She was the Morning Star, shining amidst the sinful darkness and announcing to the world that from her soon would rise the spiritual Sun—Christ the Savior, Who enlightens all who come to Him by His Divine teaching.
For those of us who were blessed to have known this extraordinary man, it is hard to believe that twenty years have passed since September 17, 1999. On that day, Bishop Basil was to have received American citizenship, but the Providence of God transferred him to Heavenly citizenship instead. He was 84 years old.
In the nomadic camps of the desert, in the fields and pastures, in the cities of the Promised Land, they heard the Lord, and they turned away from God’s path. The Lord punished them and they repented, and the inimitable story of salvation continued. God was with them … and He is near now.
For us, brothers and sisters, who behold the holy death of the righteous one, let his zeal for divine truth prevent us from the lawlessness of those whom he rebuked, and let our souls be inspired to speak the truth, to love truth, and to stand for God’s righteousness—perhaps even unto death itself.
Before the English had invaded the whole of Somerset by 710, a host of Celtic saints—monastery builders, preachers, and hermits—had struggled here, and after Somerset had become part of Wessex many early English saints labored on its territory. Such great national saints as Dunstan and Alphege of Canterbury were born in Somerset. This county is home to a number of ancient shrines and sites visited by pilgrims. Let us recall two holy Celts who carried out their spiritual labors in this land: Sts. Congar and Decuman.
Mother Tamara was such a simple and decent person that the abbess’s quarters at the convent were open for everyone almost any time through her abbacy. She didn’t even have a doorbell! Truly it was a common, maternal home where everyone met, shared meals, received blessings, advice and instruction, and so on. Mother Tamara was wholly attached to her beloved convent, and over her tenure on the Mount of Olives she only left it twice, when she had to go on long journeys.
In the evening of August 27, 2019, on the eve of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, a festive All-Night Vigil with a cross procession was celebrated at the Holy Dormition-Pskov Caves Monastery. The service was celebrated by Metroplitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov, three hierarchs of the Serbian Church: Bishop Irinej of Bačka, Bishop Anthony of Moravički, and Bishop Hesychios of Mohács, the clergy of the Pskov Caves Monastery, and ordained guests.
The blessed repose of the Most Pure Mother of God is known as the Dormition. But what kind of death in general can be called blessed, “good?” We asked several pastors this question and also asked what kind of death they would like for themselves.