New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

The Synaxis of New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church is celebrated on the Sunday of January 25/February 7, or the first Sunday after that date.

    

Martyrdom is the same thing as Christianity. These two words have the same meaning. Hatred against Christ and His followers should not surprise us. It is natural, it was foretold by the Lord Himself, Who said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

Today we celebrate the memory of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian land. These are all the multitude of bishops, priests, monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, and children who were killed or suffered gravely because of their faith and their refusal to compromise their faith, to cooperate with the new revolutionary government, or to renounce their faith in Christ.

The experience of each and every one of these martyrs and confessors was unique. Even if their manner of death or suffering was similar in many cases, each of them brought with them to that moment of confession or martyrdom a unique soul, a unique set of experiences and circumstances. If we were to enter into the mind and heart of each one of these saints and observe the unique way in which they experienced their suffering and the knowledge of their coming martyrdom, we would see a wondrous tapestry of experience. And the thread which holds all this tapestry together is love, love for Christ. was foretold by the Lord Himself, Who said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

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2/6/2015

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