Everyday Saints and Other Stories

Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov). Everyday Saints and Other Stories. Translation by Julian Henry Lowenfeld. Pokrov Publications, 2012. $23. 504 pages, illustrated. ISBN 978-0-9842848-3-2, 978-0-9842848-4-9. Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov). Everyday Saints and Other Stories. Translation by Julian Henry Lowenfeld. Pokrov Publications, 2012. $23. 504 pages, illustrated. ISBN 978-0-9842848-3-2, 978-0-9842848-4-9.

It was a warm September evening, as we, the still-young novices of the Pskov Caves Monastery near Pskov, were strolling about the corridors and galleries of the ancient monastery walls, making ourselves comfortable, looking out high above its gardens and fields. As we talked, we began reminiscing about how each of us had come to be at the monastery. And the more we listened to each other, the more amazed we became.

It was 1984 at the time, and there were five of us. Four had grown up in nonreligious families, and even for the fifth in our group, the son of a clergyman, our preconceptions of the sort of people who go off to join a monastery were utterly Soviet. Just a year earlier, each of us had firmly believed that the only people who ever entered a monastery nowadays were fanatics or complete failures in life. Losers, in short—or else victims of unrequited love.

But looking at each other, we could see that this simply wasn’t true at all. The youngest in our group was just eighteen, and the oldest was twenty- six. All of us were healthy, strong, and attractive young men. One had graduated with highest honors from university with a degree in mathematics; another, despite his youth, was already an acclaimed artist in Leningrad. Yet another of our group had lived most of his life in New York, where his father was working, and had joined our monastery after completing his third year of university. The youngest (the priest’s son) was a talented engraver and wood carver, and had just completed his education at an art school. And I had recently graduated from the screenwriter’s division of the prestigious National State Cinematic Institute. In short, each of us youngsters had enviable worldly careers to look forward to.

So why had we come to the monastery? And why were we planning to stay here for the rest of our lives? We knew very well. It was because, for each of us, a new world had suddenly opened up, incomparable in its beauty. And that world had turned out to be boundlessly more attractive than the one in which we had previously lived our young and so-far very happy lives. In this book I want to tell you about this beautiful new world of mine, where we live by laws completely different from those in “normal” worldly life—a world of light and love, full of wondrous discoveries, hope, happiness, trials and triumphs, where even our defeats acquire profound significance: a world in which, above all, we can always sense powerful manifestations of divine strength and comfort.

I have not needed to imagine anything. Everything you are about to read really happened. Most of the people you will read about are alive and well today.

Pages samples




  • Translator’s Introduction
  • Preface
    • In the Beginning
    • Pechory
    • Ten Days: My First Tasks
  • In Moscow
  • Father John
  • Archimandrite Seraphim
  • Difficult Father Nathaniel
  • Father Melchisedek
  • Father Antippus
  • The Caves
  • Being a Novice
  • How We Joined the Monastery
  • A Story about People Like Us—Only 1,500 Years Ago
  • Father Gabriel
  • The Great Abbot Archimandrite Alipius
  • Augustine
  • What Was Happening in the Spiritual Realm at These Moments?
  • The Theologians
  • A Sermon Given on the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, November 19, 1995
  • The Tale of the Prayer and the Little Fox
  • Guardian Angels
  • About One Holy Monastery
  • The Most Beautiful Service of My Life
  • Mother Frosya
  • The True Story of Mother Frosya
  • While Visiting Mother Frosya
  • The Candle
  • On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, All the Water in the World Becomes Holy
  • Father Avvakum and the Religious Affairs Commissioner from Pskov
  • The Black Poodle
  • A Christian Death
  • Marshal Zhukov’s Mother-in-Law
  • Archimandrite Claudian
  • Death of a “Stool Pigeon”
  • Stories Like This Happen in Moscow Today
  • Lyubov Timofeyevna Cheredova
  • The Metropolitan’s Daughter
  • How Bulat Became Ivan
  • Father Nicholas’s Prediction about My Monasticism
  • A Chapter that May Be Skipped by Readers Who Don’t Know Church History
  • Exorcism
  • A Sermon Given During a Service for the Taking of Monastic Vows in the Sretensky Monastery
  • The Tale of the Prodigal Bishop
  • The Relics of Patriarch Tikhon
  • How Prince Zurab Chavchavadze and I Broke the Lenten Fast
  • You Cannot Serve God and Mammon Both
  • Yet Another Breaking of the Rules
  • The Story of the Egyptian Cat
  • Andrei Bitov
  • His Eminence the Novice
  • The Foolish Townsfolk
  • Liturgy Is Served No More than Once Each Day on Any One Altar Table
  • How We Bought Our Combines
  • Vasily and Vasily Vasilyevich
  • The Life, Amazing Adventures, and Death of Father Raphael, the Shouting Stone
  • The Parish House in Lositsy and Its Inhabitants
  • An Incident on the Road
  • On Humility
  • How Father Raphael Drank Tea
  • Everyday Saints

Everyday Saints can be purchased through the publisher’s website, PokrovPublications.com. Look for it also on Amazon.com.

Official website of the book: http://everyday-saints.com/

Julita Cecilia Parisel6/10/2019 2:51 pm
I love this Book. 1992 I have been in
Diveyevo. ... more than true!
With love j
Jacqueline Doyle4/9/2015 8:42 pm
This is my favorite book of all time. I have read it twice, both times within 2 days. Now I open it and read one or two stories at a time. I give this book as a gift to my friends. Even those who are not orthodox love it because the lives of these men are so beautifully told, it is hard to put the book down.
Gary Paterson11/25/2012 9:43 am
I loved the book,it opened doors I thought were closed, and
thank God closed afew I'd stupidly opened!
I read it with my heart, and my mind opened to the love and
truth that the people of Russia have suffered for so long
to express.
Thank You
Alexandra10/30/2012 9:10 pm
Когда же напечатают книги на немецком? Очень-очень ждём!
Isaac Herrin10/15/2012 4:34 am
I am reading this book at this time. I can only give I my highest recommendation for whatever that is worth. A book about Orthodox living, Orthodox people, written, at least in the English translation, in a fluid and excellent method. Buy this book. You will not be disappointed.
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