|Catacomb articles for serving the Holy Liturgy and a Catacomb mini-iconostasis drawn with a graphite pencil|
The STO blog is posting exclusive photographs from the exhibition, “The Russian Church and Soviet Power,” held in Moscow in November and December of 2012 in the central state museum of Modern Russian History (the former Museum of the Revolution). The exhibit vividly portrays the God-hating nature of the Soviet Power. In addition to aggressive anti-religious propaganda, there was also evidence of the enormous, bloody persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church from the October Revolution to the Second World War. There was evidence of the destruction and desecration of numberless Orthodox churches and monasteries, of confiscation of church property, the subjection of a majority of holy relics to national public mockery, and other unimaginable horrors.
|Original handwriting of two great confessors of True Orthodoxy: Seraphim of Ugljich and Joseph of Petrograd|
|A miniature Holy Shroud made by the hand of St. Joseph of Petrograd for Catacomb services|
|Catacomb antimensia blessed by Hieromartyr Lavrentius of Belahnjin|
|Catacomb liturgical items. Above: These two wire circles were wedding wreathes|
|Omophorion and epitrahilion of True Orthodox Hieromartyr Seraphim Zvezdinski|
The exhibition testifies to the heroism of the Church in Her resistance to the God-hating powers, and her refusal to compromise and cooperate with the Bolsheviks, along with the confessional podvig of descending into the catacombs of the main actors in this heroic resistance, the hieromartyrs and confessors of the Russian Catacomb Church, like St. Joseph of Petrograd, St. Seraphim Zvezdinski, and many others, who were persecuted, tortured and killed because they were guilty of only one thing –belonging to the so-called “counter-revolutionary organization” of the “True Orthodox Church.” In this exhibition one could see the personal effects of the hieromartyrs themselves, along with those of their persecutor/executioners. Aside from divine service items, there were handwritings, original documents, uniforms, weapons, posters, etc.
Unfortunately, because the exhibition was organized by the Moscow Patriarchate, true confessors and hieromartyrs were mixed up with sufferers from the ranks of the Sergianists – especially those who were deluded by Stalin’s post-war deception of the renewal of the patriarchate, recognized the false Patriarch Sergius, and compromised and cooperated with the God-hating, militant anti-Christian power, such as Bishops Anastasius Saharov and Luke Vojno-Jasenitski.
Along with this, the conclusion of the exhibit was that in the end, after all, the Russian Church –i.e., the Moscow Patriarchate - prevailed over all the temptations of suffering and persecution from the God-hating powers, and that through the canonization of the Holy Royal Martyrs and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, along with the final union with the Russian Church Abroad, won freedom and victory. Whoever does not know well the history of the Russian Church in the 20th century and her division into the true catacomb and false Sergianist church could believe in such a “happy end.” The truth, however, is far from this shameless Sergianist chicanery.In any case, the exhibition is precious, in that these original articles very strikingly show the horror of persecution and the life-in-persecution conditions of the Russian Church which had been cornered into the grace-filled conditions of the Catacomb existence.
|Membership card of the Soviet organization of the Militant Atheist Union (S.V.B)|
|Propoganda flyer of the SVB. The woman is holding to her breast papers on which are written “Marx, Lenin, Darwin|
|An example of a mug, made from a holy chalice, which the members of the SVB proudly used|
|A Soviet mass-distributed publication: Religion – Opium, Red Army Soldier Atheist Guide|
|The Soviet daily newspapers The Atheist, Anti-Religion, etc|
|Soviet monthly Militant Atheism|
|Soviet Christmas poster: Work day organized instead of Christmas!|
|Ilustrations which went with the exhibit: Persecutors, prisons…|
|Yurovski’s pistol – one of the pistols with which the Romanov royal family was killed. Yurovsky ceremoniously gave this pistol like a great Soviet relic to the Revolution Museum on the ten-year anniversary of the October Revolution|
The exhibition was visited by and photographs taken by His Grace Bishop Akakije, whom we thank for the pictures and valuable explanation given.