Synaxis of the Holy Elders of Optina
Commemorated on October 11
St. Leonid -Leo (October 11 1841),
St. Macarius (September 7, 1860),
St. Moses (June 16, 1862),
St. Anthony (August 7, 1865),
St. Hilarion (September 18, 1873),
St. Ambrose (June 27 and October 10, 1891),
St. Anatolius A’ (January 25, 1894),
St. Isaacius A’ (August 22, 1894),
St. Joseph (May 9, 1911),
St. Barsanuphius (April 1, 1913),
St. Anatolius B’ the Younger (July 30 ,1922),
St. Nectarius (April 29, 1928),
St. Nicon the Confessor (June 25, 1931),
and St. Isaacius B’ New Hieromartyr (December 26, 1936).
They gave grace-filled advice to people of all stations in life, including great Russian writers and statesmen. In the 19th – early 20th century the monastery renewed the ancient ladder of eldership, which allowed entire generations of people to ascend into the Heavenly Kingdom. The Optina elders were healers, clairvoyants, comforters, accusers…One must first avoid evil himself, and only then concern himself with the benefit of others,” – wrote elder Ambrose at the end of the 19th century. There words, as well as everything that has been said and written by him and other Optina elders, sound extraordinarily applicable to our own times. The elders taught people to live not according to their passions, but according to the commandments. The Optina elders were the defenders and invariable champions of the Orthodox faith. “Apostle Paul writes: ‘I have stayed the course and kept the faith.’ This means that it is a very difficult task… Children, guard the holy faith, which is a priceless treasure, for with it you will enter the Kingdom,” – instructed the elder Barsonuphius. From Optina proud mankind was called to embrace humility. “People are truly losing their minds if they rely on their minds and expect everything from them. Our teacher is humility. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble,” – declared the elder Anatoly on the eve of the revolution. “Holiness is simplicity, presented to people in a reasonable manner. Good sense is higher than all virtues,” – such was the spiritual testament left us by the last elder, Saint Nectarius, on the eve of his repose in 1928.http://www.stjohnthebaptist.org.au/en/saints/day.php?month=2&day=10&mode=xhtml https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/orthodox_greek_icons_blog/
Prayer (the Optina Elders)
Grant to me, my Lord, that with peace of mind I may face all that this new day is to bring. Grant me grace to surrender myself completely to Your holy will. For every hour of this day instruct and prepare me in all things. Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do You teach me to accept tranquilly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Your holy will. Govern my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say. When things unforeseen occur, let me not forget that all comes down from You. Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonably toward every member of my family, that I may bring confusion and sorrow to none. Bestow on me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day and to bear my part in all its passing events. Guide my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive and to love. Amen.
Apolytikion of Holy Elders of Optina Monastery in the Plagal of the First Tone
For your greatness in prayer and humility and love, for your ascetical firmness and Orthodoxy of faith, God hath given His exceeding wondrous gifts to you as unto prophets of His will, as to angels on the earth, and stewards of men’s salvation. Wherefore enlighten us also, O universal lights of Optina.