Signs In ROCOR In 2001

The Russian Inok
59 (222) October, 2007


Inok Vsevolod (Filipiev)

Mother of God's Kursk-root icon of the Sign
I. Miracle through the Mother of God's Kursk-root icon of the Sign

In August of 2001 in Chicago, a new wonderful miracle was worked by the Mother of God through her Kursk-root icon of the Sign, the protectress of the Russian Diaspora. Fr. Paul Ivashevich was visiting churches and homes of the Chicago and Detroit diocese of the Russian Church Outside of Russia with the icon.

A certain parishioner of the church in Minneapolis was waiting for the arrival of the Kursk icon in her home. All of a sudden, her collection of souvenirs, statuettes of eastern gods, which are popular now a days, began to fall off a shelf. Soon after this Fr. Paul arrived with the miracle-working icon.

Like in ancient times, the pagan idols fell when the Mother of God and the Christ Child came to Egypt, now through the icon of the Mother of God a new miraculous sign of the power of God was shown. It is interesting to note that the local priest, many times asked his parishioner to take the idols out of her home, but she refused saying that she kept them not as idols, but as ornaments and souvenirs.

And thus, people who have under similar pretexts statues of Indian, Buddhist, African, and other gods in there home should consider this story.

II. Fire at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville and the meeting of the new first hierarch

On the night of the 19 October/ 1 November 2001, when the Church celebrates the memory of the righteous John of Kronshtadt, and the non-Orthodox world celebrates the demonic feast of Halloween, a fire broke out at Holy Trinity Monastery. Around midnight a huge barn in which was stored farming machinery and cars caught fire or was lit on fire. 

The barn was located at the center of the monastery and thus there was a risk of the fire spreading to other buildings including two large buildings in which people live and the seminary. By Gods mercy that night the wind was blowing away from the other buildings and damage to them was not major. Nonetheless two other farm building and the seminary caught on fire. If the firefighters, which the brethren called, had come any later the seminary and the other already mentioned buildings would probably not have been saved. 

A venerable icon of the Iveron Mother of God, which used to belong to Metropolitan Filaret (Voznesenskii) is found in the graduation hall of the seminary. The fire, which broke through the window into the graduation hall, was stopped by the firefighters where the icon hangs. Despite the fact that the wall around the icon was burnt the icon itself was not damaged. A little while after the fire, some people remembered that Lev the Jordanville "Idiot" used to ask, "Did you venerate the Iveron icon? The one, which is in the seminary. No? Than go and venerate it!"

The firefighters battled the blaze till the morning.

This sad event took place on the night that the Most Reverend Laurus, the abbot of the monastery and rector of the seminary, returned from synod after being elevated to the rank of metropolitan and chosen the fifth first-hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. 

Like usual, the liturgy was served at six in the morning. A molebin was served after. Before the molebin Metropolitan Laurus preached to the brethren, seminarians and parishioners. In his sermon he remember the words of the psalmist, "The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death." (Psalm 118: 18). Vladyka Laurus humbly pointed out to his flock that the fire was a result of our sins and that we have to be thankful to our Lord and his Holy Mother for their clear intersession and mercy. This was the first sermon of the metropolitans in the Holy Trinity Monastery.

After the molebin, Hieromonk Roman (Krassovsky) greeted Vladyka Laurus, on behave of the inhabitants of the monastery. Fr. Roman holding back tears addressed the Metropolitan with such words:

Dear Vladyka metropolitan Laurus. When we heard of your new first-hierarchal obedience, we were very joyous for you, but at the same time we were sad, because this is a heavy burden. We wanted to arrange a festive meeting for you, but the Lord willed otherwise… The fire shows us that that earthly life is not eternal. Everything here on earth is dust. Our main home is in the heavens. Despite this we shouldn't fall into depression. We are honestly happy for you, we are happy for your election and promise to always help you." In this humble way Metropolitan Laurus was greeted at Holy Trinity Monastery.

At the same time this humble meeting and the meek and humble attitude of our abba, Vladyka Laurus, showed us more than pompous and festive meeting of our new first-hierarch could have. The Savior says, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11: 29). Metropolitan Laurus is a true novice of Christ, who speeds to Christ's humility and meekness and leads his flock by being an example.

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Dear Readers,
Visiting the St, James Parish website mentioned in the previous post, I learned that Jose Munuz Cortez was murdered on October 31 n.s. in 1997. And the myrrh-streaming icon he carried for 15 years was one of the Iveron Mother of God. -jh

Open Letter To Bp. Gabriel From Nun Maria


The following was sent to The Orthodox Christian Witness for publication as a voice of protest against the recent union of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the
Moscow Patriarchate.

Mother Maria (Nau) 9/10 – 20/3 2007 (Sept. 20/Oct.3)
Russian Orthodox Monastery
Mahopac, NY 1541 USA


Rev. Bishop Gavriil
75 East 93rd St.
New York, NY 10128-1390


Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow spends this week in France. His very first visit has been for the U.N. in Strasbourg, by so renewing with the tradition already set by Pope John Paul II who did appear before the U.N. General Assembly as soon as 1965 where, according to his own words, he stated that his moat ardent desire was 'to serve, you, the United Nations'.
Today, Sep. 20 according to the Julian calendar and Oct 3 according to the secular one, Alexey visits Paris with the intention, first of all, of paying his respects to the Roman See in the person of the Archbishop of Paris and of participating in the Roman Catholic Mass which will be celebrated in the evening, in the, cathedral of "Notre Dame de Paris. The degree of the participation was not specified by Radio France International, which simply put the stress on the secondary purpose of this visit to Western Europe, to wit, to meet with the faithful of our Holy Synod in order to confirm in their midst the union with the Patriarchate. Alexey wishes also to meet with the representatives of the other Sister Churches and very specially to go to rue George Bizet (Constantinople) in order to discuss over the heated controversy between the two Patriarchates concerning the attempt of the Phanar at positioning itself as an overlord over the other Sisters Churches, very specially over Moscow.
Of course Moscow deems the other very controversial aspects of the Phanar policy, most specifically in matter of ecumenism, 0Kay. The French Radio insisted also quite at length on the warming of the relations between Moscow and the Vatican, on the fact that Moscow approves of the reintroduction of the Latin language in the liturgical life and generally speaking, of the firm stand of Benedict the XVIth in matters of moral and ethics.
In actual fact Patriarch Alexey II is quite in step with the doings of his own Patriarchate in the past. Archbishop Nikodim of Leningrad, who had been identified by ranking Soviet defectors as a MAJOR GENERAL IN THE FORMER INFAMOUS K.G.B., had already been a frequent guest of Paul VI with whom he had entertained an exceptionally cordial relationship. Shortly after John Paul I's election Nikodim was again guest to the Vatican. During his audience with the new Pope the Justice of God overtook him and he suffered a massive heart attack was then given the last Rites by the Pope and died cradled in his arms. Since then intercommunion between Moscow and the Vatican has been a matter of occult, but none the less, very factual practice, simply officially denounced from time to time by Moscow. Both the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Phanar sent leading clergy representatives at the first Mass celebrated by Benedict the XVIth after his coronation. At that stage the participation of Moscow was only of prayer, which in itself is already quite sufficient to make one cross the border of excommunication. The Phanar went a step further with one of its deacons reading the Gospel in Greek after it had been read in Latin.
To state in details all of the malefactions in matters of Orthodox Faith committed by the Patriarchate of Moscow since the Soviet authorities did orientate the Patriarchate towards ecumenism would necessitate several in folios!
The controversy with the See of Rome is a very old controversy that covers more than 1000 years and one can already speak of first attempt at ecumenism with the False Union of Florence. But the WCC is really a Super Roman See, a far away dependency of the Reformation, those bastards of the popish policy of the days. Unfortunately today the Patriarchate of Moscow participates in the work of the WCC as a full member of the COUNCIL. The membership of the Council includes also representatives of the Phanar, of the Rumanian Patriarchate and of the Orthodox Church of America which is in part the dependency of the group of Russian exiles and intellectuals who during the first decades of the 20th century have been active participants in the founding of the ecumenical movement. It is probably useful to remind ourselves of the fact that the Constitution of the WCC considers membership not of individual representatives, but specifically of the entire Local Church in its fullness. Every local Church in the WCC is viewed as the totality of all her members, to wit in the matter at hand, as part of an heterodox association.
Was that a very unorthodox step and an act of downright apostasia? Most certainly per se it was so. And no doubt about the fact that each of our hierarchs in appositioning, his signature to this act of apostasia is sure to having contracted a rather heavy debt to be repaid in [the] way of taxes, in the best of cases and expectations, post mortem at the toll houses. Apostasia is apostasia and our hierarchs cannot, and could not, and will not be able to argue of the fact that they were not informed of what was, had been and continue to be enacted by the Patriarchate of Moscow in matter of ecumenism.
But were those sinful signatures a disaster without remedy when it comes to the future of Orthodoxy in the Holy Synod? It seems to me that one can assert the contrary. How [is] that? Well, those fateful signatures obtained [for] our hierarchs the fullness of recognition as legitimate ORTHODOX hierarchs by the very Patriarchate of Moscow who till then insisted that the Holy Synod was nothing more than a sect. With those signatures the whole of the controversy over the legitimacy of the Holy Synod as a Local Church in her own right for the time being was wiped out and our hierarchs were fully reestablished in the world as legitimate, canonical ORTHODOX bishops, not sectarians of sort but 'pares inter pares.' Now they have again the recognized right in the eye of the Orthodox community to speak de jure in the name of Orthodoxy, Canon Laws, Scriptural and oral Traditions. This is phenomenal. The point is also that in matters of Orthodox Faith and dogmas ALL BISHOPS, ARCHBISHOPS, METROPOLITANS AND PATRIARCHS ARE ON A LEVEL. The hierarchy at [the] episcopal level fulfills a function of a purely administrative nature for the commodity of the relations between local Churches. Ephesus was not ranked as the greatest of the sees in the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the 13th century, and yet the sole opposition of Mark to [the] Pope, his own Patriarch and the Emperor was enough to block and in the end emasculate the False Union of Florence. It is clear that nowadays a simple bishop, even a Vicar bishop, has at his disposal his full share of the Holy Spirit to oppose Benedict the XVIth, Patriarch Alexey II and any heterodox bishop and hierarch roaming loose among the Orthodox faithful. And the strong point in the matter at hand is that now the deadly weight of the past controversy in [the] matter of Orthodox legitimacy has been removed and that any truly Orthodox bishop can raise his voice among his peers and say with assurance "Your doings are unorthodox. You have stepped outside the boundaries of the Orthodox Faith. The Church in Heaven and on earth is ONE and Heaven and earth in the matter at hand cannot be divided, so and in order to remain one with Heaven, we now on earth, have now to separate ourselves from you and your wrong doings. The Art. XV of the Council First/Second provides for this eventuality and I (let us hope 'we'), Orthodox bishop in my own right, vested in the Grace of the Holy Spirit, take now refuge in that most sacred legal disposition."
To speak thus before the reconciliation at official level with Moscow in May would have proven an impossibility de facto. In actual fact it is still the big problem encountered by all the groups and groupusculs of Greek Old Calendarists. No matter how Orthodox are many of their stands, the very legitimacy of their existence as Local Churches is contested.
So providing that NOW we take immediately occasion of the recent wrong doings of the Patriarchate of Moscow in matter of e(@umenism, we play [it] safe.
I dare trust that by addressing this peaceful and Orthodox letter to your Highness I shall not meet at the hand of the hierarchy of the Holy Synod with the fate that did confront so many opponents among the Russian clergy of the M.P. in the past, whenever they dared to suggest that the policy of the Patriarchate has been extremely distorted ever since 1927. No need to say that since last winter I have stopped all communion of prayer and chalice here, waiting for an occasion to meet with an Orthodox hierarch over those vital issues.

Sinful most certainly, but resolutely Orthodox nun of the great habit living in seclusion,

+Mother Maria


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