уторак, 20. јул 2010.

Lesna Sisters Address, Nativity of St John Forerunner Novi Stjenik 2010

Your Grace, Reverend Father Akakije, Reverend Mother Abbess Efrosinija, Reverend Fathers and Mothers and Sisters, beloved brothers and sisters, Christ is in our midst!
His Emminence Archbisop Tikhon, our Matushka, Abbess Macrina, and all our sisterhood send you their blessings and greetings on the occasion of the  Feast of the Nativity of St John, the Baptist and Forerunner of our Lord, the patronal feast of Novi Stjenik Monastery.

May the prayers of the most honorable, holy Prophet and Forerunner John, the special protector of monastics, preserve this holy monastery for many years, that it might flourish and be a guiding light for the True Orthodox Christians of Serbia! The grace-filled life of St John the Baptist, filled as it was with many miracles and signs from above, his extreme ascetic struggles, his zeal for the Lord and his profound humility before the Messiah that he was the first to recognize, laid the pattern for monastic life from the earliest days of the Church, and we pray that his example will continue to inspire and guide you in your own struggles. Along with the Most Holy Mother of God, St John is nearest to the Lord, and most ready to intercede for us, his most humble followers. May his prayerful intercession always be a comfort and consolation to you, especially in our difficult times.
Mother Amvrosia and I have the honor of representing our sisterhood of the Lesna Monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God here today. As many of you know, our monastery has a special link with Serbia. Our sisters were amongst the many Russian refugees that found a home in this country when they fled the persecutions of the godless communists. The Lesna sisters settled at the Hopovo Monastery in the Frushka Gora region, and thanks to the truly Christian kindness, generosity and hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox Church and people, they were able to preserve our monastery and our customs and traditions. We are forever indebted to our Serbian brothers and sisters, and they have a special place in our hearts and our prayers. In August of 1950 our sisters left for France, and only today, almost exactly 60 years later, has the Lord granted us the opportunity to return here and pray together with you once more.
The sisters of Lesna were led to Serbia by the Foundress of our Monastery, Abbess Catherine of blessed memory. She founded the Lesna Monastery as the first missionary along the borders of the Russian empire, and inspired a veritable monastic revival. Hundreds of young women followed her example and many monastic communities were founded by her disciples. She was able to continue this work in Serbia and inspired a revival of Serbian women’s monasticism as well. Her disciples were abbesses in Vavedina, Kivedjin, Manasija, Chrachanitsa and other monasteries. In these monasteries, as well as Hopovo and other communities, Russian and Serbian sisters struggled side by side, for in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither Serb nor Russian, were are all first and foremost citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem. Mother Abbess Catherine reposed here in Serbia, and her grave and relics remain here at Hopovo. If the Lord blesses, this coming October we will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of our monastery, and will glorify our venerable Mother Abbess Catherine, who we believe has found favor with the Lord amongst his saints. We believe that her prayers and guidance have brought us back to Serbia and lead us to our monastic sisters of the Serbian True Orthodox Church. They are the true descendants and disciples of the Serbian sisters in Hopovo, and our Holy Mother Catherine intercedes for them before the Throne of the Almighty just as she does for us.
We thank Fr Akakije and Matushka Efrosinija for their invitation and the opportiny to pray with you and to participate in this feast, and we hope, God willing, to see as many of you as possible at our celebration in October. Please accept this gifts: a portrait of the Royal Martyrs of Russia. The Tsar-Martyr Nikolai II was a distant relative of our Matushka Abbess Catherine and a great benefactor of the Lesna Monastery. He was also a true friend of the Serbian people. And also a Russian bell for your trapeze. May the Lord bless you all richly for your kindness, may He grant you all that is most needful for your salvation, and may He preserve you for many years!

Нема коментара: