Optina abbot Fr. Benedict in coma following leg amputation

Kozelsk, Russia, January 21, 2018

Photo: Facebook Photo: Facebook

The abbot of the famous Optina Pustyn Monastery in Kozelsk, Russia, Archimandrite Benedict‘s condition following his recent leg amputation has grown worse, as he has slipped into a coma, according to Archimandrite Melchizedek (Aryutkhin), the abbot of the Optina povoriye in Moscow.

As previously reported, Fr. Benedict (Penkov) underwent a successful leg amputation on January 9, although there was at that time a high risk of complications.

Fr. Melchizedek has posted several times on his Facebook page that he has visited Fr. Benedict in the hospital, who has remained in serious condition. Yesterday, Fr. Melchizedek noted that Fr. Benedict's situation has turned even worse:

“Archimandrite Benedict is in extremely serious condition. Coma. We entreat your holy prayers!”

Today he writes, “Archimandrite Benedict is in extremely serious condition!! We entreat your prayers for our dear abbot! Read the 17th kathisma!”

The book of Psalms is divided into twenty sections for liturgical usage, each known as a kathisma. The 17th kathisma consists of Psalm 118 (119 in the Hebrew numbering), and is sung at the Burial Service in imitation of the Lamentations sung at the Burial of the Savior, celebrated on Holy Friday evening.


Archimandrite Benedict (Vladimir Andreevich in the world) was born on June 24, 1939. He graduated from the Moscow Theological Seminary, and from the Theological Academy in 1973 with a candidate degree in theology. In the 1970s, he was a monk of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra where he was tonsured and given the name Benedict in honor of St. Benedict of Nursia.

He was appointed as abbot of Optina Monastery in 1990 and was elevated to the dignity of archimandrite.

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Michael McCombs 1/22/2018 6:11 am
Prayers for Archimendrite Benedicts Recovery from this illness. Lord Grant Healing to your servant from this illness.
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