Valaam Island

In the Northern part of lake Ladoga, called in the ancient times nevo, there are numerous Islands, the largest of them being Valaam.
Light water rough lake wash an archipelago; without going to the shores of the Valaam Islands, they form picturesque bays and Straits, many of which serve as a refuge for ships seeking salvation from the fury of the waves. The marvelous picture reflected in the clear, calm waters of a high, precipitous cliffs give way to views of thick forest standing on the shores of big and small Islands.
There is a place on earth, as if specially designed to glorify the greatness of the Creator, reminiscent of the primordial harmony of existence. Quite often they are separated from the outside world by a natural barrier. In Russia one of these places was and remains the Valaam archipelago in lake Ladoga located therein Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery.

The area of the 50 Islands is 36 square kilometers. Amazing nature like Valaam, according to hydrograph A. P. Andreeva, “can not be found anywhere in Europe: quite a lot of sheer cliffs, reaching a height and depth, Islands, capes, bays… Straits, lakes among dense vegetation and sullen granite rocks reflect everything in their azure surfaces, and the slender pine forest complements the overall picture, giving it an amazing, amazing view”.

The name “Valaam” is translated from Finnish as “high land”, less likely translation is “land of the oath” or “land of light”. Some believe that the name comes from the name of the pagan God Baal (who is sometimes identified with the Slavic Veles), or the biblical prophet Balaam.

According to the Valaam tradition, in ancient times, when lived in the Ladoga area the Finno-Ugric peoples and the Slavs were preparing to accept the Christian faith, the Islands were a giant pagan altar. The first of the disciples of Christ, St. The Apostle Andrew the first-called, enlightening Scythian and Slavic lands, from Novgorod went to Valaam where he destroyed pagan temples and raised a stone cross. Saint Apostle predicted a great future to Valaam, came with the Foundation and flourishing of the monastery. Valaam is unthinkable without the monastery.
The sacred Islands of Valaam archipelago are located in the Northern part of the biggest lake of Europe – Ladoga. Around the main island of Valaam, who gave the name to the whole archipelago that is over 500 Islands; the total area of the Valaam archipelago is 36 square kilometers, the area of the island – 27,8 sq. km the origin of the name of the island is not known for certain. According to one version it is derived from the name of the pagan God Baal. In the Finnish etymological dictionary is the word valatka, meaning in translation “Ladoga whitefish”.

Although Valaam is the largest island of the archipelago, in size: its length is 9.5 km and width 6 km. He rises above the Ladoga level by 60 meters, which gives the island such a majestic view. Its Western and southern shores rise over the surface of the lake huge impregnable granite rocks, extending for tens of meters under water.

The Northern and Eastern part, by contrast, is gentle, quirky rugged natural Straits, form numerous small Islands, and in other places by shallow fords can even go from one island to another.
The nature of Valaam is unique. On the island there are about 450 species of plants, forests are largely coniferous, but there are here oak groves, fir and larch alleys, and Apple orchards planted by monks in the nineteenth century. Rich and diverse fauna of Balaam, a large number of birds breeds on its rocky shores.
The location of the archipelago in the area of greatest depths of lake Ladoga (233 m) affects the climate of the Islands. The average July temperature is +17 C, February -9.

During his long life, mysterious Valaam attracted the attention of many. Founded here in the XIV century male Orthodox Transfiguration monastery, who during its long history many changes from the short years of prosperity to complete desolation, from the mid-nineteenth century reached its highest peak. It was at this time Balaam went many pilgrims and tourists, artists and writers. Unique rugged beauty of these places is reflected in his works, the artists N. And. Shishkin, A. Kuindzhi, N. To. Roerich, M. K. Klodt, F. A. Nemirovich-Danchenko, A. N. Apukhtin.
At that time from St. Petersburg to Valaam can be reached in two days, now on the modern ships for ten hours. Since 1979, Balaam turned into historical-architectural and natural Museum-reserve, receives tourists and pilgrims from Russia and many other countries.

Ioanno-Predtechensky Island, Valaam

The island of Valaam, located on the Ladoga lake, is one of the most famous Holy places in Russia. The history of this island is primarily the history of the monastery. According to legend, the monastery was founded in the X century by Saint Sergius and Herman. However, for the first time in the sources of abode mentioned in connection with the campaign of the Swedes in 1163, which the monks moved all the values in Novgorod the Great. Later, the monastery is surrounded by stone walls, but it does not save its inhabitants from numerous wars. Almost every Swedish invasion of the Russian land began with the capture of Balaam. Fight to the death brethren, as a rule, completely perished in the defense of the monastery. From 1617 the island passes into the possession of Sweden, and the monastery temporarily ceases to operate.

In 1715, by order of Peter I on the island, again reconquered by Russia, built a wooden Church, bell tower, outbuildings. However, two fires that occurred in the eighteenth century, as well as the severity of the local nature, consisting of rocks earth, gave the monastery to develop, and she zapustevaet. Only in 1785 it was decided to revive, and construction was planned to do from the stone. Valamo monastery was the place of exile of the clergy, the island was forbidden to leave. The monastery flourished, the work of the monks even grew fruit and grapes.

After the revolution the monastery, as well as all Karelia, became part of independent Finland. The monks suffered a certain embarrassment, because the island housed the Finnish troops and the services were conducted in Finnish language. In 1940, the island became part of the USSR, the monks fled to Finland, where he founded a new monastery. On the island, first occupied by a school boatswain, and then the German garrison, seized Balaam. Only in 1944 the island was liberated and again became part of the Soviet Union. Since then, the population of Balaam is growing, this region has become a Paradise for tourists seeking to see the famous Northern nature. But this led to negative consequences – visitors leave numerous traces of their stay and serious harm to the unique nature of this amazing island.

St. Vladimir's skete

Balaam (Karel. Valamoi, fin. Valamo “high, mountainous land”) is an island in the Northern part of lake Ladoga, the largest part of the Valaam archipelago. The island is the village of Balaam, part of the urban settlement of Sortavala and the Valaam monastery, is a monument of Russian architecture.
Also is a popular tourist destination.
Island accounts for more than 2/3 of the area of the Valaam archipelago. Its length 9,6 km, width — 7.8 km Distance from beach — 22 km.
Natural characteristics are determined by the position of the archipelago in the waters of Europe’s largest lake, Ladoga.
The territory of the Valaam archipelago belongs to the middle taiga subzone of taiga zone.
2 inner lake with a highly irregular coastline with a total area of about 100 hectares, connected to each other on Ladoga lake channels;
9 small forest lakes”lamb”;
an extensive network of drainage ditches (XIX century).

Tectonic. The highly dissected type. Elevation above sea level — in the range from 5.1 to 58.3 M.
Spring comes in late March. Summer on the island, Sunny days at 30-35 more than on the mainland. The average July temperature is +17°. Winter snow starts in early December. In mid-February, improving road links with the nearby town of Sortavala (42 km). Average temperature: -8°.

On the island there are more than 480 species of plants, many have been cultivated by the monks. Kept gardens with more than 150-year-old fruit trees[1]. The island is covered with mainly coniferous forests (about 65% pine).

The island was frequently visited by emperors Alexander I and Alexander II, other members of the Imperial family. Also came to Balaam, St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov). The nature of Balaam was inspired by the famous geniuses of art and science: artists I. I. Shishkin, F. Vasiliev, A. I. Kuindzhi, writers and poets N. S. Leskov, F. I. Tiutchev, A. N. Apukhtin, I. S. Shmelev and B. K. Zaitsev, the composers P. I. Tchaikovsky, A. K. Glazunov, M. N. scientists. Maclay, D. I. Mendeleev, and many others visited here. In the nineteenth century during his travels in Russia, the island was visited by Alexander Dumas.
Well-known Valaam landscapes painted Ivan Shishkin (“View of Valaam”, 1860), A. I. Kuindzhi (“On the Valaam island”, 1873) and Nicholas Roerich (“Holy island”, 1917). In the 1970-ies has created a series of black-and-white linocuts of famous Karelian graphic artist A. I. Avdysh, devoted to Balaam a number of his works the master volume carving, Sortavala artist Kronid Gogolev.
In 1950, by decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR on the island, the building of Winter hotel, a former monastery housed the House of invalids of war and labour.

Skete Of The Valaam Mother Of God

In 2003 year when was adopted the Federal law on local self-government, the question arose about the status of the settlement of Valaam. According to this law in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall be delineated bodies of local self — government defined rural and urban settlements, established their boundaries. It was adopted the corresponding law in the Republic of Karelia. And the village of Balaam, among others, was included in the list of municipalities and given the independent status of the municipal formation — the Valaam rural settlement. But in early 2005 the head of administration of Sortavala S. V. Ryzhkov was initiated by the decision to abolish the self-government of the village of Balaam and his inclusion into the city of Sortavala. But this solution is not agreed, some of the inhabitants of Valaam rural settlement. The conflict escalated into a legal battle in the Supreme court of the Republic of Karelia, and then in the Supreme court of the Russian Federation.

In July 2006, intervened by Patriarch Alexy II.
Secular settlement on the island, currently has no formal administrative status. Valancy the laity wish their village received the official status of a rural settlement that will give them the opportunity to participate in municipal elections.
The legitimacy of their claims confirmed by the Supreme court of the Republic of Karelia, however, the leadership of the monastery is opposed to this, tightening the process of assigning official status secular settlement.
In the settlement of social infrastructure on the island has a kindergarten, a community center with a universal hall and the nine-year secondary school, hospital (since 2007 medical clinic), library, post office, grocery store.

Konevsky skit

The history of the monastery :: Beginning of the monastery on Valaam
Since ancient times the Valaam monastery was a stronghold of Orthodoxy in the North of Russia, famous for its high spiritual life, served the spread of Christianity and monasticism in the surrounding lands.
Historians have a common view on the date of the founding of the Valaam monastery. Some attribute it to the time of Baptism, others refer to a later period. The Church and the monastic tradition asserts that the antiquity of the monastery dates back to the time of the spread of Christianity in Russia. Even then, it was founded by Saint Sergius and Herman, the monastery became the spiritual center of Ladoga lands.
It is believed that in ancient times on the island, was located the main temple of Veles (or Volos) and Perun, who worshiped and sacrificed living in the vicinity of the Gentiles. This caught the island of the Apostolic age. Etymological analysis of the Finnish titles “Valamo” confirms the likelihood of surrender: Shaft, Baal, Volos or Veles – the same root word, and “mo” in the Izhora earth. Thus, Valamo – the land of Veles, which is a place dedicated to Велесу1.
The monastic tradition says that the Holy Apostle Andrew, enlightener of the Scythians and Slavs, arrived from Kiev in Novgorod, on the Volkhov river reached lake Ladoga, and then Balaam, where he blessed the mountain of the island cross.
The life of St. Avraamy Ростовского2 shows that already in the X century on the island there existed a monastic brotherhood, ruled by the Abbot. The founders of monastic life on Valaam revered St. Sergius and Herman, who came “from Eastern countries”, Greek svyashennoe. The service says that their “love for God were inseparable Union of true brotherly love, prayer without ceasing, the temper, the meek, tears of a jet – prismatique, fasting, vigils and labours of the ultimate superior nature”. In written records it is also said that the saints Sergius and Herman law have set общежительный3 life in the monastery founded by them.
Who continued on Valaam monastic life immediately after St. Sergius and St. German, is unknown. Undoubtedly, the monastery was the Abbot and the brethren. In the society of monks existed obedience or the temptation of wanting angel image. For the services was built the Church of the Holy Trinity. The brethren of the monastery carried out a godly life and was a good example for others, especially the newly-baptized. About the Valaam monastery already knew in Novgorod, Pskov and other places. Among the remarkable persons of that time belongs to the tonsured of the Valaam monastery of the monk Abraham of Rostov, founder of the Epiphany monastery. The sources mention the Abbot Joachim and Feognost, who headed a monastery in the period of the baptism of Rus, but reliable information about them has survived.

In the Church-historical science did not exist and there is no single answer to the question about the time of occurrence of the Valaam monastery. Missing the most important source of Dating ancient life of St. Sergius and St. Herman. Archival research nineteenth and twentieth centuries relied on indirect evidence, mentions certain events in the life of the monastery in various monuments of Russian literature.
In some modern editions (travel guides, encyclopedias, etc.) often provided conflicting information about the time of the founding of the Valaam monastery. The appearance of the monastery refers to the XIV century, then to the first centuries of Christianity in Rus ‘ – X-XI centuries, Not just in times of enemy invasions (XII, XVII century) the monastery has undergone devastation for many decades was interrupted several monastic service. When the enemy raids destroyed churches, monastic shrines were burned down and plundered the rich monastery library and manuscript repository was so lost and the life of St. Sergius and Herman of Valaam.

Let us consider two main existing to date versions of the origin of the monastery.
The first ones include the Foundation of the monastery to the XII-XIV centuries This Dating in his research supported the Church historians of the nineteenth century: EP. Ambrose (Ornatsky), EP. Filaret (Gumilevsky), E. E. Golubinsky. Currently, this version sticks to a number of modern scholars: N.. Okhotina-Lind, J. Lind, A. Nakazawa. His concept of these researchers is based on manuscripts of the XVI century “Legend of the Valaam monastery” (published by N.. The Okhotin-Lind). Other modern scholars (H. Kirkinen, S. N. Azbelev), noting this manuscript as “new research material in a number of other primary sources relating to the early history of Valaam monastery”, believe that “the publishers of the newly found text along with the people who submitted this source, treated him too confidently from the point of view of critical research. The impulse of his passion — they have not made a thorough source analysis the source”. It should be noted that so far not found other sources that confirmed the data of the “tales of the Valaam monastery”, in particular, the claim that the founder of the monastery is St. Sergius of Valaam, as is commonly believed, based on centuries of Church tradition, as reflected in liturgical texts, and the monk Ephrem of Perekomsk.

The second concept considers the Foundation of the monastery to the X-XI centuries. It is based on one of the editions of the life of St. Avraamy of Rostov, containing mention of the stay of the monk on Valaam in the X century, as well as several historical mention of the transfer of the relics of St. Sergius and Herman of Valaam to Novgorod in 1163. It should be noted that historians of the XIX century (N. P. Palin, I. Y. Chistovich) was only one known recording of the Uvarov chronicle about the transfer of relics. Archival research helped to find other such references: in the collection of the National Library and the Institute of History of material cultures. Such records there are a total of eight. The greatest interest as the most informative is the entry from the collection of Likhachev (f. 238, op. 1, no. 243): “the saints velikonovgorodskiy bishops and archbishops, the monk and the miracle” of the XVIII century In the manuscript marked by the memory of the PDP. Sergius and Herman are listed in modern (seventeenth century) the ruin of the monastery, linked to the ancient Cathedral Chronicler, which shows the date of the finding (1163) and return (1182) of the relics of Valaam.

Ecclesiastical and monastic tradition in the last concept, claiming that the founding of the monastery happened in the era of the baptism of Rus.
It is possible to combine two views on the time of occurrence of a monastery: ancient monastic life on Valaam after the XI century could be stopped and then resumed at the turn of XIV – XV centuries in the future, scientists will open the new historical sources that more fully illuminates the ancient history of the Valaam monastery.

Mount Eleon, Ascension Chapel

The inner life of the monastery and its Holy ascetics
The internal monastic life and the monastery experienced periods of prosperity and decline. When the whole of Karelia after the conclusion in 1348 the world in Dorpat was returned to the Russian land, Balaam had a rest from persecution Swedes. At this time in the monastery of the monk Sergius and Herman flourished and the Dorm, and unanimous special rate “two and triam” (i.e. their life), and waste the solitary silence (asceticism).
In the days of its prosperity the Valaam monastery was a center and a model of monastic life throughout the Northern region, like the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in the South-West of Russia and the Trinity-Sergius Lavra in its Central part.
In the XII century on Balaam arrived, the monk Kornilii. Some time later he left the monastery and founded on the lake Onega monastery, in honor of the Mother of God. On behalf of the island it was named Paleostrovsky. In the XIII century, Belozersk Prince Gleb Vasilyevich arranged at the mouth of the river Sheksna Ust-Chechenski monastery. For the device of the monastic order, he asked the Abbot of the Valaam to send to the new monastery Abbot Martyrii. It is known that the elders of Valaam in 1251 sent his postrizhenie Gennady.

About 1393 to Valaam from Novgorod has arrived the future of venerable Arseny Konevsky. Young men, in 1379, he received tonsure at the monastery, the former on lisich hill in the Novgorod lands. After eleven years of living in the Novgorod monastery Arsenios went to mount Athos Mountain and after three years of asceticism with the blessing of the hegumen of Athos, returned to Russian territory. From the hands of the Abbot of Svyatogorsk he received in farewell the icon of the Mother of God and the statutes of the dormitory for the monastery in Northern climes. Arriving in Novgorod, the monk Arsenius, adopting the Episcopal blessing from the Archbishop of Novgorod John II, went to the Valaam monastery and lived here for a while. Seeing Valaam brotherhood crowded, he decided to leave and “through the Providence of God, by the will of the same blessed virgin” reached the Konevsky Islands and held the Konevsky monastery. On Valaam monk Arseny Konevsky left an indelible memory: the brethren loved him. In 1397 the Abbot of the Valaam Force sent him to the island of Konevets monastery of the monk Lawrence with an invitation to return to Valaam, but the monk refused: for three years he labored on the island in silence.

In the XV century lived in the monastery, the future Reverend Alexander Svirsky. Here he passed all the obedience, he accepted monastic tonsure. In silence he made the feat on one of the monastic Islands, still called the Holy Ghost, which are still cave of the ascetic in the cleft of the rock is a monastery, consecrated in the name of the monk. Here at the command of God he went to the Svir river, where he founded his famous monastery.
Before 1429 he lived in the Valaam monastery of the monk Savvatii of Solovetsk, postrizhennyj of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. Here he was received by the Abbot of the brotherhood, took place “with SACEM humility and a lot of patience and crocosmia grain” all the monastic obedience, imitating the arduous exploits of the Valaam monks. Compounding the works, he surpassed all his ascetic life. This circumstance inspired him with the thought of leaving Balaam and settle on Solovki island where no one would have been a witness of his exploits. “And molase the Abbot of Valaam, yeah let him go”. The Abbot and brotherhood, not wanting him to leave, begged the elder not to leave them. A certain while the monk stayed with them, but one night, “pomolimsya God and That help lay all”, left the monastery, heading to the Solovetsky island. Here, with the assistance of the Valaam elder Herman, he initiated the monastic life.

At the same time with the monk Savvatii in the Valaam monastery was the monk Evphrosyn Sinoenergy. He lived for sixty years in seclusion Sawin desert near Tver. Tired of the visits of monks and laymen, breaking his silence, the monk withdrew to the island of Valaam. The fame of the virtues he was attracted and here whole families from the surrounding villages. It caused him a few years to return to Savvino deserts.
Under the guidance of the monk Savvatii of Solovetsk lived on Valaam monk Gennady. Savvas was a man, and Gennady student. Subsequently Gennady in the dignity of Archimandrite ran Chudovski monastery. And in 1485 it was erected on the Archdiocesan Department of Veliky Novgorod. For the highest spiritual life and Holy zeal he was canonized by the Orthodox Church canonized.

This time spent on the island a solitary life, the monk Athanasius, the founder Sandanski monastery, disciple of St. Alexander Svirsky.

During the stay of St. Alexander and Athanasius on the island here a few years asceticised Saint Adrian Androsovsky (in the world Andrei, came from a family of nobles Zavalishina). Retiring from Valaam, elder Adrian settled in a solitary place, and founded on the Eastern shore of lake Ladoga Androsovsky abode. This man was such a high life and filled with such wisdom that the Reverend Athanasius Sandusky being the mentor of the brotherhood, he had frequent spiritual conversations for their own learning.
This is a marvelous host of luminaries of monasticism, shone on the mountains of Valaam, acts which testify to the flourishing condition of ascetic life in this period.
The inhabitants of the Ladoga coast was facing the monks of the Valaam monastery from paganism to Orthodox faith. Along the river to the Kexholm (now Priozersk), there were Orthodox churches.
Monastic life on the island in the sixteenth century was so strong that it spread to the shores of lake Ladoga. Here Valaam monks was founded 12 monasteries under the spiritual guidance of their Abbot. The prosperity of the Valaam monastery in XV-XVI centuries gave rise to call it honest and great Lavra.

Temple of Alexander Nevsky

The revival of the monastery
The end of the 80-ies was the first step in the restoration of the monastery that once was the pillar of the Orthodox faith in the North of Russia. At the initiative of the Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod Alexy, 18 September 1989, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karelia decided to “deliver possession” of the Leningrad diocese of the Transfiguration Cathedral with the inner quads and the nearby monasteries, in addition to the resurrection and Gethsemane. The Abbot of the monastery was determined by Archimandrite Victor (Pyankov), later Bishop of Podolsk.
The first six monks – the monks Varsonophii, gerontius, Photios, Hierodeacon Serafim, novices Leonid and Vadim (now hieromonk Barachiel) – arrived on the island on the night of 14 December 1989 and housed in the former infirmary of the Invalides (“Sea house”).
With the arrival of the monks gradually began to glow with spiritual life on the island. Resumed service in the lower Church in the name of St. Sergius and St. Herman. At the same time the monastery began restoration work. May 25, 1990, on Ascension day, Metropolitan Alexy of Leningrad and Novgorod was consecrated the main altar of the lower Basilica. New important to abode the decision to return abode of all temples and administrative buildings were adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Karelia in 1990-1991.
Since 1990, the Valaam monastery received the status of a stavropegic, i.e., moved to direct the conduct of samenvoegen, his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II. Despite his busy schedule, his Holiness the Patriarch almost every year celebrated the day of memory of venerable Sergius and Herman, Valaam miracle workers, with a solemn service at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. During a visit to the abode of His Holiness acquainted in detail with the life of the brethren in the monastery and in the sketes, and talked with the brethren.

Since January 1993 the monastery is headed by the Abbot of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Valaam monastery, Archimandrite Pankraty (Zherdev), previously held in the monks of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra on the obedience of the economy. The brethren during this time had increased considerably, now it is about 150 people. Revive the tradition of Valaam monasticism employment: construction and restoration, the Navy, agriculture, fleet, stone-cutting, blacksmithing and candle production, publishing theological and Church-historical literature.
In may 1991, the cloister has found a great spiritual treasure that will last forever fragrant relics of Valaam ascetic piety of ieroshimonaha Antipas. Father Antipas was born in Moldavia, in the village Calapodesti, asceticised on Mount Athos, was one of the founders of the Romanian skete Prodromos. In 1992, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized the venerable Antipas Calapodesti canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church of St. Antipas Calapodesti. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II in 2000, the name of Saint Antipa of Valaam was included in the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church (commemorated Jan 10/23). Now the Valaam monastery gained another intercessor at the throne of God. The relics of Saint Antipa of Valaam placed in cancer, which is installed in the lower Church of the venerable Sergius and Herman, Valaam miracle workers. The brethren and pilgrims turn to the venerable elder with a request for prayer intercession and receive by faith the help and healing from disease.

In 1996, the feast day of the monastery – the day of memory of St. Sergius and Herman were awarded special celebrations. The monastery was visited by Patriarch Alexius II and the first time in the history of Balaam – the head of the Local Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of all America and Canada Theodosius, who gave the monastery a priceless gift – a particle of the relics of St. Herman of Alaska, a Patriarch – a large icon of the Saint.July 17, 2002, Valaam monastery hosted a spiritual celebration – a meeting of the Abbot of Athonite monastery Vatopedi, Archimandrite Ephraim, with the brethren and pilgrims. Archimandrite Ephraim, brought as gift to the abode of the sacred image, the miracle-working icon “Pantanassa” (“seven arrows”), which was specially written for the monastery and consecrated on Holy Mount Athos. Archimandrite Ephraim also brought the gift of the Valaam monastery the relics of the revered Athonite ascetic of elder Joseph the Hesychast.

Owing to historical circumstances, almost all remained after repeated destructions of the Valaam monastery shrines and relics were outside of Balaam, or was lost forever in the postwar period. It is therefore of utmost importance for reviving the monastery was the finding of an ancient relic – the cross-reliquary with the relics of great Martyr and healer Panteleimon, which was bought from a private collection and donated to the Valaam monastery benefactor. On 22 April 2004 at Moscow metochion of the solemn transfer of the unique cross-reliquary. Ancient cross embedded in it a major part of the relics of GreatMartyr and healer Panteleimon – a patrimonial relic of boyars Nashchokin.
With the blessings of His Holiness (4 July 1999) was established the celebration of the Council of the Valaam saints on the second day after the Transfiguration, the patronal feast of the monastery. One of the significant for the monastery of the events occurred in the summer of 2000, when the jubilee bishops ‘ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church was glorified by the 34 the Saint of the XVI century the new martyrs and Confessors of the XX century: St. Theophan of Solikamsk (Il), martyrs Aref (Matrenin) and Jeremiah (Leonov). Dec 27, 2000 at session of the sacred Synod of Russian Orthodox Church it was decided to include in the Cathedral of new martyrs and Confessors of Russia of the twentieth century from Spaso-Preobrazhensky Valaam monastery the names of hieromonk Patrick (Petrov) and Sergius ([), deacon Andronicus (Barsukov), monk Tavrion (Tolokontseva). May 11 at a meeting of the Synodal Commission on the canonization of saints was made the decision to include the name of the nun Nazaria (Kondratieff), as a locally venerated Saint of the diocese of Tambov in the Council of the Valaam saints. In October 2004, with the blessing of his Holiness Patriarch in the Council of the Valaam saints were included the names of the new Martyr and Confessor Athanasius (Yegorov), the Saint Juvenalia (Govorukhin), American canonized by the Orthodox Church and the Reverend elder of Elijah (Chebotareva), canonized on 29 December 2003 in Yekaterinburg diocese.

In 2002, his Holiness was consecrated the first in Russia Church of the Valaam icon of the Mother of God, arranged after the fervent prayers of the whole brotherhood in the room once abolished Nicholas Church in the inner quads of the monastery, where in 1897 and was found the miraculous icon. In 1997, a hundred years, in connection with the same reverence the faithful of this image, His Holiness has determined to make the icon of the Mother of God “Valaam” July 14. Now the image of Valaam mother of God is one of the main shrines of the Holy-Transfiguration Valaam monastery. Before the icon prayer services are held, healings take place.
A new stage in the history of the revived monastery was the creation of the Board of Trustees on restoration of Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Valaam monastery, which was headed by Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II. In 2005, was completed restoration work on the restoration of paintings of the Cathedral on an area of over 5 thousand m2. The consecration of the main Shrine of the monastery was celebrated by his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II on 19 August 2005, the day of Transfiguration – the feast day of the monastery.

In the early XX century near the Valaamo monastery, there were 13 sketes. Now restored eleven.
According to the tradition of the Valaam monastery is monastery in St. Petersburg, one with the Church in the name of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God, and altars in the name of the Holy. Nicholas and the Rev. Seraphim of Sarov, the chapel of the Holy new martyrs Russian (before the revolution – the courtyard the Old-Ladoga Dormition convent, 1904-09., arch. You. A. Kosyakov), one historic, at the former Marina on the Sinopskaya embankment. In Moscow the historic compound on Tverskaya-Yamskaya. There is a new metochion in Priozersk with the Church of All saints (1890-94, architects. I. Ya. Arenberg), in Sortavala with a wooden Church in the name of St. Nicholas in the Caucasus.

Skete of All Saints, Valaam

The age-old monastic traditions of Valaam, as other Russian monasteries, was interrupted in the years of the godless persecution. Now all the brethren, including employees, lives in a renovated Fraternal body external corner (on the fenced off territory of the monastery) and is located in the premises of the inner square. Brethren are encouraged not only to external deeds, i.e. neopolitana presence in worship, works of obedience, exclusionary rule, but also to the internal, the spiritual, constituting the essence of the monastic life, constant exercise in the Jesus prayer, the struggle with the passions, to the revelation of thoughts, frequent confession and communion.
How prophetically said about Balaam in 1936, the great Russian writer I. S. Shmelev, “the time will come, and will bloom flowers grown spiritual: “the Lord’s planting shall not be cut off”. St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) wrote: “Balaam, where you see the granite cliffs and high mountains, made for you the spiritual height from which an excellent transition to the abode of Paradise.” Now Balaam arrive each year thousands of people in recent years more and more pilgrims, seeking to touch the life-giving source Orthodox faith.

Resurrection Skete


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