There are innumerable examples of the intercession and help of the Theotokos, and every pilgrim and parishioner of the Lavra still experiences this aid. The Mother of God also appeared here in 1240 in a pillar of fire and left her footprint on a rock. She, like the burning bush, bore witnesses that this place is holy. She is the abbess here and the patroness of this land…
On the second day of the Nativity, January 8, on the eve of the evening services, about thirty men in balaclavas and masks from the radical right organization C14 (“Sich”) blocked the entrance to the territory of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Caves Lavra. Shouting political slogans and lighting fireworks, they demanded a meeting with the abbot of the Lavra, Metropolitan Paul (Lebed).
Every year on this day many people gather near her grave at the ancient Zverinets cemetery-necropolis in Kiev where numerous Florovsky Convent’s nuns and representatives of Kiev clergy rest. There are several elderly nuns at the Florovsky Convent who remember Blessed Olga, a “Fool-for-Christ” and a clairvoyant holy woman.
“Sorrows bring joy and salvation to true Christians, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13).” These were Metropolitan Sergy’s words of consolation to his flock—parishioners of a church in the Kuty village of the Shumsk district of Ukraine’s Ternopil region in August this year, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in a tent.
Schismatics from the village of Gribovitsa took over the residence of a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Fr. Igor Magrita, where the family has been living since 1998, and as night fell, began throwing his household possessions and pushing his wife and sixteen-year-old son out into the street. It was raining…
And for all these years and even decades Vladyka Sergy has repeated this phrase many times: “Persecution is the test of our faith.” For, according to Christ, Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven (Mt. 5:11-12).
Archpriest Vasily Rusinka tells how the Church-state relations in Ukraine have developed over the past two decades and what has now changed, and what the Church has been doing to protect Her rights from infringements by the new legislative initiatives promoted by some deputies.
"Fr. Kirill lived according to the Gospel, unswervingly fulfilling the commandments of Christ. He found a Gospel in a building destroyed by shelling during the war, when death was hovering all around. Thus the Lord called him. He carried the Gospel with him and read it, and every word of Christ remained in his heart until the end of his days. In this way the desire to devote his whole life to God was born."
Further on in her life we read how she was miraculously freed from prison, and how the Apostle Peter appeared to her. In light of this fact and her later life of prayer, it becomes clear why she prayed so many years directly in front of the large icon of the Apostles Peter and Paul located in the right side-altar of the Demeyevsky Church in Kiev.
Yes, not long before his death he was tonsured a monk and given the name Pavel. After his death, certain others tried to copy him, but with time they understood that it is impossible to emulate him. He was a unique individual, and the God gave him the gift to be what he was. Madmen called his life madness, but he is among the righteous and his lot is with the saints.