Православный Приход Сретения Господня

L’Association Cultuelle Orthodoxe de Lourdes (Paroisse de la Sainte Rencontre de Notre Seigneur et Sauveur Jésus Christ) fait partie du Vicariat Sainte Marie de Paris et Saint Alexis d’Ugine placé sous la direction spirituelle et l’autorité administrative, pastorale et morale du Métropolite de France (l’Evêque dirigeant) qui relève du Patriarcat Œcuménique de Constantinople

Религиозная Православная Ассоциация г. Лурд (приход Сретения Господа и Спасителя Нашего Иисуса Христа) является частью Викариата Святой Марии Парижской и Святого Алексея Южинского, находящегося под духовным, административным, пастырским и моральным руководством митрополита Франции (правящего епископа), подчиняющегося Вселенскому Константинопольскому Патриархату

Слово о Вере - On the nature of sin

Слово о Вере ON THE NATURE OF SIN Archbishop Lazar (Haler-Puhalo) Faith is an orientation of the soul, not an accord with a collection of facts. If sin ultimately means alienation from God, then its cure, true repentance, must consist in a re-orientation of one's mind, soul and life toward Jesus Christ and His great moral imperatives. WHAT DOES "SIN" MEAN? The term in Greek ('amartia) means "to fall short of the goal, miss the mark, fall short of one's proper vocation.” This term is rendered in Latin as "sons," "sontis," which means "guilt; guilty," and has a forensic significance. We can see already that there is an important difference here. The terms used in Holy Scripture ('amartia, etc.) refer to something far greater than the La...

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Слово о Вере - О природе греха

Слово о Вере О ПРИРОДЕ ГРЕХА Архиепископ Лазарь (Пухало) Вера представляет собой не согласие с неким набором фактов, а расположение (ориентацию) души. Если на предельной глубине понимать под «грехом» отрыв от Бога, то истинное покаяние, позволяющее исцелиться о греха, должно заключаться в переориентации разума, души и всей жизни человека в направлении Иисуса Христа и провозглашённых Им основополагающих нравственных императивов. ЧТО ТАКОЕ «ГРЕХ»? В греческом языке действие, обозначаемое словом «грех» («amartia»), означает «не справиться с задачей, промахнуться мимо цели, обнаружить несоответствие своему истинному призванию». На латынь этот термин переводится как «sons»,...

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Слово о Вере - The Feat of the new Martyrs

Слово о Вере The Feat of the New Martyrs and the Spirit of Evangelical Freedom We can write down the 20th century in the world history book as the century of vigorous technical progress, fierce economic competition, social revolutions, attempts to realize utopian ideas, reign of bloody regimes, the century of two world wars and collapsing empires, as well as a triumph of secularism and atheism. But it was also an age of great scientific discoveries, an age of struggle for human life and dignity, justice and social equality, for a new world without wars or diseases. It was an age of severe trials for the Church, an age when Christians once again had to account for their faith before God and the world, as well as to reaffirm their trust in Ch...

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Слово о Вере - Иерусалимские дневники Архимандрита Киприана

Слово о Вере "Иерусалимские дневники" Архимандрита Киприана (Керна): церковные зарисовки и опыт Протоиерей Георгий Ашков, Франция, Биарриц Издано: Церковно-Исторический ВЕСТНИК № 28, Москва Прежде чем обратиться к «Иерусалимским дневникам» архимандрита Киприана (Керна), я хочу сказать несколько слов о мемуарном жанре (воспоминания, записки, автобиографии). Следы его можно найти еще в древности, например, в конце античной эпохи мы встречаем «Исповедь» блаженного Августина. По-настоящему широкое распространение этот жанр получил, конечно же, с эпохи гуманизма, породившей романтические течения в литературе, философии и даже теологии XVIII-XIX вв. Мир личности и история души человека, идеализм и сентиментализм, интимност...

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Слово о Вере - Спотворення традиції

СЛОВО О ВЕРЕ Спотворення традиції чи законний історичний розвиток? Протоієрей Георій Ашков Чого ви порушуєте Божу заповідь ради передання вашого? (Мф.15.3) Багато християн цінять церковні традиції, живуть ними, знаходять в них джерело віри, богослов'я і приклад для благочестя. Всі, хто опирається виключно на особистий досвід, віддають перевагу прямому пошуку Живого Бога, рано чи пізно стикаються з подібними пошуками в самому переказі Церкви. Належить звірити наш особистий досвід і те, що мали або мають інші в багатовіковому досвіді Церкви, щоб зрозуміти , наскільки наша віра відповідає тому, що сповідує Церква. Завжди існує велика спокуса довіри - прийняти за чисту монету все, що накопичилось за віки, тобто прийняти кінцевий на сьогоднійшій...

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Слово о Вере - Молитвы по часам

СЛОВО О ВЕРЕ МОЛИТВЫ ПО ЧАСАМ (СУТОЧНЫЙ КРУГ БОГОСЛУЖЕНИЯ). ОПЫТ И ТРАДИЦИИ ПОМЕСТНЫХ ЦЕРКВЕЙ Рыжков Алексей Николаевич лиценциат богословия, чтец храма в честь свт. Иннокентия Московского г. Екатеринбурга, РФ, г. Екатеринбург   Доклад на конференции: НАСЛЕДИЕ ХРИСТИАНСКОЙ ЦЕРКВИ: БОГОСЛОВИЕ, ИСТОРИЯ, КУЛЬТУРА (16-17 марта 2023 года, г. Владимир) Аннотация: Доклад имеет своей целью осознание опыта Вселенской Церкви в богословии времени и значении суточного круга богослужения. Эта тема затрагивает не только форму благочестия и ее исполнения, а такую тему как богословие времени и понимания молитвы и жизни церкви находящийся во времени, но предвкушающей уже здесь на Земле, через таинство Евхаристии Царствие небесное. Эта статья показывает...

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Слово о Вере - Всемирные юрисдикции

СЛОВО О ВЕРЕ   Доклад на конференции "РЕЛИГИЯ И ВЛАСТЬ: Церковь в эпоху перемен – поиск путей церковного устройства». Санкт-Петербург, Государственный музей истории религии, 30 мая 2023 г.   ВСЕМИРНЫЕ ЮРИСДИКЦИИ ПРАВОСЛАВИЯ, ЕРЕСЬ ФИЛЕТИЗМА, ЧТО ДАЛЬШЕ? Появление первой русской эмиграции в мире и ее церковные расколы спровоцировали ожесточенный спор историков и теологов о ее судьбах, о роли диаспор православных народов на Западе и об устройстве Церкви в целом. Этот спор продолжается сегодня в условиях глубокого экклезиологического кризиса Православной Церкви, ересь филетизма одна из его главных причин. Именно борьба за влияние на диаспоры привела большинство Поместных Православных Церквей к антиканонической организации...

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Слово о Вере - Богословя карантину укр

 СЛОВО О ВЕРЕ «БОГОСЛОВ’Я КАРАНТИНУ» І ВЕЛИКІ АНТИНОМІЇ ВІРИ протоієрей Георгій Ашков, Константинопольський патріархат, настоятель парафій в Биаррице і Люрді (Франція) Епідемія коронавірусу, яка привела до офіційного оголошення пандемії і, як слідству, до закриття церков, поставила багато питань перед християнами. У Православній Церкві розгорнулася ціла дискусія про духовні причини епідемії та про необхідність суворих заходів, що вимагають припинення публічних богослужінь. Навіть якщо визнати різні політичні спекуляції на тему епідемії, треба також визнати, що ця епідемія реальна. На тему духовних причин епідемії я можу повторити лише деякі слова моєї пасхальної проповіді, пославшись на святителя Миколая Сербського (О...

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Слово о Вере - Pour la vie du monde

СЛОВО О ВЕРЕ Pour la vie du monde. Vers un ethos social de l’Église orthodoxe : Comment recevoir ce document ? Antoine Arjakovsky, Membre de la Commission théologique du Vicariat Congrès du Vicariat Sainte Marie de Paris et Saint Alexis d’Ugine à Chauny (26-29 mai 2022)   Introduction C’est un plaisir d’intervenir aux Rencontres du Vicariat comme membre de la Commission théologique du vicariat. J’ai l’espoir en effet que l’évolution des institutions de l’Eglise orthodoxe en France et dans le monde va permettre aux laïcs de pouvoir être enfin entendus. Je rappelle que, lors de la préparation du dernier concile pan-orthodoxe, rares...

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Слово о Вере - Иерархический и соборный принципы экклезиологии

СЛОВО О ВЕРЕ ИЕРАРХИЧЕСКИЙ И СОБОРНЫЙ ПРИНЦИПЫ ЭККЛЕЗИОЛОГИИ По трудам пастырей и богословов русской церковной эмиграции XX века Протоиерей Георгий Ашков   «Церковь иерархична, потому что она соборна».1 Протоиерей Александр Шмеман   Церковь – это великая тайна, и, стремясь постигнуть тайну Церкви, мы обязательно обрящем антиномию и не одну. Не входя здесь в подробную экклезиологическую проблематику укажем, что недостаточно рассматривать Церковь только как некое сакральное место, сооружение, увенчанное крестом на куполе, где надо ставить свечи, или представлять Церковь только как корпорацию клерикалов, претендующих владеть душами и кошельками заведомо покорных адептов, тогда надо разбиться. Святые отцы описали Цер...

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Слово о Вере

The Feat of the New Martyrs and the Spirit of Evangelical Freedom

We can write down the 20th century in the world history book as the century of vigorous technical progress, fierce economic competition, social revolutions, attempts to realize utopian ideas, reign of bloody regimes, the century of two world wars and collapsing empires, as well as a triumph of secularism and atheism. But it was also an age of great scientific discoveries, an age of struggle for human life and dignity, justice and social equality, for a new world without wars or diseases. It was an age of severe trials for the Church, an age when Christians once again had to account for their faith before God and the world, as well as to reaffirm their trust in Christ crucified in order to ascend to Calvary with Him once again. But the very same trials and tribulations providentially awakened in the members of the Church a desire to rethink the history and traditions of the Church, to identify what is really important and paramount, to learn to perform every act in this temporal life against the backdrop of eternity and to act as the Christians of the ancient Church did, as the martyrs of the first centuries lived and ascended to their Calvary.

It is the blood of martyrs that from the very beginning of the Church's existence testified to the immutability of the following words of Jesus Christ: “…and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18). The veneration of martyrs is also one of the most ancient traditions of the Church. Deacon Stephen, one of the 70 apostles, is called “the first martyr of Christ's Church”, but the Church tradition equates to him also John the Baptist, the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, and, generally speaking, all the persecuted and innocently killed righteous people, beginning with Abel (Matthew 23:35; 1 John 3:12; Hebrews 11:4; 12:24). The word “martyr” in Greek (μάρτυς, μάρτῠρος) and Latin (martyr) means “witness,” so in the Church a martyr is a believer who, by virtue of his faith and suffering in the face of death, affirms his true faith in Jesus Christ. However, we find few classical examples of Christians being required to renounce their faith in the official documents of the Roman Empire. It is well known that Emperor Nero accused Christians of trying to burn down Rome, i.e. charged them with a criminal offense. Christian Martyrias (Acta martyrum) as a type of hagiographic literature arose from the first interrogations of Christians. The barren language of the protocols of Roman legal proceedings recorded the disrespect for state deities demonstrated by Christians, their practice of an illegal religion, as well as their lack of veneration of the emperor by refusing to drink libations and burn incense in front of his image. In other words, according to the laws of the Roman Empire, all those “offenses” were considered to be of a political or criminal nature. Only later the texts of the hagiographies of the martyrs have included detailed accounts of their lives and sufferings for their faith. Unfortunately, hagiographical literature about Christian martyrs of the first centuries was subjected to a special kind of stylization in the Middle Ages, and every so often we are even accused of mythologizing those stories.

Why is this important? Because the acts of the new martyrs of the 20th century differ from this literature known to us. There, we won’t find any evidence of inexorable demands to renounce the faith, public executions, or an abundance of miracles. The protocols of interrogation of the new martyrs are more like the protocols of interrogation of Christians by Roman officials. The Soviet authorities, however, charged Christians with political crimes. As a result of the October coup of 1917 and the ensuing civil war political power in Russia was seized by a totalitarian communist regime, which proclaimed militant atheism to be one of the main features of its ideology. In spite of the fact that the Soviet Union officially declared freedom of conscience, that organized religious life was never completely eliminated, and there was never an official ban on religion, persecutions against believers of all religions and denominations, and especially against members of the Orthodox Church, continued throughout the Soviet history. They took different forms: from brutal executions without trial to secret methods of coercion in order to use the authority of the Church for political interests, especially in the area of foreign policy.

We can distinguish several waves of mass repression of believers: those who suffered during the Civil War (1918–1921), during the period of confiscation of church valuables (1922), during the first Stalinist purges (1930–1932), during the period of the most massive bloody purges (1937–1938), during which at least 100,000 clerics, monks and active laymen were executed. Afterwards, the repressions were not so horrifying; the regime began to mitigate its policy, especially after the Second World War. However, the persecutions have never really ended: afterwards, in the 1950s and 1960s, there were widespread shutdowns and destruction of churches and oppression of believers, with prison terms often being replaced by the detention of the dissenters in psychiatric wards. The total number of victims of persecutions is still unknown.

For obvious reasons, the collection of information and the first canonizations of new martyrs began in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. In the Moscow Patriarchate, this topic was first brought up by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) at the 1988 Church Council. After the collapse of the USSR, the Council of Bishops in 1992 established the celebration of the Council (Sobor) of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia of the 20th century on January 25 (February 7), the day of the killing of Metropolitan Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) of Kiev, the first saint to suffer, if it coincided with a Sunday, or on the nearest Sunday. This was in accordance with the decision of the Church Council of 1917–1918 to commemorate on this day all the confessors and martyrs who died in those years of fierce persecutions. The Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints of the Moscow Patriarchate was actively engaged in the work of preparing materials for the canonization of the new martyrs. As a result, at the Jubilee Council of Bishops in 2000, a whole host of new martyrs and confessors (over 1000 names) were glorified.

The credibility of the testimony of witnesses, especially the protocols of the punitive bodies, is still being debated, and there is no universally accepted view with regard to the criteria for the canonization of the new martyrs. As we have already noted, the charges against them were either of a political or a criminal nature: counter-revolutionary activities, sabotage, espionage, and violation of Soviet laws. It is quite clear that those charges were fabricated, because for the Soviet regime the accused believers personified a threat to its ideology; the regime viewed them as opponents of atheistic propaganda, accomplices of the former authorities, people who did not want to take part in building a new communist society. But, like the apostles and martyrs of the first centuries, the new martyrs set an example of suffering for Christ and for the truth, demonstrating a great degree of courage, patience, and readiness to profess their faith (Matthew 5: 10-11; Luke 6: 22; 21: 12-19; 2 Corinthians 6: 4-10).

Due to the general approach taken, the affected members of the renovationist schism were not considered for canonization. The beginning of the 20th century was marked in Russia by a great spiritual revival and a desire for Church reforms, which eventually resulted in the preparation and holding of the Moscow Church Council of 1917–1918. However, it is erroneous to think that all those who prepared the reforms of the Church later supported the renovationist schism. Renovationism became a political tool of the Soviet government against the Church and compromised the very idea of the renewal of the Church. Among the new martyrs we find names of prominent reformers, such as the holy confessor Agafangel (Preobrazhensky) or the holy martyr Anatoly Zhurakovsky. They did not support the renovationists, but remained convinced of the need for ecclesiastical reforms that would protect the Church from state pressure, restore conciliarity (sobornost), support liturgical creativity, and guarantee the freedom of theological research.

Under the Soviet totalitarian regime, the restoration of the freedom of the Church was obviously impossible. However, the Christian refugees who were able to flee the country and ended up settling in Europe, the United States, and other countries of the world continued to pray for their suffering brethren in their homeland, receiving spiritual support from the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Jerusalem. The feat of the new martyrs inspired the refugees, helped them to appreciate the gift of freedom received by them and to direct their energies to missionary work and the development of church life in Western countries.

In 1931, Metropolitan Evlogius (Georgievsky) brought his diocese and the Theological Institute of St. Sergius in Paris under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, which made it possible to organize church life on a canonical basis and to protect it from the influence of both Soviet politics and various ideological currents within the Russian émigré community. The members of the Western European Exarchate under the leadership of Vladyka Evlogius and his successors were the most consistent of all the émigré church jurisdictions in their efforts to organize their new life in Europe in accordance with the spirit and the decisions of the Moscow Church Council of 1917–1918. The patristic and liturgical revival in Orthodoxy, in the forefront of which were the theologians of the Paris school, points in this very direction.

We witness different times and periods pass us by; one epoch succeeds another. Now, in hindsight, we can say that the new martyrs of the 20th century, like the martyrs of the ancient Church, like the Balkan martyrs of the period of Ottoman rule, are a treasure that belongs to the entire Orthodox Church. At first glance, most Orthodox Churches do not experience external persecution, but the feat of the new martyrs inspires us to awaken the spirit of evangelical freedom within the Church itself, to preserve its unity, to protect our ecclesial life from Pharisaic conservatism and at the same time from the penetration from the world of the alien spirit of secularism, which brings with it a kind of political separatism that threatens to destroy the catholic nature of the Church.

Today we have to deal with the new challenges facing the Church. We, the members of the communities that make up the Vicariate of St. Mary of Paris and St. Alexis of Ugine, affirm our fidelity to the spiritual heritage of the Western European Exarchate of Metropolitan Eulogius. The Vicariate, as the inheritor of its historical significance, strives to demonstrate this fidelity in its pastoral and liturgical life. Despite the current ecclesiological crisis of the Orthodox Church, we still consider the principles of the Church order of the Apostolic Age – Unity, Conciliarity (Sobornost) and Christ's Pastorship – to be the ideal that we want to follow in our ecclesial life. The prayerful memory of the new martyrs and confessors of Russia of the 20th century helps us to stand firm in the freedom that Christ gifted us with (Galatians 5:1).

Archpriest George Ashkov, France, Biarritz

Translated from Russian by Maximov Alexei

 

Vicariate of St. Mary of Paris and St. Alexis of Ugine of the Metropolis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in France

The article was published on February 7th, 2021, on the website of Ahilla:

https://ahilla.ru/podvig-novomuchenikov-i-duh-evangelskoj-svobody/

This article is a translation of the original French text which may be found here:

https://www.orthodoxequimper.fr/files/downloads/lettre-fev-21-3.pdf

Ashkov Georges, L’importance de l’exploit des néo-martyrs et confesseurs de Russie au XXe siècle // Les Cahiers du Vicariat, 2020-2021, pp. 111-114

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