to persuade those whose hearts have grown shamelessly callous in
their opposition to God.  Opposition to the canonization of the Royal
Martyrs has become the traditional stance of the Moscow Patriarchate's
ecclesiastical policy - a line that is adhered to with astonishing
consistency and conviction despite the fact that as a result of such
"hard-headedness" the higher clergy of the MP sustain not a few moral
losses.  And neither the great numbers of miracles on the part of the Royal
Martyrs - the myrrh-streaming and fragrance of their icons, the healings, -
nor their universal veneration throughout that very selfsame MP, nor yet
the position of the government, which was expressed in the rendering of
dubious honors to the last Emperor by interring the "Ekaterinburg remains"
in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, has convinced the [Moscow]
Patriarchate to take even somewhat decisive measures toward their
canonization.  This opposition in principle to the glorification of the
Tsar' can only but evoke astonishment when it is viewed against the
backdrop of that "flexibility" wherewith the MP has frequently exhibited
its position otherwise.

The hierarchs of the MP have used the classical method of hushing-up and
obscuring the significance of these events in order once again to drown the
current wave of spiritual revival in a morass of bureaucracy and
conformity.  Patriarch Aleksii II, as unofficial sources report, has given
the order not to take the ikon anywhere outside the cathedral, and to
report in advance to him all coming activities connected with it.  The very
fact that the dean resolved to place the ikon upon an _analoi_ is already
being interpreted by many parishioners as a "courageous action" on his part.

On January 30th,  the superintendent of churches was present for a brief
space of time in the Cathedral of the Ascension of the Lord, on Gorokhov's
Field; and, at a general meeting, he issued an order in the presence of the
parishioners that the ikon be removed to the altar (although it is true
that he did permit it to be brought out occasionally for the veneration of
the faithful).  Having kept the ikon on its _analoi_ for several days more,
the dean finally submitted to management's directive and the ikon is now in
the altar, being brought out only during the _panikhidas_ served for the
Tsar'-Martyr.  The _panikhidas_ take place daily, at 1700 hours [= 5:00
p.m.], with the exception of those days on which there is an All-night Vigil.


What is the significance of this miracle for us?  First of all, it bears
witness yet one more time to the fact that the Lord has long-since
glorified the Tsar'-Martyr in the Heavens.  The faithful sons and daughters
of the ROCOR have no need of proofs of the holiness of the _Gosudar'_ [=
Sovereign] and His Family, which was borne witness to by their
ecclesiastical glorification in 1981.  The then hierarchs of the ROCOR,
headed by Metropolitan Philaret, were not dismayed by that wave of hatred
and slander against the Royal Martyrs which surged up in the émigré - and,
even the moreso, in the soviet - press.  The "haste" displayed at that time
(as is evident now), was nothing other than spiritual wisdom; and the
universal veneration of the Royal Martyrs bears witness most convincingly
of all to the correctness of the decision made at that time - a decision
which nourishes and strengthens this veneration in many.

All the declarations of the [Moscow] Patriarchate about a need for some
sort of investigations (investigations in the course of which such slanders
as were timely refuted decades ago are examined, and re-examined, and then
examined again); all its declarations about a need to turn the process of
canonization into a public court procedure, in accordance with the
mediaeval [Roman] Catholic model of the same (one in which each and every
blasphemer of the _Gosudar's_ memory can let slip the applause of a certain
part of society) - all must conceal one simple fact: that of the [Moscow]
Patriarchate's obstinate desire simply not to join in with the voice of the
Church of Russia, as this was expressed at the _Sobor_ [= Council] of
Bishops of the ROCOR, and thus, de facto, to cut itself off from the one
Body of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The hierarchy of the MP has set
itself up as judge over both the  Russian Church and the Tsar'-Martyr,
manifesting an almost sectarian willfulness and pride in this matter.  One
would expect that the higher clergy of the MP would yet again "adapt to the
situation" - rejecting sergianism, glorifying the New Martyrs, and taking a
firm, Orthodox position in church matters, thus not only preserving, but
also multiplying their assets at the expense of those who suppose that the
barrier between the MP and our Church is only one of discipline and
practice, and not one of grace...  However, it appears that the hierarchs
of the MP are mightily bound by someone - or by something - so that their
stubbornness sometimes displays itself, even despite its being to their
"advantage" to do otherwise.  And this bears witness yet once again to the
fact that the question of belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate is not
simply one of jurisdiction, but one of a definite and quite sufficiently
clear complex of views in which there is not, nor can there be, any place
found for the canonization of the New Martyrs...  Hence, the sons and
daughters of our Church should neither be dismayed by, nor come to false
conclusions on the basis of, the fact that the miracle-working ikon of  the
Tsar'-Martyr happened to appear in the Moscow Patriarchate.  The Lord
imparts His wonders not just as a consolation to the faithful; but also as
a dread sign to infidels, in order that the minds of  those who oppose the
Grace of God might be edified thereby.

To those who criticized and denounced the firm and strictly ecclesiastical
spirit which, in our Church, was connected with the name of her
First-Hierarch - Metropolitan Philaret; to those who called the years of
his primacy "a time of stagnation," the proof of his undoubted sanctity has
now been manifested.  It was made apparent at that very same time when,
among some of our pastors and members of our flock, there arose doubts as
to the rightness of this course, and even the temptation to cast themselves
into the deceptively open embrace of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Now, as if to try everyone's faith - that of the parishioners and hierarchs
of the [Moscow] Patriarchate, first of all - there has appeared the
myrrh-streaming ikon of  the Tsar'-Martyr.  And the fruits of this faith
have been made immediately apparent by the persecution that was unleashed
against this miracle-working ikon.

The Tsar'-Martyr has become, de facto, a sign of stumbling for our people.
The refusal to glorify Him, the disputes that seethe impiously around His
name, bear witness to the fact that the Sin of Regicide yet continues to
weigh heavily upon our people.  How mistaken are those who maintain that to
speak of the necessity for national repentance is absurd, as no one should
have to repent for the sins of one's fathers.  Regicide is not the sin of
our fathers.  It is our sin.  Its essence was remarkably expressed by St.
Ioann of Shanghai [and of San Francisco], who stated in one of his sermons
that "All those have sinned against Him [the Tsar'-Martyr] and against
Russia who, in one way or another, either moved against Him; or who did not
oppose this action; or who, even out of sympathy with it, thus took part
[vicariously] in that event which occurred many years ago.  This sin lies
upon all such, until that time when it is washed away by genuine and
sincere repentance."  And how many there are yet in Russia of those who
labor tirelessly to blacken the memory of the Tsar'-Martyr, sparing no
efforts to prevent His universal glorification!  How many there are in our
midst of those who, on more than one occasion, have spoken sympathetically
of this Regicide, repeating fables about "Bloody Nicholas" and unfounded
gossip concerning Rasputin, exclaiming: "What kind of saint was the
Tsar'?!"  Even amongst today's zealous defenders of the veneration of the
Tsar'-Martyr there are not a few such as, for years, have had to scrub away
their former blasphemously contemptible and narrow-minded prejudices.  And
who among us has not sinned through treacherous silence when we hearkened
to the slander poured out against the Royal Martyrs and did nothing to shut
lying lips with the word of truth.  We must not be deceived: Regicide is a
fearsome sin: one which, as before, continues to weigh heavily upon our
people.  And it is only through sincere and tearful repentance that we can
shake its burden off ourselves.  And if a penitential prayer for the
forgiveness of her sins, offered up by one, single, devout woman, had as
its consequence the manifestation of a myrrh-streaming ikon, then the
repentance of each and every one of us is not something senseless, but
something laden with great significance, and something that, through the
prayers of holy Tsar'-Martyr Nicholas, will not remain fruitless before God.

O Holy Right-believing Tsar'-Martyr Nicholas, pray unto God for us sinners!

Translated into English by G. Spruksts from an abridged Russian text
appearing in "Vertograd-Inform" No. 1 (46).  English-language translation
copyright (c) 1999 by The Russian Cultural Heritage Society, The St. Stefan
Of Perm' Guild and the Translator.  All rights reserved.