The parishioners began to cry; seeing their pain, Fr. Alexander himself shed tears and having laid the cross on the analogion, entered the altar. Meanwhile, the choir was singing the kontakion that is normally sung during Lent: “My soul, my soul, rise up! Why art thou sleeping? The end is drawing near…”
Then the blessed one began to pray herself. What prayer it was! She suddenly became transfigured, raised her arms, and tears screamed copiously from her eyes; it seemed to Raphaella that the blessed one rose into the air—she did not see her legs on the ground.
He lived a half a year at home, pondering what path he should take next—especially since he was by then of an age at which one can and must avoid serious mistakes. He had no family of his own, and his life experience, which came together for him as he observed things around him during army service and paramedical work in a provincial hospital, was sufficient.
One day after another dragged on in death row--from the sentence to martyric end. From prison he wrote to his natural and spiritual children. These letters were written over the course of the two weeks preceding the executions of the priests sentenced to be shot, and are a priceless monument of Christian epistemology of latter times, proceeding from the pen of a great pastor and holy martyr.
Fr. Basil recognized that life cannot go so smoothly. This is not natural, he thought. It is written: In the world ye shall have tribulations, and of course it was not said in vain. One cannot avoid tribulations, just as a calm sea cannot escape storms. A storm is dangerous and terrifying after a long, pleasant calm. So are tribulations difficult for those who are not accustomed to them, especially after a long, unruffled, happy life. "Would that the Lord would send us a cross to try us," Batiushka secretly prayed, "not too heavy, but just so that we would not be forgetful of man's earthly lot.
They live in poverty; they accept alms, but will not keep them for themselves. Zinaida, for example, brought all her alms to the savings bank. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars (Mt. 22:21), she would say. "It came from the world and to the world it returns." There the money would be left.
His whole life was dedicated to God and neighbor, and it was truly laborious and holy. He was at all times in ceaseless prayer, devoid of malice and rich in good deeds. He prayed not only during the day, but also at night, tirelessly and unceasingly, never giving himself bodily rest, until his very death. As a reward for his righteousness, God gave him the gifts of clairvoyance and healing. St. Seraphim, the wonderworker of Sarov, valued his podvig of prayer very highly, and respected him as a great ascetic and God-pleaser.
No one ever heard from her any complaint, moaning, or unhappiness, nor irritability nor lamentations over human unfairness. The Lord Himself glorified her among the people for her God-pleasing life, her great humility and patience. People began to notice that what she would say or warn about would come to pass, and that those with whom she stayed would receive grace from God.
The Russian Orthodox Church has always borrowed antimens from other Local Orthodox Churches, despite that fact that it is larger in territory and number of members than all the other Local Churches taken together. But after the canonization of the New Martyrs in the year 2000, we now have enough relics of martyrs to provide antimens to serve the Liturgy on all the Holy Tables until the Second Coming of Christ.