Elder Nektary of Optina

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Barbara
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Elder Nektary of Optina

Post by Barbara »

There are varied, interesting references to Elder Nektary here at Euphrosynos Cafe, but until now, he has not had his own thread !

Here is perhaps the fullest explanation of Elder Nektary's mysterious movements in the last five or six years of his life.

It is from the book "Elder Nikon of Optina" by Nun Maria [Dobromyslova], who herself lived "undercover" with the Optina refugees in Kozelsk, the nearest town to the monastery, during that intensely dangerous time.


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"Exhausted under the yoke of the sorrows that overtaken them al [Optina monks and Shamordino nuns under persecution by the new Soviet government]  the Elder received everyone who came to him with love.

Although the
[Optina] Skete no longer existed, the Elder continued to live and receive people in his "hut," to the right of the holy gates [of the Skete].

During Great Lent of 1923, Elder Nektary was arrested. The Elder was sick and weak. Despite this, he was placed in a low, wide sled and taken to Kozelsk. The sick Elder was transferred from the prison to the Kozelsk hospital, and placed in a separate ward. At the door of his new quarters stood a sentry with a rifle.

He had been arrested only out of suspicion, basically because large numbers of visitors continually came to see him.

In the middle of spring, Elder Nektary was released from the hospital and allowed to live in Kozelsk. As a prerequisite, he had to sign a statement that he would not leave the Kozelsk district and would not receive people.

The Elder was given shelter by a pious family, but he did not live with them long. Suddenly, without warning anyone, and hardly saying goodbye, he and his cell-attendant left or the home of one of his spiritual sons, a farmer.

There is reason to believe that, knowing that he was under surveillance by the authorities and bound by the order not to receive anyone, the Elder could not have acted otherwise. Many...- some simply out of ignorance - had continued to visit the Elder in Kozelsk.

A more reliable reason for his sudden departure could be the fact that, as it later became clear, the spur to his flight from Kozelsk was an order from the authorities driving him out beyond the borders of the Kaluga province. The Elder likewise did not live long with his spiritual son, the farmer.

He settled not far from the farm, on the border of the Kaluga province, in the village of Kholmishche, in the Bryansk province.

Here, the Elder gradually weakening, lived for about five years.

On April 29 /May 12, 1928, he quietly departed this temporal, sorrowful life for eternal life."

Optina Editor's note : "On July 3/16, 1989, the relics of the Elder were uncovered and transferred to Optina Monastery."

 
 

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Re: Elder Nektary of Optina

Post by eish »

Thanks for reminding me, I wanted to post this. On Death To Compromise channel.

Archbishop Andrei of Rockland (ROAC) giving an account of words passed down from Blessed Nektary of Optina. "And many times, he told me what he heard from Venerable Nektary of Optina, his teacher. Venerable Nektary told him in 1927 when the churches were destroyed, when the monasteries were destroyed, the priests and bishops shot. Nektary said to him, there will come a day that you will see that these churches have been rebuilt. There will be new gold on the cupolas, there will be beautiful churches. But you, do not go there. Because it will be the church of the Antichrist. Vladkya Andrei repeated that to me many times. He became a priest in 1927 with the blessing of Venerable Nektary if Optina."

https://youtu.be/WuJMqpoe3gM

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Re: Elder Nektary of Optina

Post by Barbara »

Great !Thank you, eish.

To clarify, in case any readers are not 100% clear, Archbishop Andrew [Maklakov] is a contemporary figure, the head of the American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church headquartered in the classic city of Suzdal, part of what's called the Golden Ring of historic cities not too far from Moscow. The tourist route, in short, but the Church there is against the Moscow Patriarchate, hence has suffered constant persecution over many years from the authorities.
Despite the Russian last name, Abp Andrei is an American. He changed his name to a Russian one a long time ago.

He was the cell attendant [assistant/in this case, like a nurse] for an earlier Archbishop Andrew of Rockland. There is a thread about the latter I will get in case anyone wants to learn more about this important figure.
When the above quotation says "he became a priest in 1927, this refers to this Abp Andrew [Rymarenko]. then a layman named Adrian. The name changes when the person enters monasticism.
Adrian Rymarenko was married to a Eugenia [more about her in the next post.] They both visited Elder Nektary, who changed their life directions.
When Adrian became Fr Adrian, it turned out to be he who, upon hearing that Elder Nektary was nearing his repose, raced from his hometown of Romny [sounds American !] in Ukraine all the way to Kholmishche in Bryansk province. All civilian transport was highly difficult in the 1st decade of Soviet rule, but Fr Adrian managed to arrive just in time. This seems to have been Elder Nektary's wish, to have Fr Adrian be present at his repose.

Thus, Fr Adrian took with him through tortuous travels through Berlin and DP camps in Germany [for "displaced persons" after World War II - these were notorious for the most miserable conditions] all the teachings of his Elder. Finally to New York, where he founded a convent to carry on the traditional monasticism that he had witnessed.

Eventually, his matushka [priest's wife] Eugenia reposed and Fr Adrian accepted monasticism. He was elevated to the rank of Archbishop and given the name of a place in New York State, Rockland.

As I understand, Abp Andrei the American requested to hold the same title "of Rockland" in honor of HIS elder, Abp Andrew [Rymarenko]. That's why there are two of the same name : they are in the same lineage going bac to Elder Nektary of Optina, the last appointed Elder of the famous monastery.

 
 

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Re: Elder Nektary of Optina

Post by Barbara »

Matushka Eugenia Rymarenko wrote a long pamphlet "Reminiscences : Recollections About Elder Nektary of Optina", published in 1993 by Jordanville Monastery.

The 1st part is in a diary format with entries for each day that she was able to meet with Elder Nektary, against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1920s, when the Bolsheviks plunged the country into disaster and chaos.

She describes herself in the beginning as the daughter of prominent landowners [this word means nobility] in the province of Poltava. Eugenia had been in the occult for some time while studying in St Petersburg. She transferred to Moscow and lost interest in this field. But still had no relationship to the Orthodox Church.

Her parents reposed, causing her to return to what appears to have been her hometown of Romny. There, she relates, she met Fr Adrian. She read the religious books he gave her and developed an interest in meeting an Optina Elder. The Elder at the time was Anatoly the Younger, so with no understanding of the importance of Elders, she journeyed to Optina - the 1st trip of so many in the years to follow - to meet Fr Anatoly. She wanted to find out from him information about her future, like a crystal ball reading - !

Instead, the kind Elder set her on a spiritual path. He blessed her marriage to Fr Adrian and served as the godfather to their 1st son, Seraphim. I think this was the one who was killed in World War II by Allied bombing of the church where Fr Adrian was serving.

 

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