Iconography and Hand painted icons

The blood of the faithful may be shed. Let it become the seed of the Church… Persecutions and bloodshed are not new for the Church of Christ. And every time it led not to the destruction of the Orthodox Church, but to its glorification and spread. St. Onuphrius (Gagaliuk) of Kursk

Μυροφόρες_Myrrhbearers_ Жёны-мироносицы_μη μου απτου_Icon_of_Noli_me_tangere-Не прикасайся ко МнеAN00453552_001_lΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!
«Rejoice!». «Peace be unto you!»

Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On June 1 we commmemorate the holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher (166).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyrs Chariton, Charito, Evelpistus, Hierax, Peon, and Valerian (or Liberianus), who witnessed with Saint Justin at Rome.
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Firmus (299).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Thespesius (222).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Ten thousand Martyrs, in Antiochia (249-251)
We also relate the edifying story of the farmer named Metrios (912).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Hieromartyr and Bishop Pyrrus who reposed in peace.
On this day we also commemorate the Saint Agapetus of the Kiev Caves, Unmercenary physician of the Kiev Near Caves (1095)
On this day we commemorate our devout Father Dionysius of Glushetsk in Vologda, Abbot, Wonderworker (1437)
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Shio the New (Shio of Akhakalakhi) in Georgia (1696)
On this day Synaxis of the Holy Martyrs of Georgia: David, Gabriel, and Paul of the St. David Gareji Monastery (1696-1700)
On this day we also commemorate the Holy New Hieromartyr Onuphrius (Gagalyuk), Bishop of Kursk and: Hieromartyrs: Anthony, Bishop of Belgorod; Mitrophanes Vilgelmsky, Alexander Yeroshov, Michael Deineka, Hippolytus Krasnovsky, Nicholas Kulakov, Basil Ivanov, Nicholas Sadovsky, Maximus Bogdanov, Alexander Saulsky, Paul Bryantsev, and Paul Popov – Priests; Martyrs: Michael (Voznesensky) and Gregory (Bogoyavlensky) (1938)

On this day Repose of Elder Philaret of Kapsala, Mt. Athos (1975).
On this day we also commemorate the Holy Entry into Georgia of Saint Nino (323), Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Georgia (335) 

On Wednesday of the sixth week of Pascha, we celebrate the Leavetaking of the Feast.

“When I become a bishop”
New Hieromartyr Onuphrius (Gagalyuk), Archbishop of Kursk

When Anthony Gagalyuk was five, a tragedy happened with his father. One winter as he was making his rounds (he was a forest ranger) he saw four men cutting trees in a state forest without permission. As an honest man he would not let them go unpunished. But the men attacked him with an axe and that night set the forest ranger’s hut on fire.
Many years later his mother Catherine recalled how her five-year-old son tried to comfort her after his father’s death (the latter had died of wounds soon after the attack). Sitting on his grieving mother’s lap, the boy said, “Stop crying, mommy! When I become a bishop I will take you to live with me!”

Sometimes the Creator partly reveals events of the future to us, though in the everyday hustle and bustle we often forget these revelations. It is not until prophecies come true that we remember hearing about these things before.

Anthony indeed was destined to become a bishop. As for his mother, she afterwards became a nun and lived near her son for many years.

Ονουφριος_Онуфрий,-Onuphrius-Onuphrius-Byzantine-Icon-4thCentury-0076 - ΑντιγραφήWhen young Anthony was a seminary student, he fell seriously ill and an elder appeared to him (either in a dream or in a vision) and said, “Promise to serve the Church and you will recover!” When Anthony looked at an icon of St. Onuphrius the Great not long after this he immediately recognized the elder who had appeared to him.

The young man recovered, as was foretold him. But after his second year at the theological academy he ended up at the hospital again. The saint again appeared to him and said even more sternly, “You promised to serve the Church!” Anthony woke up, and asked to be allowed to receive the monastic tonsure.

Bishop Onuphrius who was given this monastic name in honor of St. Onuphrius the Great, served the Church his entire life. He remained faithful to the path predestined by the Almighty to the end, enduring the severe trials of Church schism1, numerous exiles and prisons, humiliation, beating, slander and betrayals. “The Lord is always just,” he wrote in one of his letters. “What is the reason for this unspeakable suffering of soul? The reason is the unbelief, blasphemy and sacrilege of the top leadership, the apostasy of many former bishops and priests who are now renovationists and schismatics, the indifference towards Church shrines, and the lack of faith in many people who call themselves Orthodox!”

“So much was endured over a short span of time”

Ονούφριος Γκαγκαλιούκ αρχιεπίσκοπος Κούρσκ και Ομπογιάνου_Onufrios Gagalyuk of Kursk_Онуфрий Гагалюк епископ Курский_1938_2The Revolution, the civil war, the anti-Church persecutions were the means by which God tested people’s faith. Some Orthodox clergy became Renovationists. They were freer to pursue Church activities through their “collaboration with the state”.

Several days after the consecration of Archimandrite Onuphrius as bishop3 and his first hierarchal service authorized representative of the “Renovationist Supreme Church Administration” Trofim Mikhailov came to him. The bishop said resolutely that he refused to recognize any “Supreme Church Administration”. On the following day the hierarch was arrested. Two years later, recalling his time spent in prisons, Bishop Onuphrius wrote, “So much has been endured over a short span of time. I have been a bishop for only two years, but six months of them have been spent in jails… I remembered my voluntary and involuntary sins. And the Lord made me rejoice by giving me to drink of the cup of suffering for my sins.”

The years of imprisonment did not break but toughened St. Onuphrius. Over the years of his ministry he carried on a decisive struggle against adherents of the “Living Church”, and he was arrested many times for this activity. “My dear friend, you ask me with apprehension what will become of our Orthodox Church in some thirty years,” he wrote in one of his letters in those times. “The blood of the faithful may be shed. Let it become the seed of the Church, as it was in the first centuries of Christianity, and may this seed grow into a strong Christian community. Persecutions and bloodshed are not new for the Church of Christ. We went through all of this in the past. And every time it led not to the destruction of the Orthodox Church, but to its glorification and spread.

“Over these years I bore many temptations, fears, apprehensions and dangers. But the Lord delivered me from all these tribulations. The sorrows of exiles and prisons are insignificant compared with those of the Church… How did I manage to avoid all these schisms, inexperienced and timid as I am?… It was only by the mercy of God!” the hieromartyr wrote, summing the period of his ministry up…

Vladyka Onuphrius’ last exile was to Russia’s Far East. It was in March 1936. “I thank the Creator for everything!” he wrote to his mother at that time. In July 1937, the Soviet Government passed the Resolution R 51/94 “On Anti-Soviet Elements”, and, according to the Order of the NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) of the USSR No. 00447 the confessors who languished in prisons and exile were to be executed by firing squad. Thus new proceedings against Archbishop Onuphrius began.

The holy hierarch was executed by firing squad on June 1, 1938. Bishop Anthony (Pankeyev) of Belgorod along with fifteen representatives of the clergy were martyred together with him.

Ten years before his martyrdom, in exile, Bishop Onuphrius wrote, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10). God wants to test our faith and faithfulness by means of these persecutions. And those who will stand firm in faith will be rewarded with the crowns of life… These persecutions are the cross given us by God Himself.”
Svetlana Polivanova
Translation by Dmitry Lapa

1 This refers to the schism of the so-called “Living Church”, a renovationist body that was under the communist government’s control.

Every place may become the place of the Resurrection. It is enough that you live the humility of Christ. Mother Gabrielia

γκουλαγκ-Ρωσία_μαρτυρες10-zabalj213_1779739619Troparion of St Justin Tone 4

O Justin, teacher of divine knowledge,/ thou didst shine with the rays of true philosophy/ and wast wisely armed against the enemy./ Confessing the truth thou didst contend with the martyrs:/ with them ever entreat Christ our God to save our souls.

Apolytikion of St Justin Tone 1

Thou didst empty the cup of the wisdom of the Greeks, and thou didst thirst yet again, till thou camest unto the well where thou foundest water springing to eternal life. And having drunk deeply thereof, thou didst also drink the cup that Christ gave to His disciples. Wherefore, O Justin, we praise thee as a philosopher and Martyr of Christ.

Troparion to the Hieromartyr Onufry (Gagalyuk), Archbishop of Kursk, Tone 2

Yako vessel Holy Spirit of the Divine / desk and a luminary of the Church of the Orthodox in the truth was Thou, svyaschennomucheniche Onufriev, / when Thou entire helix godless land ours / malice of hell dyshuscha, / razoriti Church of God ustremishasya. / You’re with a lot of confessors of Christ / ground Siberian bones their He put the demonic wickedness of the persecutors of the iniquitous to shame. / Now, O All-blessed, with all the passionate people of Holy Russia, / in the Heavenly Church, triumphant // we are saved, we pray for the world of sin.

Translation: As a sacred vessel, you truly appeared as a pillar and luminary of the Orthodox Church, Onuphrius, when all the regiments of the God-fighters of our land, breathing the malice of hell, rushed to destroy the Church of God. You, along with the multitude of Christ, covered the Siberian land with your bones and put the demonic insolence of the lawless persecutors to shame. Now, O all-blessed one, triumphing with all Holy Russia in the Heavenly Church, pray to the World that took away sins () for the salvation of our souls.

Troparion of St Agapeti of the Kievan Caves Tone 5

O righteous Agapitus, you healed the infirm with edible herbs, / And with humility like Anthony the Great. / So doing, you brought the unbelieving physician to the Faith, / Guiding him on the path of salvation. / Heal our infirmities and pray to Christ our God for those who sing to you!

Both now. From Pentecostarion
Mode 1.

Let us praise Mary the Virgin, glory of all the world. Born of human parents, she gave birth to the Lord, and is the doorway to heaven. The adornment of the faithful, she is hymned by the angelic hosts. For she has been shown to be heaven and the temple of the Godhead. She is the one who, breaking down the wall of enmity, ushered in peace and threw open the Kingdom. With her as the anchor of our faith, we have a defender in the Lord, to whom she gave birth. Take courage, therefore, people of God, take courage; for he, the Almighty, will defeat your enemies.

Paschal Troparion tone 1

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

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