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[[Image:Benedict.JPG|left|thumb|250px|Benedict of Nursia]]
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'''The Nuns of Shamordino, Prisoners of Solovki and Vorkuta'''
The '''Rule of Benedict''' is a rule for life in a [[cenobitic]] [[monastery]]. Written in the sixth century by St. [[Benedict of Nursia]], the Rule of St. Benedict proved to be the most influential guide of Western [[monasticism]] until after the Great Schism, perhaps the most influential guide ever in the West. Followed continuously since the time of St. Benedict, this rule is currently used by Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran monasteries. Designed for [[monk]]s sharing the common life, the Rule is renowned for its spiritual riches, gentleness, and balance.
 
  
[http://books.google.com/books?id=J6bxIhNMRn0C&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=athos+monastery+benedictine&source=web&ots=gbRW7eL_-X&sig=_vf05KnEpCU2Lz0-CjytqvpEa7c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result The Latin Monastery of Amalfi] observed the Rule on [[Mount Athos]] until 1287; in the eleventh century, this ruling Benedictine monastery was ranked fifth in the Holy Mountain's hierarchy. Various other Orthodox have kept the Rule in recent times, including the monks of St. Luke's Priory under the Antiochian [[Western Rite Vicariate]]. Presently, the [[Christ the Savior Monastery (Hamilton, Ontario)|Christ the Savior Monastery]] (ROCOR) in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, (sometimes known as "Christminster") follows the Benedictine monastic rule. Likewise, among the Old Calendarists, the [[The Abbey of the Holy Name (West Milford, New Jersey)|Abbey of the Holy Name]] and its various dependencies.
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[[File:Detail Closure and Arrest.jpg]]
  
{{Westernrite}}
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The sisterhood of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamordino_Convent '''Shamordino Convent'''], around 30 in number, were imprisoned in 1923 at the closure of the convent by the Soviet authorities, first in '''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solovki_prison_camp Solovki prison camp]''', then the sisterhood was broken up and dispersed and, with the exception of one striking account by American prisoner [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_H._Noble John H. Noble]<ref>{{cite book|last=Noble |first=John |date=1960 |title=I Found God in Soviet Russia |publisher=Marshall, Morgan & Scott Ltd. |location=London |page=161-168}}</ref> that emerged following his release some 30 years after the nuns' disappearance, it is generally unknown, apart from scant references<ref>[http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/76780.htm Memories of Nun-Martyr Augusta (Zaschuk; 1871-1938)]</ref>, what became of any other members of the sisterhood thereafter.
==Contents==
 
The [[saint]] described his rule as "a school of the Lord's service, in which we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome." In its 73 chapters, he prescribes a full way of life for cenobitic monks to "share in the sufferings of Christ, and be found worthy to be coheirs with Him of His kingdom." In addition to the moral and spiritual aspects of common life, he describes the proper attributes of monks and the ruling [[Abbot]], the proper form of Divine Office, and even the appropriate way to greet visitors.
 
  
The Abbot of the monastery is to be blameless, one who teaches the righteousness of Christ through his own words and deeds. Since he is a ruler, he must be impartial, not loving one [[monk]] above another nor implementing the monastery's rules selectively. He must exhort the righteous to further righteousness and punish those who err, always adapting himself to the peculiar needs and spiritual attainments of each. Above all, he must always remember he will give account for the souls of the monks entrusted to his care on the Judgment Day.
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[[File:Nuns of Shamordino - fair use detail 1.jpg]]
  
When any decision is to be made, the Abbot is to ask the counsel of all the monastics gathered in a common meeting, but he makes the final decision himself. The monks are to offer their views humbly and in submission.
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== Historical Accounts ==
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'''Account of I.M. Andreyevsky, Professor, Psychiatrist, Author, and Political Prisoner'''
  
The Rule of St. Benedict enjoins all monks to view their fellow monks as their superiors and tend to the needs of others above their own. The monk in a Benedictine monastery is to view himself the lowest of all men, to be satisfied with the worst accommodations and clothing, to keep silence unless spoken to, to do nothing but those things commanded by the monastic rule, and to hide none of his [[sin]]s from the Abbot during confession. Under no circumstance is he to defend a fellow monk from a deserved punishment, even if they are related by blood.  
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[[File:Detail Threats to no Avail.jpg]] [[File:Detail Beatings.jpg]] [[File:Detail Torture.jpg]]
  
The Rule regulates the specific amount of food and drink monks are to take in a day. The monk is to own nothing of his own. All monks are to receive an equal ration, though the Abbot must have regard for those with physical infirmities.
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The account in English of what was the immediate fate of the nuns was provided by I.M. Andreyevsky<ref>[http://christthesavior.net/?p=550 Andreyevsky's English Biography]</ref> ({{lang-ru|[[:ru:Wikilink|Иван Михайлович Андреевский]]}}) in ''The Orthodox Word''<ref>{{cite journal |last=Andreyev |first=I.M. |date=July-August 1977 |title=Martyrology of the Communist Yoke: The Nuns of Shamordino |journal=The Orthodox Word |volume=13, No.4 |page=161-168; ISSN 0030-5839}}</ref>, a publication of monk [[Seraphim Rose]] and the [[St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood|'''Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery''']], which at the time of publication were under the '''[[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]]'''. The following points highlight their imprisonment: Under orders from their spiritual father, also imprisoned at Solovki, they were not to do any work for the Soviet regime because the system was actively dismantling the [[Russian Orthodox Church]]. As a result of their steadfast adherence to the vow of obedience they had all taken upon their tonsure, they refused to do so much as a single stitch with a needle in service to the Soviets. They were threatened, beaten, tortured, starved, all to no avail. Finally, as a last resort, they were divided up and sent to various locations of forced labour and imprisonment throughout the Soviet Union in the hopes that total isolation would break their will and that they should submit to their captors. Other than these main details, little else was known of them until some 30 or 35 years later when an American prisoner was released and published his account (cited below) of his ten years of imprisonment in the ''Soviet Gulags''.
  
In the fourth chapter, the saint lists 73 "instruments of good works." Of these, perhaps the most important is the injunction to "prefer nothing to the love of Christ." Silence, humility, hospitality, holy reading, and spiritual discernment (or guarding of the heart) play vital roles in the Rule.
 
  
Guarding of the heart occurs when the monks keep "a constant watch over the actions of our life," "hold as certain that God sees us everywhere," "dash at once against [[Jesus Christ|Christ]] the evil thoughts which rise in one's heart," and "disclose them to our spiritual father."
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'''Account of John H. Noble, American Political Prisoner'''
  
Silence is a pronounced feature of the Rule. Monks were to keep strict silence for several hours a day and great silence after Compline. During meals, the monks were to keep silence while another monk read from a holy book, speaking only through gestures, and then only if absolutely necessary. Monks may speak at other times with the permission of the Abbot, but St. Benedict so values silence and so understands the likelihood of sin that comes with much speaking that he instructs, "let permission to speak be seldom given to perfect disciples even for good and holy and edifying discourse."
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[[File:Detail Vorkuta Gulag.jpg]] [[File:Detail Frozen Windy Hilltop.jpg]] [[File:Detail Miracle.jpg]]
  
Holy reading (''Lectio Divina'') has a special place in the Rule. Monks are to read a holy book at least two hours every weekday and all day Sunday, with the amount of time spent reading during the week varying according to the time of year. As noted, they also listened to holy reading during their meals. (The reader was selected weekly and had to ask others to pray for him that he not be filled with pride as a result of his selection.)
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This account takes place at the arctic ''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorkutlag Vorkutlag]'' prison camp nearing the end of the ''Stalin Era''. The main points of John Noble's account are that they show that the wills of at least these three surviving nuns were unbroken, though they had by now been undergoing afflictions and punishments for some 25 years or so. They still refused to do any work whatsoever or under any circumstances. Moreover, they displayed astounding courage and strength: when subjected to torture, namely being placed in straight jackets that were extremely tight so as to cut off circulation, though writhing in agony they simply moaned quietly until they passed out. This was done repeatedly bringing them near to the point of death with no effect on breaking their will. After a respite, this torture was then increased in its torments by dousing the cotton jackets in water so that as it dried it tightened yet more. Again, racked with agony, yet to no avail. They endured all this without complaint or cursing their torturers but quietly and with a meek disposition. The camp commander, in a desperate bid to either get them to comply or die, then instructed them to be put outside in the snow on a hilltop in the winds of winter, and force them to stand there motionless for the full 8-hour workday and watch the other women prisoners work. Standing in prayer, they faithfully complied with this in the full sight of the other prisoners labouring in the fields. At the end of the day they returned, relaxed and warm, without any bodily damage. On the second day, the guards were ordered to put them out there again but stripped of hats and mittens. Though the workers were labouring and well-dressed they were complaining bitterly of the intense cold. The third day the same scene was repeated except that they had been divested of their scarves as well. On the fourth day, the guards were afraid and told the commandant that they refused to have any more to do with afflicting them. Even the commandant, being somewhat superstitious, was afraid at this point and relented. After that point, at least until John H. Noble's release, they were allowed to stay in a room by themselves, make habits for themselves, and were taken off punishment rations, being left in peace to observe their religious rule of prayer and communal life. This is the last that is known of what became of the ''Nuns of Shamordino''.
  
Hospitality became a Benedictine hallmark. The importance of welcoming strangers into the monastery is best encapsulated in the exhortation: "Let all guests who arrive be received as Christ."
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[[File:Nuns of Shamordino - fair use detail 2.jpg]] [[File:Detail Stalin Defeated and Imprisoned Eternally.jpg]]
  
Beside the spiritual disposition and government of the monastery, St. Benedict outlined the form the monastic office was to take, including the [[psalms]] to be prayed at each canonical hour. This general order is preserved in the ''Breviarium Monasticum'' (the Monastic Breviary). It can be found in English translation in two volumes: ''Monastic Breviary Matins'' and the ''Monastic Diurnal''.  
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==Veneration and Canonical Standing==
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While they have not been officially glorified (recognized as saints), they are commemorated on November 12th on the [[Julian Calendar]] by some Orthodox Churches. It should be noted that in the [[Orthodox Church]] there is no need for official declarations of sainthood as there is in Roman Catholicism where the process of [[canonization]] is different (see [[Glorification#Eastern_Orthodox_Church|glorification]]). Many [[Eastern Orthodox]] saints have never been canonized in the official sense as practiced by the Vatican. [[https://orthodoxwiki.org/John_Chrysostom Saint John Chrysostom]] is such an example where the Orthodox Church has never felt the need to issue an official document declaring him a "canonical saint" as such. Hence, here also, the veneration of many "unofficial" Orthodox confessors and martyrs who courageously refused to bend to the oppression of the Soviet State is exemplified and encouraged by the [[iconography]] that has arisen.  
  
The Rule states it is intended for beginners, and recommends monks read the Monastic Rule of [[Basil the Great|St. Basil]], the the ''Institutes'' and ''Conferences'' of [[John Cassian|St. John Cassian]], as well as the Bible and the lives of the saints, as they advance in their asceticism.
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[[File:Nuns of Shamordino - Fair Use small copy.jpg]]
  
===Habit===
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== References ==
The Rule of St. Benedict does not stipulate a particular colour for the monastic habit, and the habit of unbleached, undyed, wool has not been unknown among Benedictines.  However, the colour most associated with the Benedictine tradition is black, (hence the name "black monk" used to refer to a Benedictine monk), and that is the colour currently worn by Orthodox Benedictines.
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{{Reflist}}
  
The first layer of the habit is the [[tunic]], which is secured in place by a belt. This is the form of habit worn by oblates during their period of [[novitiate]]. The next layer is the monastic [[scapular]], which is a tabard-like garment worn over the tunic. The tunic, belt, and scapular, (with a head-veil for women), form the complete habit worn by oblates while in the monastic enclosure and by monastics during the Novitiate.  Outside of the monastery, the oblates simply wear a reduced scapular and the [[Saint Benedict Medal]] under civilian clothing. When the monastic makes his solemn profession, he is tonsured and invested with the [[cowl]].
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== External links ==
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* [http://russiascatacombsaints.blogspot.ca/2010/12/4-nuns-of-shamordino-in-solovki-prison.html Online copy of the article, ''"The Nuns of Shamordino: Prisoners of Solovki"'' from ''The Orthodox Word'']
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* [https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Андреевский,_Иван_Михайлович Biography of the article author, I.M. Andreyevsky in Russian Wikipedia]
  
Monastics and oblates alike, upon their repose, are buried in the habit proper to their order.
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{{coord|67|30|51|N|64|05|02|E|region:RU-KO_type:landmark_source:kolossus-dewiki|display=title}}
  
==Orthodox Benedictines today==
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[[:Category:Monasteries in Russia]]
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[[:Category:Russian Orthodox monasteries]]
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[[:Category:new martyrs]]
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[[:Category:Christian monasteries in Russia]]
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[[:Category:underground church]]
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[[:Category:gulag]]
  
The Benedictine tradition was largely lost to the Orthodox Church until the 20th century, when a revival was seen, encouraged by the efforts to restore the [[Western Rite]] to Orthodoxy which began in the 19th century.
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<!--- Categories --->
  
In 1962, under the leadership of its abbot, Dom Augustine (Whitfield), the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Royal, which had been an Old Catholic monastic community since its foundation in 1910, was received into the Moscow Patriarchal [[Russian Orthodox Church]] by Bishop Dositheus (Ivanchenko) of New York.  It was later received into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, in 1975, by Archbishop Nikon (Rkitzsky).  Mount Royal continued up until 2010, finally ceasing with the repose of Abbot Augustine.
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[[:Category:Articles created via the Article Wizard]]
 
 
In 1993, Bishop [[Hilarion (Kapral) of New York|Hilarion (Kapral)]] of Manhattan (now Metropolitan Hilarion, First [[Hierarch]] of the [[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]]) blessed the founding of a new Benedictine monastery under its abbot, Dom James (Deschene), the former Prior of Mount Royal.  Christ the Saviour Monastery (Christminster) today runs an oblate programme and seeks to make modest provision for the formation of [[clergy]] within the [[Western Rite]] of the Orthodox Church, a provision lacking in most Orthodox [[seminary|seminaries]].  It also publishes music and liturgical books to enhance the offering of the Western Rite Orthodox [[liturgy]].
 
 
 
In 1997, Hilarion (Kapral), then Archbishop of Sydney, received into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia the monastery of Saint Petroc in Tasmania, Australia.  This monastic community had been formed as a Continuing Anglican monastery in 1992 under its [[superior]], Hieromonk Michael (Mansbridge-Wood).  While it is not a Benedictine foundation it did have a Benedictine presence attached to it in the form of the Holyrood hermitage in Florida, which has since become an independent monastic hermitage under Abbot David (Pierce).
 
 
 
===Communities===
 
There are currently at least five Benedictine monastic houses within the Orthodox Church, namely Our Lady of Mount Royal, under Abbot Augustine (Whitfield); the [[Christ the Savior Monastery (Hamilton, Ontario)|Christ the Saviour Monastery]] (or Christminster) is a Benedictine monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and is currently under Abbot James (Deschene); and the Abbey of the Holy Name with its daughter house of St John the Theologian. In addition, an oblate programme exists at [http://www.russianorthodoxoklahoma.org Saint Benedict Russian Orthodox Church] in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. All of these houses and the parish in Oklahoma City are either under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia or the [http://www.orthodoxchristians.eu/ Holy Synod of Milan]. Within the United States of America, the [[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]], while having no monastic houses, does have a number of [[parish]]es that run an oblate programme.
 
 
 
There are currently no female Benedictine monastic houses in the Orthodox Church.
 
 
 
==Oblature==
 
The word ''oblate'' derives from the Latin ''oblatus'', which means "one offered".  Oblates of Saint Benedict offer themselves to God in much the same way that monks and nuns do, except that they do not take monastic vows or necessarily live within the monastic enclosure.  Rather, they make a commitment to God, in the presence of the monastic community (or the parish community, depending on circumstances) to strive to live according to the Rule of St. Benedict as adapted to suit their own life situations. Usually, the rule is adapted according to the individual spiritual and practical needs of each oblate by the abbot or oblate master of the monastery to which he or she is to retain a bond of practical support and spiritual obedience.
 
 
 
Oblates may be male or female, celibate or married.  They are not [[tonsure]]d as monastics, and, unlike monastic vows, their oblation may be revoked at any time.  Out of necessity, Antiochian oblates are not usually attached to a monastery, (except for those who are under the direction of Christminster), as there are currently no Benedictine monasteries in that jurisdiction.  However, the oblature operates on the parish level.
 
 
 
==External Links==
 
*[[w:Order of Saint Benedict (Orthodox)|Order of Saint Benedict]] on Wikipedia
 
*[http://www.kansasmonks.org/RuleOfStBenedict.html The Rule of St. Benedict]
 
*[http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/bolshakoff_power_of_prayer.htm Orthodox Research Institute article] - an article about the now defunct, Benedictine d’Alleray Priory of Paris
 
*[http://www.christminster.org/ Christ the Saviour Monastery] - A male Benedictine community in Hamilton, ON, Canada (also known as ''Christminster'')
 
*[http://www.westernorthodox.ca The Oratory of Our Lady of Glastonbury] - the monastery chapel of Christminster
 
*[http://holynameabbey.org Abbey of the Holy Name], a Benedictine monastery under the [[Holy Synod of Milan | Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and the Americas]].
 
*[http://paruchia.blogspot.com/2006/03/monastic-oblates-brief-overview_29.html Monastic Oblates: A Brief Overview] - an article by Dom James (Deschene) on the Benedictine Oblature
 
*[http://www.christminster.org/oblates.htm Oblate Observances] - detailing the Observances of the Oblates of Christminster
 
*[http://orthodoxoblates.wordpress.com/ Another site with aids for living the oblate life]
 
*[http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/Amalfion%20Oct%202002.pdf Amalfion (.pdf)] - An essay on the Benedictine monastery of Mount Athos
 
*[http://www.stmichaelwhittier.org/resources/osboff7.pdf Offices and Prayers of the Oblates of St Benedict (.pdf)] - A collection of services and prayers used by Benedictine Oblates under the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America
 
*[http://www.stcolumbachurch.org/benedictine_oblates.html St Columba Orthodox Church] - detailing the constitution and guidelines of the Antiochian Oblate programme
 
*[http://saintlaurenceosb.org/index.html The Benedictine Fellowship of St Laurence]
 
*[http://www.theorthodoxchurch.org/documents/The%20Western%20Orthodox%20Liturgy%20-%20Order%20for%20the%20Celebration%20-%20Restored.pdf The Mass of St Gregory the Great (.pdf)] - The Benedictine Use of Mount Royal
 
*[http://www.theorthodoxchurch.org/documents/Western%20Orthodox%20Liturgy%20-%20Restored.pdf Directions for the Mass of St Gregory (.pdf)] - for use in conjunction with the above
 
[[category: Orthodox spirituality series]]
 
[[category: Western Rite]]
 

Latest revision as of 00:57, August 8, 2016

The Nuns of Shamordino, Prisoners of Solovki and Vorkuta

Detail Closure and Arrest.jpg

The sisterhood of Shamordino Convent, around 30 in number, were imprisoned in 1923 at the closure of the convent by the Soviet authorities, first in Solovki prison camp, then the sisterhood was broken up and dispersed and, with the exception of one striking account by American prisoner John H. Noble[1] that emerged following his release some 30 years after the nuns' disappearance, it is generally unknown, apart from scant references[2], what became of any other members of the sisterhood thereafter.

Nuns of Shamordino - fair use detail 1.jpg

Historical Accounts

Account of I.M. Andreyevsky, Professor, Psychiatrist, Author, and Political Prisoner

Detail Threats to no Avail.jpg Detail Beatings.jpg Detail Torture.jpg

The account in English of what was the immediate fate of the nuns was provided by I.M. Andreyevsky[3] (Russian: Иван Михайлович Андреевский) in The Orthodox Word[4], a publication of monk Seraphim Rose and the Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery, which at the time of publication were under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The following points highlight their imprisonment: Under orders from their spiritual father, also imprisoned at Solovki, they were not to do any work for the Soviet regime because the system was actively dismantling the Russian Orthodox Church. As a result of their steadfast adherence to the vow of obedience they had all taken upon their tonsure, they refused to do so much as a single stitch with a needle in service to the Soviets. They were threatened, beaten, tortured, starved, all to no avail. Finally, as a last resort, they were divided up and sent to various locations of forced labour and imprisonment throughout the Soviet Union in the hopes that total isolation would break their will and that they should submit to their captors. Other than these main details, little else was known of them until some 30 or 35 years later when an American prisoner was released and published his account (cited below) of his ten years of imprisonment in the Soviet Gulags.


Account of John H. Noble, American Political Prisoner

Detail Vorkuta Gulag.jpg Detail Frozen Windy Hilltop.jpg Detail Miracle.jpg

This account takes place at the arctic Vorkutlag prison camp nearing the end of the Stalin Era. The main points of John Noble's account are that they show that the wills of at least these three surviving nuns were unbroken, though they had by now been undergoing afflictions and punishments for some 25 years or so. They still refused to do any work whatsoever or under any circumstances. Moreover, they displayed astounding courage and strength: when subjected to torture, namely being placed in straight jackets that were extremely tight so as to cut off circulation, though writhing in agony they simply moaned quietly until they passed out. This was done repeatedly bringing them near to the point of death with no effect on breaking their will. After a respite, this torture was then increased in its torments by dousing the cotton jackets in water so that as it dried it tightened yet more. Again, racked with agony, yet to no avail. They endured all this without complaint or cursing their torturers but quietly and with a meek disposition. The camp commander, in a desperate bid to either get them to comply or die, then instructed them to be put outside in the snow on a hilltop in the winds of winter, and force them to stand there motionless for the full 8-hour workday and watch the other women prisoners work. Standing in prayer, they faithfully complied with this in the full sight of the other prisoners labouring in the fields. At the end of the day they returned, relaxed and warm, without any bodily damage. On the second day, the guards were ordered to put them out there again but stripped of hats and mittens. Though the workers were labouring and well-dressed they were complaining bitterly of the intense cold. The third day the same scene was repeated except that they had been divested of their scarves as well. On the fourth day, the guards were afraid and told the commandant that they refused to have any more to do with afflicting them. Even the commandant, being somewhat superstitious, was afraid at this point and relented. After that point, at least until John H. Noble's release, they were allowed to stay in a room by themselves, make habits for themselves, and were taken off punishment rations, being left in peace to observe their religious rule of prayer and communal life. This is the last that is known of what became of the Nuns of Shamordino.

Nuns of Shamordino - fair use detail 2.jpg Detail Stalin Defeated and Imprisoned Eternally.jpg

Veneration and Canonical Standing

While they have not been officially glorified (recognized as saints), they are commemorated on November 12th on the Julian Calendar by some Orthodox Churches. It should be noted that in the Orthodox Church there is no need for official declarations of sainthood as there is in Roman Catholicism where the process of canonization is different (see glorification). Many Eastern Orthodox saints have never been canonized in the official sense as practiced by the Vatican. [Saint John Chrysostom] is such an example where the Orthodox Church has never felt the need to issue an official document declaring him a "canonical saint" as such. Hence, here also, the veneration of many "unofficial" Orthodox confessors and martyrs who courageously refused to bend to the oppression of the Soviet State is exemplified and encouraged by the iconography that has arisen.

Nuns of Shamordino - Fair Use small copy.jpg

References

External links

Template:Coord

Category:Monasteries in Russia Category:Russian Orthodox monasteries Category:new martyrs Category:Christian monasteries in Russia Category:underground church Category:gulag


Category:Articles created via the Article Wizard