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The Glinka Desert as the Center for the Revival of Eldership

The Glinka Desert as the Center for the Revival of Eldership

Tags: Religion, Christianity

The theme of the tradition of eldership is especially relevant today, because we live in an age of spiritual hunger. Let us recall the twentieth century, when not only bodies were killed, but souls were cast into hell, depriving several generations of the saving faith of Christ, His holy Church. By the godless power of the twentieth century the centuries-old succession of eldership was destroyed, but, to great joy, not everywhere. God did not let the enemies of faith finally defeat their faithful servants. There were still a few places where faithfulness to the faith and the continuity of the eldership remained. One of them is Glinskaya Christmas-Bogoroditskaya deserts.


Elderlyness arose and spread with monasticism. It was necessary for the ascetic education of young monks and teaching them active Christianity. Originating in monastic life, the elders not only served the monastery that was being saved, but, having consolidated there, "came out in all the power of active love for the suffering brother of the world" [1]. So, the influence of the eldership extended to the Christian society of the laity. As N. V. Maslov writes in his book about schiarchimandrite John (Maslov): "In its highest measure, spiritual leadership is called eldership. The Elder is a God-enlightened person, distinguished by a perfect spiritual experience, an adviser and mentor, capable of wisely leading the life of others "[2].

The exact translation of the word "presbyter" in Russian sounds like "the oldest", "the elder". The presbyter is the name of every pastor-priest. Although the elder is not necessarily a priest, he is always a guide of God's will, guided by the Holy Spirit and revealing it to the inquiring. The elders can only be by grace. Learning to be an old man is impossible - this is God's gift [3].

The eldership assumes one constant spiritual-experienced leader - an old man, who, through his wise guidance from the disciple, makes a vessel containing the Lord, returning and elevating the novice to God [4]. But not necessarily the elder should be a confessor. A distinctive feature of the elder from the confessor is the discovery of penitent sins not yet committed - thoughts, and complete obedience to his will, directed, as was said above, to the salvation of man in Christ. The elder takes on a most difficult feat - bears full responsibility before the Lord for the spiritual state of the novitiate or spiritual child, showing over him counseling, completely guiding his life, not enslaving his will with his "human", but by teaching and giving his teachings to God's will. The elder teaches what he has already learned. The Monk John of the Ladder says: "It is a great shame for the teacher to pray to God for the gift of the novice of what he himself did not gain" [5]. The elder spiritually merges with the disciple - they live as if one life. The Elder's prayer for his disciple spiritualizes the life of his child, enlightens the mind and cleanses the heart, and also strengthens in good deeds. Thus, the prayer of the Elder is, as it were, the vehicle of chastity and the grace of the Holy Spirit. The disciple of the old man, giving his will to the teacher and likening himself to his deeds and virtues, gradually becomes an ascetic himself, and his life experience becomes another link in the spiritual tradition.

The Elder's prayer for his disciple spiritualizes the life of his child, enlightens the mind and cleanses the heart, and also strengthens in good deeds.

So the elders have always been in the Church, and, despite all the efforts of the enemy of the human race, the continuity of the tradition of eldership was not stopped. It did not disappear in the years of persecution in the twentieth century. Only the place where the elders stay changed. In the difficult years of hard times, this place became, according to the will of God, the Glinskaya Christmas-Bogoroditskaya deserts [6].


In Russia, the Glinskaya Pustyn was famous for the institution of senile nourishment along with the Kiev-Pecherskaya and Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

It was founded in the XVI century on the site of the phenomenon of the icon of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in 40 versts from the city of Putivl, in 160 from Kursk and 12 from Glukhov (now it is the Sumy region of Ukraine). During this period, our land was tormented by the Mongolian horde, as well as internecine strife of Russian princes. It was in this difficult time for Russia that the Queen of Heaven gave her people consolation and strengthening in faith through the appearance of her miraculous icon and the foundation of the holy abode. Constant wars, crop failures, epidemics, fires led people to the idea of ​​the vanity of worldly life, and many went into deserted, forest places. Here they, alone with God, spent time in prayer deeds.

The name of the first inhabitant of the Glinskaya desert remained unknown. It is only known that he settled near a newly appeared icon, later named Desert-Glin, in honor of the princes of Glinsky, who owned this place (hence the name Glinskaya Christmas-Bogoroditskaya deserts), and built a chapel for it. People resorted to the grace-filled help of the newly revealed shrine. And many, wishing to imitate the exploits of the first ascetic of the desert, remained here forever.

The diocesan authorities, noticing the moral height of the Glinka monks, transferred them to other monasteries for the establishment of a truly spiritual life there.

In different periods of its existence, the Glinskaya desert grew richer, it became scarce, but the spiritual life in it never faltered. Under the hegumen Philaret (Danilevsky), at the beginning of the XIX century, the Glin monastery was transformed both externally and spiritually. All of Russia has learned about her patriotic, enlightening and charitable activities.

The spiritual and material life in the desert and under the successors of the elder Filaret grew steadily. In her prosperity was the senility, approved by the charter of the monastery (which at that time was rare), for the people in large numbers were published biographies of her elders and devotees of piety, as well as "Glinski leaves" and "Glinskie Bogoroditskie books." At the monastery monastery a special reception was arranged, where the elders gave instructions to visitors. A hospital was built for monks and laymen, a hospice for pilgrims and a house of diligence for orphans. In the monastery it was strictly observed, established by the Hegumen Philaret after the model of the Athonite, the Charter. The service was always lasting, majestic, solemn and at the same time reverent, contributing to "the introduction of minds and hearts into the truth and love of God" [7].

The ascetic life of the abbots and brethren of the Glinskaya desert and old age nurturing attracted new ascetics to the monastery. The diocesan authorities, noticing the moral height of the Glinka monks, transferred them to other monasteries for the establishment of a truly spiritual life there. The author of the book "Glinskaya Christmas-Bogoroditskaya dormitory deserts" Shikharchimandrite John (Maslov) wrote that the holy abode was "a hotbed of good asceticism in different, even very remote places of our fatherland" [8]. Her enormous enlightenment activity influenced the spiritual and moral education of the people and contributed to the development of literacy. The glory of the monastery spread beyond the borders of our country.

Interesting data on the Glinskaya desert and the activities of its inhabitants are given in archival documents of the Soviet era: "Bogomoltsy from different cities and regions send money to the monastery, and local believers also donate. In the monastery is a copy of the so-called miraculous "Glin Icon of the Mother of God." A tradition has been established that this icon is transported annually to the Ascension Church of the city of Hlukhiv on 16 August for three months. Until 1930 it was transported by a large procession of the cross, and at this time (1950) is transported by a submarine without any escorts ... Until 1948, inclusive, the monastery was visited not only by local but also distant pilgrims and a hostel of three rooms with a total area of ​​up to 100 square meters to large holidays were filled. Since 1949, pilgrimage began to decline, and from other distant regions there were only a few people for the whole year. However, the pilgrims continue to visit for 50-60 kilometers, and, visiting the monastery, they help the monks in their work ... "[9].

Another archival document says: "At the same time, there is an extreme need to remove the monastery from this place ... the monastery would have lost its great popularity among believers to some extent, which it enjoys not only in Ukraine, but also in the more remote regions and regions of the Soviet Union, as evidenced by visits, although rare, pilgrims from Tashkent, Chuvashia, Arkhangelsk and others, not to mention the closest areas of the European part of the USSR "[10].

But it was hard times for Russia and the Glinka Desert, the rector of which at that time was a worthy successor to other wise wise abbots - Archimandrite Nektariy (Nuzhdin). During the war with Germany in 1914-1918 years. the monastic brethren rendered to the army and the people, first of all, spiritual help, raising to God intensified prayer for the bestowal of victory over the enemies, helped with the word of the sermon, explaining the doctrine of the Church about the war, and deed - going to the army in charge for spiritual nourishment and material support of the soldiers.

The news of the opening of the monastery quickly spread, and its former monks began to gather in the Glinsky Desert, as well as spiritually experienced monks from other closed monasteries.

Deserts, despite the long war and revolutionary revolution of 1917, continued to live a full-fledged spiritual life, in all respects being a support for people until its close in 1922.

After the closure, the children's town of Lenin was established in the monastery, which existed until 1928. Then, alternating, various other structures were organized. The property of the monastery was plundered. The library was also plundered and of particular value, but some of the books Archimandrite Nektariya managed to preserve. The miraculous icon of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin was taken by members of the Church Council - citizens of the village of Shalygino.

Some of the monks moved to still open monasteries, but soon they were closed by the Soviet authorities, other monks began to serve in the parishes, which also remained very few, the rest lived in the world, engaged in various crafts. Most of the brethren have gone to camps and exile.

In 1942 year, during the Great Patriotic War, monastic life in the Glinskaya desert was again heated. The monastery was opened under the father of Nektarii, who was also its renewer. God's craft Archimandrite Nektariy was not arrested and managed to keep part of the monastic property.

It was the only monastery that opened in Russia at that time. The news of the opening of the monastery quickly spread, and its former monks began to gather in the Glinsky Desert, as well as spiritually experienced monks from other closed monasteries, most of which returned from exile and camps. When restoring the monastery, the main attention was paid to the revival of the spiritual traditions of the Glinskaya desert. And the monastery became the center of revival of the eldership.

The daily routine and way of life for the monastery population was as follows: "Every day from four o'clock in the morning, the morning service starts until seven o'clock, and then the break and from eight to eleven - Mass. After eleven o'clock lunch and breakfast together. And for those who are on physical work, breakfast is prepared at seven in the morning. From eleven to four days break, and then the evening service until six o'clock. After that, at seven or eight o'clock in the evening, supper and further each resident of the monastery until four o'clock in the morning is left to himself. For lunch and dinner, soup and borsch are prepared. Bread in the monastery is available, but in a very limited amount, and it is necessary to add twenty-five kilograms of flour to six buckets of potatoes and bake bread. Bread is given on hands so: a) who works physically in six hundred grams, b) all the rest for four hundred grams "[11].

The brothers were poor and starving, but shared with the pilgrims, orphans, widows, supported the army financially and morally.

In the report on information on the Church in the Sumy region it is said: "On the territory of the monastery there is still a canteen in which for the visiting believers twice a day free food is provided and accommodation is provided. Scientific and atheistic propaganda is still poorly placed in the Glukhov district, therefore the percentage of believers in the settlements adjacent to the monastery continues to be large. Some local residents, counting monks for benefactors, turn to the monastery for various advice and even monetary assistance, in which the management of the monastery almost never refuses "[12].

Not long had to rejoice at the restoration of the monastery, as there was a second wave of persecution for faith, and the authorities did everything to close the desert.

The inhabitants of the monastery, struggling and laying all their hopes on the Most Holy Theotokos, managed to carry the spirit of true eldership through all the trials of this time. And the Most Pure did not leave His beloved children. In the monastery, the brethren quickly multiplied, pilgrims flocked from all sides, carrying with them donations.

But for a short time I had to rejoice in the restoration of the monastery, as there was a second wave of persecution for faith, and the authorities did everything to close the desert. Soon the monks were decided to remove from the desert, and to transfer its buildings and inventory to Sosnovsky's house for the disabled. 14 July 1961 year the monastery was surrounded by the authorities in order to prevent pilgrims. Monks were taken to the railway station, forbidding them to take even money with them. Sosnovsky's house of invalids was subsequently converted into a psychiatric home.

After the closure of the monastery, the monks continued their service to the Church and people, but already in different parts of the country.

Now the Glinskaya desert after a long break is revived again - in 1994 it was given to the Church [13].


The continuity of the tradition of eldership, as mentioned above, was never stopped, but the place of the elders' stay changed. Moreover, the tradition of eldership, thriving in the monasteries that kept it, did not close only in a certain place, but, thanks to the spirit-bearing fathers, the bearers of this tradition, spread like living water, spreading in other monasteries and temples.

The Glynskaya Desert, thanks to the model of the Athonite, made by the abbot Philaret, gained fame and significance among other monasteries, in which the Charter of the Glinka desert was also fully or partially adopted, along with its traditions. And since this Statute approved the obligatory for all the inhabitants of the monastery elder care, then, thus, the tradition of eldership was extended even in those monasteries where it had not existed before.

There were no less than fourteen such new or renewed monasteries. Among them Svyatogorsky in the Kharkov province, Bogoroditsky in the Kursk province, Buzuluk in the Samara province, Scheglovsky in the Tula province, Churkinskaya Nikolaevskaya desert in the Astrakhan province, Borisov women's deserts in the Kursk province, in addition, a number of monasteries of the Ufa, Orenburg and other provinces.

Even the Soviet government itself became an involuntary witness of the influence of the Glinskaya desert on other church communities: "The communities removed from the registration at the end of 1948 and the first half of 1949 in the villages of Khokhlovka, Pavlovka, V. Pozhny, Khustyanka and Vyazov show no desire for revival. Such communities as: Sosnovsky and Starikovskaya of Shalyginsky district, Gnilitskaya of Gruny district, continue to exist, but their decomposition continues ... If in Sosnovka and Starikovo divine services continue, it is only thanks to the fact that the monks of the monastery took care of these parishes Glinskaya desert, which live mainly at the expense of the monastery, and not at the expense of income from the prayer houses "[14].

Pupils and spiritual children of Father Filaret still keep his instructions, are guided by them in spiritual struggle, and pass them on to others.

Experienced devotees grew in the Glinka desert, gaining profound humility, meekness, mercy and possessing spiritual gifts. Many of them were sent to priests' posts and to other monasteries, for the establishment of a truly monastic life there.

So Hieromonk Macedonius (Zhirov), as a capable leader who took experience in the pastoral work of the Glinsky Desert, in 1900 was appointed rector of the Churkin Uspensko-Mykolaiv Desert of the Astrakhan Diocese. Here, from the very beginning, he introduced the charter of the Glin monastery. Here, followed by several dozens of residents and the most Glinskaya desert. The new rector paid special attention to the inner life of the brotherhood in the monastery entrusted to him. The introduction of the strict Glinsky Charter multiplied and ordered the spiritual growth of those living and struggling in the Uspensko-Nikolaev desert, and also multiplied their number. For the brotherhood of a highly spiritual life, Macedonian father built a monastery. Thus, the tradition of the eldership of the Glinskaya desert passed to Churkinskaya Uspensko-Nikolaevskaya desert [15].

Glinsky monk, father Iasson, having typed spiritual experience and having adopted the senile tradition of the Glinskaya desert, was first transferred to the Kursk Znamensky monastery, and then, in 1903, he was appointed governor there. But also on his new obedience as viceroy, taking care of his entrusted trust to the monastery and the brotherhood living in it, hegumen Iasson did not forget his native abode, serving her by collecting and compiling biographies of the Glinsky elders. Thanks to these biographies, the monks of the Kursk Znamensky Monastery were imbued with the spirit of the Glinka desert, her eldership, and took over her experience in her ministry. The books of Jasson's father, describing the holy, god-pleasing life of the elders of the Glinka desert, written in an edifying and strict style, speak of the highly spiritual life of their originator, and call their readers to live in God and jealousy in the matter of salvation [16].

At the end of 1956, the inhabitant of the Glinka desert, Father Innokenty (in the schema of Ion), was appointed rector of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Kamenka in the Sumy region. For two years spent in the Glynsky desert, he took over from the wise-minded Glinsky elders a great experience of pastoral activity, which completely unfolded in the new place of his ministry. As a zealous servant in the field of Christ, Hieromonk Innokentii decorated the temple both outside and inside. Confided the flock, most of whom came to him for spiritual advice from afar [17].

The great worker in the field of Christ's schiarchimandrite John (Maslov), still a student of the Moscow Theological Academy, stood out for his spiritual life, which he adopted from the Glinsky elders. He was entrusted with the spiritual nourishment of teachers and students of the Moscow theological schools. Classmates treated the Glinsky monk with great respect and, having felt in him an experienced tutor, often confessed to him, revealing to him his whole soul.

Being prepared for the pastoral ministry, Father John was sent as a confessor to the Zhirovitsky Holy Assumption Monastery in Byelorussia, where, following the pattern of the Glinsky Desert, he revived not only the spiritual life of the monastery, but also its economy. Here, for spiritual advice to the elder began to gather from all parts of the country, his spiritual children and pilgrims [18].

Even in the years of the closure of the Glinka desert, its inhabitants continued to serve the Church and people in different parts of the country.

Even in the years of the closure of the Glinka desert, its inhabitants continued to serve the Church and people in different parts of the country. All of them, one way or another, carried the traditions of the eldership of the Glinka desert, spreading them, spiritually transforming the new places of their pastoral ministry.

Many exiles from the great Glyn desert found refuge in the Iberian land. Among them were such custodians of the living tradition of the elders as Metropolitan Zinovy ​​(Mazhuga), Shiarhimandrite Andronik (Lukash), Shiarchimandrite Serafim (Romantsov).

By God's providence, after the first closing of the holy Hlin monastery (1922 year), one of her monks, Zinovy ​​(Mazhuga), arrived in Georgia. Here he deserved great love and respect of local residents, primarily for his impeccable monastic life.

One day, when Metropolitan Zinovy ​​arrived from Tbilisi to Sukhumi, the residents of the Greek village Georgievka invited the elder to visit their village and, after receiving his consent, arranged a holiday on the occasion of his arrival. People brought their children under the blessing of the lord. And the chairman of the village council Georgievka even warned the elder about the danger of arrest. Then the old man hosted one Greek family in his home, risking his safety and even his life.

In Iberia, Vladyka Zinovy ​​useful handicraft, which he learned as early as the Glinskaya desert in a tailoring workshop, passing there obedience. He freely sewed clothes for the poor inhabitants of Georgievka and people, seeing the kindness and righteousness of the old man, entrusted him to the wise pastoral leadership the salvation of their souls.

Vladyka had great prayerful zeal for the Most Holy Theotokos. So answering the question of one hieromonk about what to do in order to remain faithful to Christ and how to endure the trials, if the persecution begins again on the Church, the Bishop said: "Pray to the Mother of God and read" Theotokos Devo "as often as possible. Whoever reads this prayer is guarded by the Most-Holy Mother of God ... "[19].

He taught about Jesus' prayer that one should not strive for high degrees and for a high concentration of thought, but in the simplicity of the heart it is necessary to create a prayer for the living God who is close to us, like our soul. He also taught that the prayer of Jesus is planted only to a humble heart. Advised me to use the moments of loneliness and to disperse foreign thoughts with Jesus' prayer. This is the way the elder considered reading the books.

Vladyka Zinovy ​​was an ascetic in the world. So, already becoming a metropolitan, he continued to live in two small rooms. Jesus' prayer was his incessant inner work, which did not stop even during conversations. He prayed mostly at night, and in the daytime he served the Church and people.

Around the church, he gathered monks, who performed various obediences, mostly sang and read in the choir.

After the second closure of the Glinsky Desert (1961 year), many of its inhabitants moved to Vladyka Zinoviy, who replaced the hegumen for them. Some of them stayed near the Bishop in Tbilisi, at the Alexander Nevsky Church, where the elder was at that time serving. Some went to the mountain sketes. Others fought in the parishes. And Vladyka helped them all, both spiritually and financially. The monks knew that Vladyka would not abandon them and would always help and support them. Thus, many of the Glinsky monks remained in Georgia for life.

Vladika often gave people alms. At the Liturgy I took out a lot of particles for those I knew, and for whom I was asked to pray. Every day I attended all the divine services, giving all the people around him the example of Christian asceticism.

Here, on the holy Iberian land, the elder and died, staying with his flock, as the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II said, "... not only spirit, but also the body ..." [20].

In Tbilisi, in the house of Metropolitan Zinovy ​​at the church of St. Alexander Nevsky, there lived another Glinsky old man - Shikharchimandrite Andronik (Lukash). Here, shut up in the house and going out only to the temple, he performed all the services according to the charter of the Glinsky monastery, and during the breaks he read the Psalter. For a visible reminder of the main feats of spiritual life: prayer and inner silence, the elder placed under the glass two inscriptions. The first with the words of Jesus' prayer, and the second with the verse from the psalm: Let not the mouth of my deeds of men speak (Ps. 16: 4). These inscriptions became the old man's testament to his spiritual children and a lesson for visitors, whom he served in the traditions of the Glinsky monastery. Jesus' prayer, which was for Father Andronik protection, consolation, joy and a source of hope and strength, he taught his spiritual children.

The Elder was always cheerful in body and spirit. He always received spiritual joy from him, and spread to the people around him. Already here, on earth, with his heart and mind, he lived in the eternal world, but when Father Andronik came for advice, he did not reject those who came and held with them soul-saving conversations. The elder did not talk about the worldly, but tried to direct the human mind to inner life, to show that the main thing is not what is outside of us, but what is inside us. Knowing that the condemnator is subjected to the same passion as he saw in another person, Father Andronicus forbade anyone to condemn. Therefore, the Elder bequeathed to his children: "Be blind, deaf and dumb" [21], referring to insensibility to worldly passions and not condemning them in others. He also said: "Know yourself, and it will be with you," that is, see your sins, repent in them and fight with what prevents prayer.

The elder did not talk about the worldly, but tried to direct the human mind to inner life, to show that the main thing is not what is outside of us, but what is inside us.

When he was asked about the spiritual life, he answered himself, and when the question concerned the Church, he sent inquirers to Vladyka Zinovy.

Father Andronicus was merciful on Confessions, rarely gave penances, because he was very fond of people. After his death, the patriarch David said on the grave of the elder: "Father Andronicus, you loved all people, and you did not have enemies. Pray for us at the Throne of God. "[22].

Another outstanding inhabitant of the Glinskaya desert, who moved after its closure in Georgia, was Shikharchimandrite Serafim (Romantsov). Having received a huge spiritual experience in the Glin monastery, he was able to transfer it to the Iberian land in the hearts of people who are striving for a truly Christian life. The elder chose the city of Sukhumi as the place of his residence. The main purpose of his arrival here he called the spiritual nourishment of the deserters who lived in Little Svaneti, several dozen kilometers from the city - in the mountains, in the forest. Father Seraphim often visited deserters in his 70 years, overcoming a huge and difficult path. He invested in them his pastoral experience, prayer work, and, most importantly, his father's love. And the deserts themselves came to their spiritual master at night, for fear of trouble, provocation by the authorities, and expulsion of the elder. He, like a child-loving father, always received his children, talking with them, sometimes on all nights. Those of the deserters, who obeyed Father Seraphim as a tutor, unquestioningly fulfilling his blessings, walked in an equal way, differed in spiritual reasoning and peaceful arrangement of the spirit. The elder, in turn, helped them with his prayer. Those who lived autocratically, took upon themselves without his blessing an impossible feat, fell into heavy temptations.

Archimandrite Seraphim, being an experienced practitioner of the Jesus Prayer, considered obedience a necessary condition for her. He taught that if a person acquires the skill of this prayer by hard work, but the soul will not be healed by obedience and will not abandon his will, the prayer will not be the secret Jesus prayer about which the holy fathers wrote, but only in words, because a proud mind can not be combined with in the name of humble Jesus. He also taught that for the acquisition of Jesus' prayer, struggle with passions is necessary. He taught that prayer should not be torn from life. I thought it helpful to combine prayer with breathing. He also believed that monks must perform "five hundred".

About the grace of God, he taught that without it, man can not overcome temptation and fight against sin. Only the grace of God can curb sin and make a person a winner in spiritual struggle. Therefore, the main task of the ascetic is the acquisition and storage of grace. But grace works only in a humble heart. For acquiring it like air, obedience is necessary. Monk without obedience, Father Seraphim did not consider a monk. The outer feats of solitude and fasting he considered a help for obedience, and not the basis of monasticism.

The elder spoke about the temptation of modern monks, that they are looking for the visionary old men, and the experienced monk is not trusted, that they demand from the elders miracles, like the Pharisees of Christ. For the novice monks advised to engage in physical labor, tiring the body and being an antidote to carnal passions and exaltation.

Elder, being outwardly harsh in relation to his children, was internally loving. He had the gift of penetrating into the human soul. He said that it was necessary for the man that concerned his salvation. In his stories he urged people to repent, without naming specific names, warned against falls. Realizing the complexity of the situation, when the monks on the Iberian land lived outside the monastery, Father Seraphim was condescending to them on Confession. But this indulgence did not pass into the indulgence of passions, and the elder demanded the struggle with sin, and the determination not to repeat sins. He believed that monasticism in the world requires greater obedience than in ordinary monastic life. And one of the signs of obedience was the spiritual joy that a true novice always carries in his heart. Another sign of obedience is the reconciliation of thoughts and the handing over to the providence of God through his elders.

At the beginning of his stay in Sukhumi, the elder went to the cathedral, where he accepted the people for Confession, and numerous pilgrims from the Glinsky monastery were drawn to it. On Confession, he solved spiritual questions, gave advice and instructions. Father Seraphim taught in all things to see God's will and obey it. The soul of Archimandrite Seraphim did not endeavor to communicate with learned monks, whom he also respected, but with prayer books.

The Elder attached great importance to the continuity of the monastic life and even outside the monastery, including the charter of worship, the daily Confession, the revelation of thoughts. Often, his spiritual friend, Sikharchimandrite Andronik, came to him from Tbilisi. Both elders tried to preserve the unity of the Glyn brothers, which was scattered all over the country. And the Glin monks could always find shelter, instruction and consolation, both from Vladyka Zinovy ​​and from Father Andronik and Father Seraphim.

The old men worked tirelessly for the glory of God, serving the Church of Christ and the people. Among the inhabitants of the Glinka desert, as the Glinka mosaic says: "... there was no division into important and unimportant work, honorable and low, worthy of their rank and rank or degrading them. Where necessary, there were first of all they, the elders. They could do everything quickly, sensibly, silently, probably with prayer "[23]. And this concern for each other, for each person, their sacrificial life was for people a light that awakened in people's souls the realization of their sinfulness, the desire to purify themselves and change themselves for the better. The elders exemplified all their lives to fulfill the words of the Lord: ... But between you it will not be so: but whoever wants to be big among you, let him be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you should be your slave (Matthew 20: 26-27).

[1] The path to a perfect life. About Russian seniority / Compilation: Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanitarian University. - M .: Publishing house of the Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanitarian University, 2006. - S. 367.

[2] Maslov NV Sciarchimandrite John (Maslov). His pastoral work and theological heritage. - Moscow: Publishing House of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1999. - S. 7.

[3] How to treat the spiritual father correctly / Compilation: Father Sergius Filimonov, A. N. Novikov. - St. Petersburg: Satis, 2008. - S. 73.

[4] Alexander Soloviev, Archpriest. Elderhood. According to the teachings of the holy fathers and ascetics. - M .: Blagovest, 1995. - (Published according to the publication of the city of Semipalatinsk, 1900). - S. 32.

[5] John Climacus, pr. Ladder. - Moscow: Publishing House of the Moscow Compound of the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra, 2002. - S. 308.

[6] See: Smolich IK Russian monasticism 988-1917. Life and teaching of the elders. - M .: Publishing Church-Scientific Center "Orthodox Encyclopedia", 1997. - S. 323-328; Khoruzhiy S. S.Dukhovnye basis of Russian seniery. - M .: Publishing Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, 2006. - S. 42; On the life of Shiarchimandrite Vitaly: Memories of spiritual children. Letters. Teachings / Compiled in the Novospassky Monastery. - Moscow: Novospassky Monastery, 2002. - S. 62-65.

[7] John (Maslov), Shiarchimandrite. Glinskaya desert. The history of the monastery and its spiritual and educational activities in the 16th-20th centuries. - Moscow: Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1994. - S. 129.

[8] Ibid. S. 371-372.

[9] GARF (State Archives of the Russian Federation). Foundation R-6991. Council on the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. D. 688. Observation and correspondence activities in Sumy region (20 March 1950 - 31 December 1950). L. 69-73.

[10] GARF (State Archives of the Russian Federation). Foundation R-6991. Council on the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. D. 811. Observation and correspondence activities in Sumy region (13 January 1951 - 21 January1952). L. 25.

[11] GARF (State Archives of the Russian Federation). Foundation R-6991. Council on the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. D. 380. Observation case in the Sumy region (15 January 1948 - 14 February 1949.). L. 25.

[12] GARF (State Archives of the Russian Federation). Foundation R-6991. Council on the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. D. 1806. The case of reports and information reports and other correspondence on Church issues in the Sumy region (1 April 1960 - 7 July 1960.). L. 4.

[13] John (Maslov), Shiarchimandrite. Glinskaya desert. The history of the monastery and its spiritual and educational activities in the 16th-20th centuries. - Moscow: Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1994. - S. 393-414.

[14] GARF (State Archives of the Russian Federation). Foundation R-6991. Council on the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. D. 539. Observation case in the Sumy region (28 January 1949 - 10 January 1950.). L. 20-21.

[15] John (Maslov), Shiarchimandrite. The Glinsky Patericon. - Moscow: Publishing house "Boxwood", 1997. - S. 530-531.

[16] Ibid. S. 537-538.

[17] Ibid. S. 225-234.

[18] See: How to treat the spiritual father correctly / Compilation: Father Sergius Filimonov, A. N. Novikov. - St. Petersburg: Satis, 2008. - S. 24-107.

[19] Raphael (Karelin), Archimandrite. On the way from time to eternity. Memories. - Saratov: Publishing house of the Saratov diocese, 2008. - S. 187.

[20] Ibid. S. 191; 184-193.

[21] Ibid. S. 199.

[22] Ibid. S. 193-200.

[23] Pylneva GA The Glinka mosaic. Memories of pilgrims about the Glinsk desert (1942-61). - M .: Orthodox pilgrim, 1997. - С.56.

Vitaliy Lyakhovsky
Sretensky Theological Seminary
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