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New Martyrs and Confessors of the Church of Russia

Blessed is the Host of the Heavenly King

the Church of Russia

Today the Church of Russia joyfully forms a chorus, praising her New Martyrs and Confessors; hierarchs and priests, royal passion-bearers, right-believing princes and princesses, venerable men and women, and all Orthodox Christians. Having laid down their life for faith in Christ during the days of godless persecution, they preserved the truth by the shedding of blood. By their protection, O long-suffering Lord, preserve our land in Orthodoxy until the end of the age. Troparion. Tone 4

The unprecedented historic phenomenon of holiness became the main result of the bloody twentieth century in Russia. Having gone through unprecedented persecution of the faith and the Church of Christ, the Russian Orthodox Church lit up the world with the feat of thousands of new martyrs. Twice – in the 1930s and the 1960s – the very existence of the Church was under threat. It was just the courageous standing for faith of hundreds of thousands, of millions of people that brought the faith of our fathers to us. It is difficult to find anything comparable to the feat of these people in the whole history of the world. They lived in the era of triumphant godlessness, and only now the Lord gave some relief to the people through their prayers. “Through their martyrdom and confession generations of these people gave us today the opportunity to revive the foundations of the previously cramped and defiled church life. By their deeds, you and I are alive today. And therefore, may their memory live for ages and ages!" (Archpriest Theodor Krivonos).

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Our following them will define how closely our God-bearing people will realize God's plan for us, to what extent we fulfill our destiny in history – to shine with the light of the holy Orthodox faith revealed to us to those who do not yet know Christ in their earthly life.

The experience of New Martyrs and Confessors is much closer to our lives. The saints canonized in 2000 lived in the same historical era as we do, and we can relate to their experience. Their life, their confessional feat is a model for us, they call upon us to replicate their deed and convince us that it is possible. Martyrs, and saints in general, also serve people as beacons helping find the way in the raging waters of the sea of life. Looking at their lives, one can see what is important and what does not matter, and how they saw the questions of the modern world from the point of view of their faith and their piety. Like the ancient saints, they testify to the truth in complex, confusing times. These are our prayer leaders and intercessors.

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The fact that they are part of our Church is the evidence that there is still life on Earth. It means that the Word of God still dwells with us and leads us to salvation, to life eternal. And today, in our difficult time, we have been given a great blessing to resort with prayer to the new martyrs as our closest contemporaries and relatives, to try to use their experience, to enrich ourselves with it, to withstand the trials and dangers of the XXI century. Looking at the radiance of their glory with the hope of revival of our Church and our Motherland – long-suffering Russia, we cry out to you from the depths of our believing hearts: "Saints of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, pray to God for us!"

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The Word of the New Martyrs

"Do not give in to temptation, do not destroy your soul in the blood of vengeance. Do not be defeated by evil. Defeat evil with good!"

Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

"The highest happiness here on Earth is to love people and to help them."

Hieromartyr John (Pashin), Bishop of Rylsk

"Our duty is to fight evil in the inspiration of faith and love; our job is to do our duty. And the Lord Himself will give victory."

Hieromartyr Ioann Vostorgov

"There has never been, there isn’t now, and will never be a sorrow-free place on Earth. A place free of sorrow can only be in the heart when the Lord is in it."

Reverend Nikon of Optina

"There are no scissors that can cut out a memory of history."

Hieromartyr Kirill (Smirnov), Metropolitan of Kazan

"It is not hard to die. You must learn to live when it is hard."

Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

"A believer should have no fear or cowardice, however terrible his life might be... Just as Christ's torment on the cross ended with His resurrection, so all our suffering must end in victory over the dark forces that create these living conditions for us."

Hieromartyr Peter Novoselsky, Archpriest

"Love your enemy, and the Lord will love you. Forgive your brother who sinned against you... With this you will earn forgiveness of your greatest sins."

Hieromartyr Arkady (Ostalsky)

"Do everything you do, however insignificant it might seem, thoroughly, as if before the Face of God. Remember that the Lord sees everything."

Reverend Nikon of Optina

"If you want your children to be sober, chaste, modest, be sober yourself, spend your time prudently, pleasing to the Lord."

Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)

"Faith is a great power that helps a person in the most strained and difficult circumstances of life."

Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

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"Christ will not leave alone the one who has taken up his cross and followed Him, He will not leave him without help but walks beside him supporting his cross..."

Saint Luka (Voyno-Yasenetsky)

"We should not fear any suffering..."

Hieromartyr Arkady (Ostalsky)

February 05, 2022
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