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Iconography and Hand painted icons

Saint Kuksha of Odessa ‘Oh raven, raven, you fed the Prophet Elias in the wilderness; bring me too a piece of pirogue.’

Saint Kuksha of Odessa

Commemorated on December 24 reposed, September 16/29 -the uncovering of his holy relics, October 22

Κούξα της Οδησσού -St. Kuksha of Odessa- Святой Кукша Одесский-334302279_w640_h2048_3234016There were many miracles of healing that came through elder Kuksha’s prayers. He was also clairvoyant, and could see people’s most secret thoughts, counseling and healing them with great spiritual discernment. He never judged anyone for their sins, but would always say, “I myself am a sinner and I love sinners. There isn’t a person on earth that has never sinned. Only the Lord is without sin, but we are sinful.”

In 1938, Fr. Kuksha began eight years of difficult struggle as a confessor of the faith: he was sentenced to 5 years in the camps in Vilma in Molotov Region (now called the Perm region, in the Urals) and after that, to 3 years of exile.

In the camps, God did not abandon him. Fr. Kuksha recalled, “It was Pascha. I was so weak and hungry that the wind could knock me down. But the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the snow was beginning to melt. I walked around the camp next to the barbed wire, impossibly wanting to eat, and on the other side of the barbed wire the cook was carrying from the kitchen to the guard’s cafeteria a baking sheet piled high with pirogues (pies). The ravens were flying over them. I pleaded, ‘Oh raven, raven, you fed the Prophet Elias in the wilderness; bring me too a piece of pirogue.’ Suddenly I heard a ‘Caaww’ above my head and a pirogue fell at my feet—a raven had stolen it from the cook’s pan. I picked up the pirogue from the snow, thanked God as I wept, and staved my hunger.”

Fr. Kuksha was released from prison camp in the spring of 1943, on the feast of Holy Great-martyr George the Trophy-bearer.

One spiritual daughter wanted to know what it was like when Fr. Kuksha served the Liturgy. “One day,” she related, “I came to the caves church when Fr. Kuksha was serving the Divine Liturgy. I immediately felt my soul was very close to God, as if there were nothing but God and me. With every proclamation by Fr. Kuksha my soul rose higher, and such grace filled it, as if I were standing before the Face of God in heaven. My soul felt pure as a child, extraordinarily bright, light, and joyful. Not a single other thought distracted me from God. I remained in that state to the end of the Liturgy.” After the Liturgy, when the woman saw elder Kuksha he looked deep into her eyes to see the state of her soul. She understood that the elder had given her this gift of experiencing the blessedness that he always felt when celebrating Divine Liturgy.
Also concerning the Liturgy, Fr. Kuksha told people never to approach the chalice with money, for this likens them to Judas.

He reposed at 2:00 AM, and at 2:00 PM the same day, a Cross was already standing over the mounded earth of his grave. He was about 90 years of age at the time of his death.” St. Kuksha is commemorated on September 16/29—the day of the uncovering of his holy relics.

Saint Elder Kuksha of Odessa (Velichkovsky, +1964) has said:

The end of times is approaching. Soon we will witness the ‘ecumenical’ Council called the ‘holy’ one. But it will be the very same Eighth Council that has been foreseen as a congregation of ungodly. Upon that Council all religions will be unified into one. As a result of that Council all fasts will be abolished, monkhood destroyed and bishops will be allowed to get married (with either women or men – to everybody liking). The Orthodox Church will introduce the New Liturgical Calendar. Be watchful. Try to attend Church services as long as the Churches are still ours. Soon you will no longer be allowed to attend them for everything will change. Only the chosen ones will see this. People will be forced to go to churches but you are absolutely banned from going there. I beseech you: stay Orthodox until the end of your days and redeem yourselves.’ (‘The Orthodox Word’, 1991, No. 158, p.138-141)

 

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