ВЕРНОСТЬ - FIDELITY № 73 - 2006
The Editorial Board is glad to inform our Readers that this issue of “FIDELITY” has articles in English, and Russian Languages.
С удовлетворением сообщаем, что в этом номере журнала “ВЕРНОСТЬ” помещены статьи на английском и русском языках.
CONTENTS - ОГЛАВЛЕНИЕ
2. A Proposal to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America to Glorify as a Saint The Very Reverend Archpriest Alexis Georgievich Toth (1854 - 1909). G.M. Soldatow
3. Св. Алексий Товт (Toth). Г.М. Солдатов
4. HOLY NEW MARTYR GEORGE OSORGIN. Dr. Vladimir E. Moss
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Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!
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Общество Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония, со времени своего основания, следуя примеру своего небесного покровителя, непрестанно стремилось объединить разразненные части, совсем еще недавно, бывшей единой Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей. Поэтому Общество с великим прискорбием относится ко всем возникающим распрям между этими разразненными частями и не поддерживает ни одну из них в отдельности, призывая их вновь сплотиться воедино для совместного противостояния унии с Московской Патриархии, пока МП не вернется на путь истиного Православия.
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Где бы не были русские беженцы и эмигранты, всегда по близости находится их мать -- Зарубежная Церковь. Она их духовно окормляет, опекает и заботится о них. Они в ней молятся, крестятся, венчаются и умирают. Они в ней говеют, исповедоваются и причащаются. Они в ней встречают своих, близких по духу людей и соотечественников.
Русские люди, живущие на чужбине, да и перешедшие в Православие, благодарны Господу Богу, что у них есть Зарубежная Церковь ведущая их спасению душ. Для многих из них существование без нее было бы просто немыслимо.
А теперь? А теперь, мы с ужасом наблюдаем как - презрев заветы Митрополитов Антония, Анастасия, Филарета и Виталия - духовенство Церкви, не только уселось за один стол, и не только лобызается, но и сослужит с духовенством МП, становясь на необновленческий путь, не считаясь, ни с церковными канонами, ни с традициями Церкви, ни с волей своей паствы - не желающей быть с прокоммунистическими и аморальными архиереями МП.
This year at the graduation ceremony of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, Dr. David Ford, Professor of the Church history at St. Tikhon’s Seminary (OCA), spoke about early missionary activity in North America. Among the missionaries was St. Alexis of Minneapolis and Wilkes-Barre who also assisted St. Tikhon, future patriarch of Russia in his missionary work in North America. Readers of Fidelity have asked for information about St. Alexis (Toth), particularly his teachings and the reasons for his glorification.
I was honored to be appointed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius to be a member of the Canonization Commission of the OCA which proposed Fr. Alexis and also was appointed to some Departments of the Synod to study the lives and history of the founders, beautifiers, builders and witnesses of the Orthodox Faith in North America. (Synod Departments include some clergy and some lay professors in Theology and in Church history) His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius was very interested in the History of Orthodoxy and supported historical research. The Primate spent much time advising me on my research and even wrote a foreword to two volumes: The Right Reverend Nestor, Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska. Under the Metropolitan’s instruction I also published other books.
The Canonization Commission and the Synod of the OCA had many responsibilities before St. Alexis was proclaimed among the Saints of North America. Many works were translated into English during extensive research about how different Autocephalous Churches glorified Saints and the canons of the Church were studied. We had many meetings discussing the research. Then the Commission proposed candidates for canonization. We were conscious of our responsibility for our findings to Lord Christ and His Holy Church. Finally the Holy Synod reviewed the results and made the decision to glorify Fr. Alexis, among others.
The glorification/proclamation of a saint involves many steps. Members of OCA Synod Departments worked very hard under the supervision of the Holy Synod. Before a Saint is glorified, his life and works must be studied. Then many things need to be prepared, among them a biography “Life of the Saint” and Church Services such as Great Vespers, Matins, a Divine Liturgy and an Akathist for the saint; an icon of the Saint has to be painted, a church has to be dedicated to the Saint and other preparations have to be made.
Below is a copy of the commission to prepare the proposal for the canonization of Fr. Alexis from the Chairman of the Canonization Commission, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill.
This is followed by a copy of a proposal that I wrote about the Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America St. Alexis and the reasons for his glorification. I hope that Fidelity readers, especially in North America, will be interested in the lives and work of the great missionaries who built the Orthodox Church here.
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A Proposal to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America to Glorify as a Saint The Very Reverend Archpriest Alexis Georgievich Toth (1854 - 1909)
Rev Fr. Alexis was born in Carpathia (Hungarian Empire) in 1854. He came from a poor gentry family distinguished for its piety. His father and his brother were priests and his uncle was a bishop in the Uniate Church.
Fr. Alexis was ordained in 1878 after he married Rosalie Michalich, a priest's daughter, and was appointed as a second priest to a Uniate parish. Rev. Father Alexis was highly educated and knew several languages, serving before his priestly appointment as secretary in the Ecclesiastical Administration of the Presov diocese.
However it seems that the Lord planned a different future for Fr. Alexis than to be a bureaucrat or a professor. Soon after his ordination his wife and thereafter their only child died leaving him alone in greef with his parents.
In 1879, he was appointed as secretary to the Bishop of Presov and as manager of the Diocesan Administration. He did not serve long in this capacity; after only two years he was appointed a Professor of the Theological Academy in Presov to teach Church Law and Church History. At the same time he had to fulfill the duties of Director of an orphanage. Then in 1883 the Diocesan Administration assigned him to fulfill the priestly obligation in an Art school in addition to his other responsibilietis.
In October of 1889 Fr. Alexis was appointed as a missionary to North America to be the pastor of a Uniate parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Upon his arrival in Minneapolis in December, he went to introduce himself to the local Roman Catholic Archbishop, John Ireland, since the Uniates were part of the Roman Catholic Church. The Archbishop did not want to have any parishes of non-Roman rite in the United States and was outraged by the arrival of Fr. Alexis, a widoved Uniate priest, for that parish. Bishop Ireland disregarded all agreements which had been made by Rome with the Uniates and refused to acknowledge or allow any differences from the Roman Rite. As a result there was a heated discussion between Ireland and Fr. Alexis and he was denied jurisdiction in his parish.
The views of Archbishop Ireland were shared by other Catholic bishops in America. This meeting between Ireland and Fr. Alexis was typical of the reception given to other Uniate priests by Roman Catholic Bishops throughout America. The Catholic hierarchy also had problems in North America with Roman Catholics who were Poles, Czechs? Etc. and not Irish or Anglo-Saxon. It was not a misunderstanding but systematic resistance of the Irish Bishops to petitions from these people for parish clergy of their own nationality, to keep their national identity within the Church. Some of these groups formed their own Catholic Dioceses, independent from the American Catholic Church, which were and are directly administered from Rome or built their independent Unions such as the Old-Catholic Churches in America.
Until the time of the arrival of Fr. Alexis in America the Catholic Church in the United States had been the beneficiary of European assistance. The church in the United States was nsot in a strong financial position and depended on great donations tht came from even such exotic sources as the Russian princes, the Golitsyns, who became Catholic missionaries in America. In 1908 Pope Pius X removed the United States from the missionary jurisdiction of the Congregation of Propaganda and incorporated the American Church into the ordinaryadministration of the universal Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Pontiffs and the Curia had the idea of uniting all Christiansaround the Roman Pope and as a result made various agreements with the Greeks, Eastern European and Middle Eastern Orthodox, and the other Christians. The Catholic Bishops in America did not have the same plans and therefore a long process of disagreements began between them and the Roman Curia.
Fr. Alexis was not an ordinary priest. Hen knew his rights as a Uniate, he was a natural leader who was more educated than other priests who came from Carpathia, and he had a knowledge of Church history and law.
Before Fr. Alexis’ arrival in Minneapolis, his parishioners had already built and blessed their church (without permission from Bishop Ireland). After his meeting with the Bishop, Fr. Alexis tried to work within the terms of the agreement between the Uniates and the Roman Catholics and the rules established by Rome concerning his ministry in America. In 1890 he called a meeting of Uniate priests in America in Wilkes-Barre , Pennsylvania. There were at that time 10 Uniate priests in the United States and 8 of them came to the meeting. Fr. Alexis was elected as their chairman. The meeting dealt mainly with answering the challenges faced by the Uniate Church in America. Fr. Alexis was instrumental in bringing together the Uniate priests in America but neither the Uniate Bishops in Carpathia nor Rome came to their assistance, heard their suffering or sent a Uniate Bishop to administer the parishes in North America. Fr. Alexis had great plans for his people in America and in 1890 alone he traveled from Minneapolis to visit Uniate immigrants in distant places including Chicago and Streator, Illinois; Cleveland, Los Angeles, Galvestton, Ensley City(?) (Alabama), Saint Louis, Gurly(?), (Dakota), Ashland (Wisconsin), and several places in Canada. He called upon the people to form fraternities, to build churches. He wished ot unite all fraternities into one Mutual Aid Society.
At the same time Archbisho Ireland continued his attacks against Fr. Alexis and his parishioners. In Catholic churches condemnations were read; parishioners were told not to listen to or even contact Fr. Alexis. Fr. Alexis and his people did not know what they should do in these circumstances; they had a meeting and came to what Fr. Alexis called “something that was long in my heart”. Fr. Alexis and his parishioners decided to seek a way to return to the jurisdiction of an Orthodox Bishop rather than a Roman Catholic or UniateBishop. It is important to emphasize, that this first return to Orthodoxy by an entire parish and its pastor occurred without any influence from the Orthdox Church Administration, which was unaware of these people in America, but was in accordance with the decision of the parishioners themselves. They came from a territory that was part of Kievan Rus’; they had never been part of the Moscovite Rus’ and they had been Uniates. This petition was completely unexpected by the Russian Orthodox Church and it took a long time before the Russian Synod accepted this parish into the diocese. But after the first Uniate parish was reunited, it became a mission to attract other parishes and that was where Fr. Alexis was instrumental.
It is obvious that Fr. Alexis was not a “revolutionary” or a priest who disobeyed his Church authorities. He was appointed by his Bishop to go to America and to give spiritual guidance to people from his homeland; but his right to do that was disregarded and denigrated by a local Bishop not even of his jurisdiction. A Unione meant that Roman Catholics and Uniates were able to keep their differences as they were before the Union and the only condition was that both groups would be under the spiritual guidance of the Pope in Romme. Therefore Bishop Ireland and other American Bishops were in disagreement with the Papal Church and Administration and not Fr. Alexis. Fr. Alexis, in spite of all his difficulties would not return to Carpathia abandoning his own people, violating his (and other clergy’s ) belief in the right of Unia and of the equality of Eastern and Western Rites in the Church. Father Alexis followed his own conscience as to the best way to preserve the faith; the only way he found was to reunite, with his parish, to Orthodoxy rather than to continue to be misinformed, dominated and looked by his supposed equality with Roman Catholic priests.
After the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the life of the Carpathian people, including those in Galicia which had been added to the Empire after the Polish partition was barely tolerable. The Austrian Emperor was crowned King of Hungary and the Hungarian government treated all of those in their territory as Hungarians and Roman Catholics. Previously, there had been difficulties with Roman Catholic clergy who sought to force the Uniates to accept Western trations and newly introduced Roman Catholic doctrines. After the establishment fo an independent Hungarian government with authority over the Carpathian regions, the civil authorities attempted to enforce these changes. Many other problems within the Hungarian Kingdom encouraged people to emigrate. Czechs, Slovaks and Carpathians all wished to have autonomy in their policiatl and cultural lives and there were also economic difficulties.
It has to be noted, that a large percentage of people from Carpathia came to the United States. Many villages lost half of their population or most of the young people due to emigration to North America. Only about one third of the people over 14 years of age who emigrated to the United States were literate. Many of these literate people were not well educated, and therefore needed not only spiritual but cultural guidance that they could receive only from their own priests. Uniate bishops sent priests to North America for their people for these needs.
Many of these people had the opinion that they were Orthodox as was the case with Mr. Mlinar, who was delegated by the parish in Minneapolis to go to the Russian Orthodox Bishop Vladimir in San Francisco. Bishop Vladimir sent him to the Roman Catholic Bishop who sent Mr. Mlinar back to the Orthodox Bishop. As a result poor Mr. Mlinar wrote to Rev. Fr. Alexis asking him “What kind of a faith do we have? I have never heard of Uniates. All priest told us that were were Orthodox Christians!!!”
After Mr. Mlinar returned to Minneapolis, Fr. Alexis went to meet Bishop Vladimir and there in the Cathedral in San Francisco was reunited with the Orthodox Church. In March of 1891, the Bishop came to Minneapolis and reunited the parishioners with the Orthodox Church. It was not until July 14, 1892 that the Russian Synod decided to accept Fr. Alexis and his parish into the Aleutian Diocese and to give Fr. Alexis a salary like that of other Orthodox priests in North America. Before that Fr. Alexis worked in a bakery, at the same time fulfilling his clergy obligations. The acceptance into the Orthodox Diocese was a great relief for Fr. Alexisi and his people, who had suffered all kinds of vicious accusations and threats. After this event there were, however, other accusations of Fr. Alexis for “selling his people and religion to the ‘Moscovites”. Rumors were spread of the astronomical sums that he had received from Moscow. In reality Fr. Alexis was living without financial support from anyone including his parish in Minneapolis which was at that time very poor.
After being accepted into the Orthodox Diocese, Fr. Alexis called upon all Uniates and their clergy, that he visited before in North America to join him and to reunite with the Holy Orthodox Church. He became instrumental in the return and formation of 17 Orthodox parishes in North America. He helped not only Carpathians, but also Russians, Galicians and other Orthodox people to establish parishes. As a result of his call to the Carpathian people, during the next several decades many more thousands of Carpathian Uniates returned to Holy Orthodoxy, the Faith of their fathers, forming more than 300 parishes across North America. Fr. Alexis became their first and most effective missionary and they called him “Bat’ko” – Father. There were after him many other Orthodox missionaries in North America but only one was called “Bat’ko” by the Carpathians.
Fr. Alexis was a highly educated priest, but in his teaching, he used language and subjects that his people could understand. He simplified his theological teaching for these people since they were not prepared to go into godmatic details. He received from the Orthodox Diocesan Administration the assignment to go to different places and to teach Orthodoxy and unite people into parishes. In one of his letters to another Orthodox priest who was in the Administration, Fr. Alexis wrote that there is so much that he himself has to learn and he tries, but he has to spend all of his time for missionary work.
It is possible that Fr. Alexis made some errors in his sermons and his teaching, but it seems that they were nneither many nor great. As Fr. Hopko wrote in his book “The Orthodoxy”: A heretic brings disagreement and damage into theChruch, he acts intentionally. Fr. Hopko wrote: even in the teachings of the Holy Fathers there are things that were later accepted as inexact or false, but these Holy people are not counted as heretics. As the Holy Orthodox Chruch teaches, only God does not make errors and is infallible. Fr. Alexis even if he did make mistakes in his teachings made them unintentionally.
Rev. Bishops Vladimir and Nicholas were Christ’s Bishops, representing Him in America, and therefore Fr. Alexis, receiving a direct order to go and teach people in all places where there were Carpathian people, had to obey their orders. Fr. Alexis did not respond, that he is not ready to do this work or that he wishes to do something else. It often happened that receiving a mission, people found, like Moses did, all kinds of excuses, but that was not the case with Fr. Alexis. For all the results fo his missionary activity he has to be accepted as the greatest Orthodox missionary in North American among the East European immigrants.
Fr. Alexisi had a vision of all Orthodox people of all nationalities in North American united around one Orthodox Bishop, with equality among these national groups who would “in this free country be able t florify the Lord in their own language”. When asked by Bishop Tikhon to express his opinion about how the Orthodox Church should be registered in its charter, Fr. Alexis wrote a long report examining all possibilities. He proposed a “Greek-Catholic Church of America standing under the Spiritual Jurisdiction of the Holy Governing Synod of Russia”, but as he pointed our, according to the American judicial view the members should be then only Greeks and Russians. As the only good solution he suggested “Orthodox Church in America, since its members were not only Greeks and Russians but Arabs, Syrians, Serbians, Slovaks, Hungarians, Americans and Indians”.
From the beginning of his mission Fr. Alexis wrote articles in local immigrant publications. He defended Orhtodoxy, pointed out the misguided position of the Roman Catholics who followed the new dogmatic teachintg of Papal infallibility; he accused them of not fulfilling their obligations to all Uniates and especially those in America. He called upon Orthodox people to use Orthodox terminology such as Pascha, not Easter and Nativity ofChrist instead of Christmas. Christmas, he pointed out, is a Roman Catholic name, coming from Mass to Christ, but Orhtodox people do not have a Maa but a Liturgy. Besides that Christmas is only workd in the English language; in other countries this holy day is called differently.
His publications appeared in different languages. For example in a Slovak newspaper he published an article in Slovak “How we should live in America”. In this article he tells that this is a land of freedom, but people should live here according to local laws and standards. He suggests that people should change the behavior and habits. That they used in the old country. He tells that people should keep their houses clean, wash their children and clean the windows, even in poverty people can live cleanly. He compares the Slavs with English people and suggests to parents that they send their children to school instead of sending them to work in mines or other places. Fr. Alexis especially warns people of the danger of alcoholism, especially when young people start to drink alcohol. He instructs that people should not sing, shout or holler in the streets. He taught them “to hold on to your faith teaching and do not attack the faith of others”. Respect other people… read good religious and national books, especially on Sunday instead of drinking. “Read a good newspaper, those will teach you how to be a good Christian and a good nationalist, read “The Life of Jesus Christ”, “TheVirgin Mary”, and other books…” “Apply for and take citizenship papers if you wish to live here”, He taught how women should be treated in America, that they should be dressed decently, and not go barefoot in the street, dressed in peasant costumes etc.
Right after he became pastor first in Minneapolis and later in Wilkes-Barre, Fr. Alexis started local church schools where he and his assistants taught religion, language and other subjects. He was instrumental in the opening of schools in other Orthodox parishes. He also taught adults, not just children.
It was his idea that it was important for the Orthodox Church in America to have a publication. As a result of his correspondence with /Bishop Nikolai, “Svet” (Light) began publication and Fr. Hrushka, a former Uniate priest and friend of Fr. Alexis became its editor.
Fr. Alexis’ most famous and influential book “Where to Seek the Truth” was written by the end of 1893. It was directed to Slavic people from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was written in a simple question and answer format. It gave the readers basic information about the origin and place of Christianity, how it spread , the Ecumenical Councils, heresies and schism and the reasons for them. Fr. Alexis indicates that the mission of the Church is the guidance of people to salvation. In his book Rev. Fr. Answered such questions as “Can we call the Pope Christ’s successor? Did Christ, the Apostles, the Holy Fathers, or the Ecumenical Councils teach or write anything about infallibility?” The book explained the basic differences and origins of Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Unia, but indicates that the only true way of salvation is thrugh Orthodoxy.
This book of Rev. Fr. Alexis was written in simple and understandable language for people who came from villages in Carpathia, Galicia an dBukovina. It was accepted by these people with joy and influenced many at a time when there was no other available and easily understand able religious literature. Therefore Fr. Alexis’ qork was unique and has great merit to the Church as a labor of Enlightenment and preaching of the Gospel.
A comment has to be made that in his writings and sermons Fr. Alexis expressed his devotion to the Russian Churhc, Russia and its Czar. He defended all of them because he believed that they were the only protectors and supporters of other Orthodox people around the world. His love for Russia was not in clonglic with his loyalty to his new country, the United States. He spoke many times, that it was only because of the freedom here in the U.S., that he and his followers enjoyed and were able to fulfill their wish to become Orthodox.
Fr. Alexis had his unique methods of preaching. For example after receiving an order from the Most Holy Synod in Russia concerning acceptance to the Aleutian Diocese, he tells the parishioners in his sermon: “Orthodox Christians!...we were detached for 244 years from our Mother Church…the Church of Christ, the only Holy Ecumenical and Ap0ostlic Churchl.. We suffered much here being Uniates from those who told us that we were one of a whole with them… I have informed you about the Church’s teaching… and now you have to live with goodness, peaceful Christian lies, in love to the Lord and His Church proving that not only in words but in your hearts and deeds we are true children of the Orthodox Church,-God and the Orthodox Church will not leave us, and the Lord’s love will be among us forever! Amen..”
In another sermon he tells people that the Holy Virign was always the Protector of Orthodox Christians. She protected cities from attacks by infidels, for example the city of Azov. Almost every city glorifying the Theotokos had its own icon; many of them were know as miraculous. He spoke about the special bond between the Orthodoc people and the Theotokos, of many holy days and many churches that are dedicated to Her glorification.
In another sermon to the people of Old Forge, Pennsylvania, on the occasion of their return to the Orthodox Church, Fr. Alexis spoke about people suffering for the Orthodox Faith in Austrian and Hungarians Kingdoms and about the faults of Unia. He told people to hear what the Orthodox Church preaches and not what others tell about Orthodoxy; for example, that the Orthodox people do not believe in the Holy Trinity or the Theotokos.
In his sermons Fr. Alexis told the Uniates, that the Uniate Church is not Roman Catholic nor Orthodox, but that it became a mixture of both, that the people are now ashamed of. Hear the Orthodox teaching, told he, “this is the teaching of the Christian Orthodox Church, this is the teaching of your forefathers, your fathers, this is your faith, through which all of us will come to salvation. Hold to it! Amen.”
It seems that Fr. Alexis was guided by the Lord; he came at the right time and right place to the defense and mission of Orthodoxy in America, becoming its champion. His teaching has influenced not only people here in America but also in the Carpathian homeland. The return to Orthodoxy spread there also. For this reason it can be said that Fr. Alexis had the virtue of service to the Fatherland.
Fr. Alexis had many other virtues, such as those of self sacrifice and unselfishness. As an example, flro years he asked the Bishop’s permission to go for a visit to his mother in Hungary, but he stayed each time when the Bishop indicated how much there was to be done for the Church and its people. When he was offered the leadership of his people in America as a Bishop, with humility he pointed out that this responsibility should be given to a younger and healthier man than he, who would be more effective to the Glory of God.
The doors to Fr. Alexis house were always open to anyone who was looking for assistance and advice. His limited funds were shared with other clergyand given to needy people. In his “Last Will:, he wrote: “Let my funeral be simple, without pomp and wreaths, and the casket as cheap as possible. Eulogies need not be said:; otherwise let every one pray for my soul which stands in fear before God’s Judgment Throne. Wealth I have none…” Father Alexis’ life insurance and savings covered only part of his debts. To his relatives and friends he left very little, only small things as mementos. He left a little fund for prayers for his parents. His entire estate was determined at $5498.45 against 6529.84 of claims against his estate.
He spent much of his income for the defense of the church from the Unitates and Roman Catholics in Wilkes-Barre, and then, after the church burned down, for building a new one on the same place. He donated for the education of seminarians in Minneapolis and to schools. He helped many people in every way that he could.
When Fr. Alexis was offended or fooled by other people, in his love he forgave them and always asked his Bishop to forgive him his omissions an mistakes.
He helped much in building Orthodox churches in America, giving his advice in different parishes, and helping to collect funds for the church buildings.
In conclusion I think that Fr. Alexis’ teaching was in accordance with the Orthodox Ecumenical Councils and Church canons. In some instances there can be found his national pride but that can he excused since it was doen by him in conjunction with the defense of the Church. It has to be remembered that he taught in language common to the time and the meaning of some words have changed since then. Secondly of course was the fact, that many of his comments were responses to unfounded accusations of Orthodoxy and the Mission in North America by people who used much stronger language than Fr. Alexis and unethical methods of discrediting them; a lack of tolerance, rude behavior and threats against his people. Fr. Alexis may in fact only be commended, for his restraint. It also should not be forgotten that many of Fr. Alexis’ strong comments appeared only in private correspondence with the church administration. Some people that he wrote about were indeed, as the future showed, revolutionaries. Fr. Alexis was not wrong in his evaluations about their plans against the Church
As described above, Fr. Alexis had merits to the Orthodox Church in America, he has been a defender of the Orthodox Faith, his mission was not only in North America but spread even to his own Homeland by the people returning there; he helped to build churches, had had a lot of patience, and sacrificed much for the Church, he was unselfish, humble and loved other people, he was a laborer of Enlightenment to his people, a theologian, a teacher and preacher. Fr. Alexis endured such suffering and persecution from Uniates, a hostile press, enemies of the Church and representatives of the Hungarian Empire, that he might even be considered a martyr for the Faith. Fr. Alexis for his exceptional merits of service to the Church was awarded by the Most Holy Synod with an epigonation, a Miter and Archpriestership. At that time those were quite rare awards given by the Church only to exceptionally distinguished priests. From civil authorities in Russia he received also 2 orders of each St. Ann and St. Vladimir 4th and 3rd class for his services for the Red Cross in Japan, for Fraternities, in the Mutual Aid Society, in orphanages, for the newspaper, parish libraries and education in America. In his memory and in veneration, right after his death an orphanage in Vermont was dedicated in his name and members of the Orthodox Church of America ordered a splendid mausoleum built in his memory in the Saint Tikhon monastery. His death did not stop the spreading of his achievements and his work was continued by such dedicated workers as Rev. Fr. Peter Kohanik and others, who said that they were continuing what Fr. Alexis began.
The grounds for canonization of saints has varied during the history of the Holy Orthodox Church, since in each particular case of glorification specific reasons might be found which depended both on the feat performed by the zealot for salvation and on those spiritual requirements which the Orthodox Church deemed necessary to make for the sake of the goodness and salvation of her believers in different periods of history. Glorification varied in different Orthodox national Churches also. The Church in any case has considered the feat performed and then pronounced its decision. They studied the life, miracles and labors performed by the zealots proposed for canonization. Their various deeds of spiritual perfection illuminate a path for salvation for the present day Orthodox people.
The Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios and the Greek Archdiocese are interested in Fr. Alexis’ achievements. The Carpatho-Russian Diocese holds him in great veneration. Two seminars were recently planned by this diocese on the life and work of Fr. Alexis. A cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile recently requested AARDM to quote the cost of printing 1000 copies of Fr. Alexis’ book the original language for distribution in Carpathia.
Fr. Alexis was a member of the Church that has become the OrthodoxChurch in America; he worked to build this Church and he shared the vision of “One Holy Orthodox Church”, guided in this country by one Pastor, for all ethnic groups. Fr. Alexis’ is with this Church today; his life and achievements are clearly visible. The story of Fr. Alexis’ life reads like a story of a true Apostle, endless traveling, labors, great sacrifices and constant persecution from the enemies of Orthodoxy. Therefore the onoe for his glorification as a Saint obviously belongs to the Othodox Church in America.
Why is there such a great interest in Fr. Alexis? The reason, as His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios indicated, “because the Uniate problem has brought difficulties to our sister Churches” after political changes in Eastern Europe. Bishop Nicholas from the Carpatho-Russian Diocese in North America said that: as before, at the time today when faith is being tested in the crisis of religious tensions and in contemporary society the Orthodox Church needs help from above and leadership such as came from Rev. Fr. Alexis, to race challenges fo secular values. Fr. Alexis shows how it was possible to reflect our precious Orthodox Faith and share it with others.
As this seems to be a paradox many Uniates today consider Fr. Alexis also responsible for the existance of the Uniates here in North America pointing out, tht Fr. Alexis was responsible for permission for the Uniates to have their own Bishop here, and thus the prevention of a complete assimilation by the Roman Catholic Church. But this is their own belief; it is not relevant to the Orthodox Church.
All information for this proposal was obtained from four volumes “Archpriest Alexis Toth, letters, articles, papers and sermons” 1978-88 and a 5th unpublished volume and from a collection of papers, which are located in the Archives of the Orthodox Church in America.
If the Holy Synod requires additional information about the work and teaching of Archpriest Alexis Toth, it would be an honor for me to reply to the request of the Church.
Member of the Canonization Commission
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HOLY FATHER ALEXIS, CONFESSOR AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA
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PROCLAMATION OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE OCA
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ACT OF GLORIFICATION
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VESPERS, MATINS, DIVINE LITURGY (13 pages)
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AKATHIST HYMN (8 pages)
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Св. Алексий (Товт -Toth)
Родился близь Прешова, Словакия в 18.03, 1854 - усоп 07.05.1909 США), св. протоиерей Православной Церкви в Америке. Родился в бедной дворянской семье священника-униата о. Георгия и Цецилии Товт. Начальное образование получил в местной школе. Прошел военную службу. Учился в римско-католической семинарии в Эстергоме, закончил семинарию в Унгваре (совр. Ужгород) и богословский ф-т в Прешовском университете. Его брат был священником, а дядя униатским епископом.
В 1878 г. рукоположен в сан пресвитера дядей - епископом Николаем Прешевским. Служил на приходах в Словакии. Назначен еп. Николаем зав. канцелярией. Преподавал в Прешеве в семинарии каноническое право и церковную историю, был катихизатором индустриальной школы и управителем интерната. Владел свободно словацким, венгерским, немецким, латинским и немного греческим языками. Жена и ребенок умерли в 1879 г.
В ноябре 1889 г. в ответ на прошение прихода в Америке посылается еп. Иоанном Прешевским для пастырства среди униатов. Прибыл в г. Миннеаполис (шт. Миннесота) для службы в карпато-русской униатской общине, но встретил враждебное отношение местного католического архиепископа Джона Айрланда. Так как в Америке не было униатского епископа, все униатские приходы и духовенство должны были быть в управлении католической администрации. Айрланд отказался давать разрешение на служение, заявивши, что о. Алексий был ранее женат, и он просил Рим, таких священников как он не присылать, да и церковь строили без его разрешения и все русины могут ходить к польскому католическому священнику. Святой пытался ему объяснить разницу обрядов римской и униатской церкви, но было бесполезно, архиепископ его запретил и отлучил. Святой видел попрание прав унии и вместе с другим униатским духовенством пытался защитить униатов в Америке, но они не нашли себе поддержки со стороны епископов в Австро-Венгерской Империи и оказались полностью во власти местного католического духовенства. У о. Алексия давно было тяготение вернуться в Православие, в котором он видел сохранение и соблюдение истины. На приходском собрании, в Миннеаполисе обиженные на Айрланда и католическое духовенство русины решили искать своего “русского” епископа. С этой целью в 1890 г. о. Алексий поехал в Сан-Франциско к еп. Алеутскому и Аляскинскому Владимиру (Соколовскому) и был принят в лоно Православной Церкви. Владыка Владимир прибывши в Миннеаполис в день Торжества Православия, 25.03. 1891 воссоединил с РПЦ 361 верующих прихода. Затем возвратились в Православие несколько десятков униатов из соседних поселений. О. Алексий был Владыкой назначен благочинным, с поручением обслуживать также открывавшийся приход в Чикаго. Около 20 месяцев приход и о. Алексий ждали от Св. Синода официальное признание о принятии, которое совершилось только 14 июля, 1892 г. Этот приход был единственным православным между Сан-Франциско и Нью-Йорком. Работа о. Алексия не ограничилась его приходом и благочинием, он писал статьи в защиту восточного обряда, обличая католическую церковь в нарушении договора, объясняя Православие
Переход прихода в Православие и призыв о. Алексия к униатскому духовенству и верующим в приходах послужили массовому возвращению униатов в Православие. О. Алексий организовал при приходе приходскую школу, переорганизованную через несколько лет в Миссионерскую Школу. С 1893-1909 г. он был настоятелем церкви в Вилкес-Барр, Пенсильвания, ставшей центром его миссионерства среди униатов. В течение многих лет ему пришлось защищать прихожан и приход от притязаний униатского и католического духовенства. Одно время он занимал должность Пенсильванского благочинного. По плану Преосвященного Тихона, епархия для лучших результатов миссионерства и администрации, должна была быть разделена на несколько этнических викариатств. Были организованы викариатства Сиро-арабское и Алеутское, сербское, греческое и другие были в стадии организации. О. Алексию в 1907 г. было предложено стать епископом для русинов, выходцев из Австро-венгерской Империи, но он отказался, указывая на свой возраст и немощность, прося хиротонисать кого-либо другого. Его миссионерская деятельность проходила при деятельном руководстве Владык Владимира, Николая (Зиорова), Тихона (Белавина) и Платона (Рождественского). В 1905г. он был инициатором «Русского Православного Кафолического Общества Взаимопомощи». При его деятельном участии были организована газета «Свет» и другие прицерковные издания и организации. 7 Мая 1909 г. наступила праведная кончина “Батьки”, как его прозвали русины в Америке.
При его непосредственном участии было организовано 17 православных приходов и присоединено к Православию около 20 тысяч верующих. В результате его миссионерско-просветительных трудов между первой и второй мировыми войнами в Православие перешли сотни тысяч униатов в Америке и на родине святого - в Словакии.
29 мая 1994 г. в год празднования 200- летия Православия в Америке о. Алексий был причислен к лику святых. На прославление, совершившееся в Свято-Тихоновском монастыре, возглавленном Митрополитом ПЦА Феодосием, представителей Поместных Церквей, многочисленного духовенства и тысяч богомольцев нетленные мощи святого были перенесены в раку у иконостаса монастырского храма св. Тихона Задонского.
В честь св. Алексия были составлены богослужение, тропарь, кондак и акафист.
Награды: набедренник, камилавка, кабинетный крест, благословенная грамота, палица и митра.
Ордена Св. Анны 3-й и 2-й и 1-й степ, Св. Владимира 4-й и 3-й степ.
При жизни изданы 4 книги, самая известная “Где искать правду”. Статьи в Православном Американском Вестнике, газете Свет и других изданиях против унии, католичества, объяснений Православных истин и как славяне должны жить в Америке. Статьи и книги святого были написаны простым, понятным для русинов языке, часто с употреблением поговорок и шуток.
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Лит.: Archpriest Alexis Toth, vol. 1-4, transl. аnd ed. G. Soldatow, AARDM, Mps. 1978-1989, The Writings of St. Alexis Toth, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America, transl. аnd ed. G. Soldatow, AARDM, Mps. 1994, The Orthodox Church in America and other writings by St. Alexis, transl. аnd ed G. Soldatow, AARDM Mps. 1996. Father Alexis G. Toth and the Wilkes-Barre litigations, Keith S. Russin, St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, vol. 16, No.3, 1972, pg. 128-149. Orthodox Christians in North America 1794-1994. Mark Stokoe/ Leonid Kishkovsky. OCPC. 1995; Orthodox America 1794-1976. 1975; Юбилейный сборник в память 150-летия Русской Православной Церкви в Северной Америке, т. 1. Нью-Йорк, 1944
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HOLY NEW MARTYR GEORGE OSORGIN
Dr. Vladimir E. Moss
George Mikhaiolovich Osorgin was born in 1893 and was an officer on the Staff of the Supreme Commander of the army in World War One. He had been awarded the George cross. In 1921 he was sentenced to be shot for taking part in an attempt to save the Royal Family. However, he was amnestied. On March 6, 1925 he was arrested again and cast into Butyrki prison. On October 12 he was condemned by the OGPU and sentenced to be shot, but the sentence was commuted to ten years’ imprisonment. In May, 1928 he was sent to Solovki.
In the words of O.I. Volkov: “Osorgin belonged to a completely special kind of warrior, to that old-fashioned type that saw their presence in the army in a knightly, medieval light, as a kind of heightened form of service… Being a convinced, absolutely undoubting monarchist, George was devoted to the memory of the destroyed Royal Family… He was from a famous old family. Osorgin traced his genealogy to St. Juliana. Being devoted to his family traditions, George was deeply believing by inheritance. Yes, and in the Moscow style! That is, he knew and observed the Orthodox rites in all their age-old inviolability – he chanted on the kliroses and did not miss an opportunity to put on a sticharion to take part in a hierarchical service… Osorgin declared with the greatest firmness at interrogations: ‘I am a monarchist and a believer’… George was chief clerk at the field hospital… He worked with rare zeal in the camp: his service gave him the opportunity to do a lot of good. It is impossible to say how many priests and helpless intelligenty he fished out of the thirteenth, quarantine company! He put them into the hospital… George would save people… The whole day he would dash about between the hospital, the companies and the administration, trying to get alleviation, transfers, passes, privileges… “
Before his release O. Volkov wrote his impressions about George Osorgin as follows: “I suddenly saw that which I had not noticed when I would meet George from day to day: both his sharply etched wrinkles, and his deeply sunken eyes, and the ineradicable crease between his brows. The look in his eyes was completely exhausted, even downtrodden. My George’s soul was heavy. But what self-possession he had! In no way did he give away his suffering, he was always sympathetic and light! And generous in doing good. As if he had been spoiled by fate, he was ready to splash out his extra good fortune onto others. George looked on his earthly path soberly and without hope. But from Solovki he could not reach out and protect his helpless parents, and his dear little wife Marina. They had no defence, and there was no support for them in the fickle, hostile world – only God!”
A.I Solzhenitsyn writes: “Besides the clergy, nobody was allowed to go to the last monastic church. Osorgin, using the fact that he worked in the sanitary section, secretly went to the Paschal Mattins [in 1928]. And he brought a mantia and the Holy Gifts to [the Catacomb] Bishop Peter of Voronezh, who had been taken to Anzer with spotted typhus.”
Now Anzer was twelve kilometres from the monastery, and in January, 1929 there was no access. Many tried to dissuade Osorgin, saying that Vladyka was unconscious and he would be subjecting himself to danger for no purpose. But Osorgin took a boat and made his way through the ice and water to Anzer. Vladyka came to for a very short moment, during which he received the Holy Gifts and immediately died...
George Osorgin was not punished for his feat of self-sacrificial love. Later, however, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn relates, he was denounced, cast into a punishment cell and condemned to death. On that very day his young wife came to the quayside at Solovki. Osorgin pleaded with his jailers: don’t spoil my wife’s meeting with me! He promised that he would not let her stay for more than three days, and immediately she left they could kill him. They agreed. For three days he was with his wife, and, exercising supreme self-control, did not let her guess what awaited him. Not by a word, not even by the tone of his voice. And not by the expression of his eyes. “Only once (his wife is alive and recalls it now), when they were walking along Holy Lake, she turned and saw her husband clutching his head in torment. ‘What’s the matter with you?’ ‘It’s nothing,’ he immediately explained. She could still stay, but he asked her to leave. The time came to part: he persuaded her to take his warm things, he would get more in the sanitary section the next winter – after all, they were precious, he was giving them away to his family. When the steamer left the quayside, Osorgin let his head fall. Ten minutes later he had already put on other clothes for the shooting.”
George Osorgin was shot on October 29, 1929.
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ОБЩЕСТВО РЕВНИТЕЛЕЙ ПАМЯТИ БЛАЖЕННЕЙШЕГО МИТРОПОЛИТА АНТОНИЯ
благодарит всех своих благожелателей за внесение членских взносов и пожертвований.
Напоминаем, что Общество зарегистрировано в Департаменте Казны США. Все пожертвования и подарки, начиная с 21 августа 2004 года, можно списать с подоходного налога. На суммы более чем 250 американских долларов необходимо прилагать при списывании дохода расписку от Общества, которое укажет номер. Федеральный Регистрационный Номер: EIN 68-0620503
Г.М. Солдатов В.В. Щегловский
Председатель Казначей и секретарь
A SINCERE GRATITUDE
On behalf of the The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society we extend our sincere gratitude to all of our valued members, generous supporters and well wishers for their continued timely support of the Society during this year.
We would like to remind you that all contributions to the Society that have been made since August 21, 2004 are tax deductible. In the U.S., reporting of a separate gift of $250 or more requires that one submit an appropriate statement from the Society.
The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society is a not-for-profit Corporation duly registered with the U.S. Department of the Treasury under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Society’s tax-exempt number is: EIN 68-0620503
The Society is also registered as a not-for-profit Corporation (per Section 402) with the state of New York.
George Soldatow Valentin Scheglowski
ВЕРНОСТЬ (FIDELITY) Церковно-общественное издание
“Общества Ревнителей Памяти Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония (Храповицкого)”.
Председатель “Общества” и главный редактор: проф. Г.М. Солдатов.
President of The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society and Editor in-Chief: Prof. G.M. Soldatow
Сноситься с редакцией можно по е-почте: GeorgeSoldatow@Yahoo.com или
The Metropolitan Anthony Society, 3217-32nd Ave. NE, St. Anthony Village, MN 55418, USA
Secretary/Treasurer: Mr. Valentin Wladimirovich Scheglovski, P.O. BOX 27658, Golden Valley, MN 55427-0658, USA
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ОБЩЕСТВО БЛАЖЕННЕЙШЕГО МИТРОПОЛИТА АНТОНИЯ
По-прежнему ведет свою деятельность и продолжает издавать электронный вестник «Верность» исключительно за счет членских взносов и пожертвований единомышленников по борьбе против присоединения РПЦЗ к псевдоцеркви--Московской Патриархии. Мы обращаемся кo всем сочувствующим с предложением записаться в члены «Общества» или сделать пожертвование, а уже ставшим членам «Общества» напоминаем o возобновлении своих членских взносов за 2006 год.
Секретарь-казначей «Общества» В.В. Щегловский
The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony Society published in the past, and will continue to publish the reasons why we can not accept at the present time a "unia" with the MP. Other publications are doing the same, for example the Russian language newspaper "Nasha Strana" www.nashastrana.info (N.L. Kasanzew, Ed.) and on the Internet "Sapadno-Evropeyskyy Viestnik" www.karlovtchanin.com, ( Rev.Protodeacon Dr. Herman-Ivanoff Trinadtzaty, Ed.). There is a considerably large group of supporters against a union with the MP; and our Society has representatives in many countries around the world including the RF and the Ukraine. We are grateful for the correspondence and donations from many people that arrive daily. With this support, we can continue to demand that the Church leadership follow the Holy Canons and Teachings of the Orthodox Church.
БЛАНК О ВСТУПЛЕНИИ - MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
ОБЩЕСТВО РЕВНИТЕЛЕЙ ПАМЯТИ БЛАЖЕННЕЙШЕГО
МИТРОПОЛИТА АНТОНИЯ (ХРАПОВИЦКОГО)
с семьи прилагаю. Учащиеся платят $ 10. Сумма членского взноса относится только к жителям США, Канады и Австралии, остальные платят сколько могут.
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