Церковные ВѢХИ

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. For salvation is the revelation of the way for everyone who believes in Christ's name. This revelation is to be found only in the Church. In the Church, as in the Body of Christ, in its theanthropic organism, the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of the "two natures," indissolubly united, is continually accomplished. -Fr. Georges Florovsky


§ 20. For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils. This fearful anathema, brethren and sons beloved in Christ, we do not pronounce today, but our Savior first pronounced it (Matt. xii. 32): Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. St. Paul pronounced the same anathema (Gal. i. 6): I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. This same anathema the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the whole choir of God-serving fathers pronounced. All, therefore, innovating, either by heresy or schism, have voluntarily clothed themselves, according to the Psalm (cix. 18), ("with a curse as with a garment,") whether they be Popes, or Patriarchs, or Clergy, or Laity; nay, if any one, though an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Thus our wise fathers, obedient to the soul-saving words of St. Paul, were established firm and steadfast in the faith handed down unbrokenly to them, and preserved it unchanged and uncontaminate in the midst of so many heresies, and have delivered it to us pure and undefiled, as it came pure from the mouth of the first servants of the Word. Let us, too, thus wise, transmit it, pure as we have received it, to coming generations, altering nothing, that they may be, as we are, full of confidence, and with nothing to be ashamed of when speaking of the faith of their forefathers. - Encyclical of the Holy Eastern Patriarchs of 1848

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество
«Кто еси мимо грядый о нас невѣдущиiй, Елицы здѣ естесмо положены сущи, Понеже нам страсть и смерть повѣлѣ молчати, Сей камень возопiетъ о насъ ти вѣщати, И за правду и вѣрность къ Монарсѣ нашу Страданiя и смерти испiймо чашу, Злуданьем Мазепы, всевѣчно правы, Посѣченны зоставше топоромъ во главы; Почиваемъ въ семъ мѣстѣ Матери Владычнѣ, Подающiя всѣмъ своимъ рабомъ животь вѣчный. Року 1708, мѣсяца iюля 15 дня, посѣчены средь Обозу войсковаго, за Бѣлою Церковiю на Борщаговцѣ и Ковшевомъ, благородный Василiй Кочубей, судiя генеральный; Iоаннъ Искра, полковникъ полтавскiй. Привезены же тѣла ихъ iюля 17 въ Кiевъ и того жъ дня въ обители святой Печерской на семъ мѣстѣ погребены».

Monday, March 8, 2010

"The Jews" An excerpt from Dimitri's Cross: The Life and Letters of St. Dimitri Klepinin

An excerpt from Dimitri's Cross: The Life and Letters of St. Dimitri Klepinin
by Helene Arjakovsky-Klepinine
"The Jews"
What is heroism? We often misunderstand this notion, which we associate with striking brilliant action and great warlike deeds. But there is another sort of heroism that is carried out in the shadows and discreetly. The assistance the group at Lourmel was about to give to the Jews was of this type. A significant detail is that it was not until the dossier on Fr. Dimitri was turned over to the Israeli committee of Yad Vashem towards 1984 that I learned—through the testimony of Jews who had been saved by my father—that during the week my mother spent in the maternity hospital, a Jewish family had been accommodated in our room. I well remember the hidden staircase they used the day of a raid.

The pursuit of the Jews began soon after the armistice of June 1940. On September 27, the occupation authorities published a series of decrees intended to register the Jewish population of France. One highly symbolic moment was the famous raid on Vel'd'hiv, which is near the rue de Lourmel. At the end of the war there was a count: 75,721 Jews were deported and only 2,560 escaped. The Jews were seen by the Nazis as a religious rather than an ethnic group. They considered someone a Jew who either confessed or had confessed the Jewish religion or counted at least two Jews among his grandparents. On October 3, 1940, the Vichy government introduced the notion of the Jewish couple.

Parishioners who found themselves in danger because they were born Jews made entreaties to the French clergy. Vichy, in fact, took no account of their conversion to Christianity. There were some faithful of Jewish origin among the circle of Lourmel. In the first period, Fr. Dimitri was led to provide baptismal certificates to Russians who had the misfortune of having the first name Jacob or Simon. Then he provided certificates to those who, although they were of Jewish origin, had converted, for example upon marriage with an "Aryan." This first "transgression" of my father's was soon followed by other liberties to save non-baptized Jews as well.

Our family archives include three documents of particular interest which illustrate very well the steps a Jew had to take to avoid any mention of his being Jewish on his passport. They concern the wife of the man who became the historian of the concentration camps, George Wellers. He came to Lourmel in March 1942 to ask for a baptismal certificate for his wife. Fr. Dimitri testified that Anna Wellers was a parishioner of his church. The certificate was stamped by the police commissioner of the Javel quarter. But that was not enough. It also needed the testimony of the diocese administration on rue Daru. This document is much more complete, because it mentions Anna Wellers' parents and grandparents and certifies under oath (because there were no witnesses) that all six were Orthodox Christians. This new certificate was stamped by the president of the diocesan council and the general secretary.

Armed with these two papers, Wellers went to the fearsome General Commissariat for Jewish Questions. The French functionary's reply is a model of ambiguity: "I cannot deliver you a certificate of non-appurtenance to the Jewish race, although I have determined to consider you a non-Jew." This courageous decision was sufficient to save the life of Anna Wellers and for a long time preserved her husband, "spouse of an Aryan," from deportation. He would end up being sent to Buchenwald, but returned alive.

It was George Wellers who, in gratitude, would turn over Fr. Dimitri's dossier, which would be granted the title "Just among the Nations" by the Israeli committee of Yad Vashem. I had the opportunity to meet George in 1985. Born in St. Petersburg in 1905, he had kept unchanged in his immense memory the remembrance of his companions who had disappeared in the extermination camps, and after his liberation he decided to dedicate all his free time to them. In 1981 he published the first work that documented the "final solution." He showed me a document that moved me—on the evening of their departure for Germany, some Jews detained at Drancy signed a collective letter thanking the Christians of Lourmel who sent them packages. George Wellers died in 1991.

One detail struck me in the certificate given out by the diocese—the deposition of witness statements under oath. It referred me back to the testimony of T. Imbert, who had accompanied a Jewish woman friend to see Fr. Dimitri. She was so impressed by the formula of the oath, which invoked the flames of hell on anyone who committed perjury, that she insisted on being baptized rather than asking anyone to testify falsely.

Fr. Dimitri took great risks to establish these famous certificates. To be sure that he would recognize his new flock in case he encountered them, he glued each of their photographs on a card and learned his card file by heart. It occurred to him to create biographies. When it was a matter of women married to Jewish men, he arranged to find them good Russian girls' names such as Glebova or Ivanova. One day he was threatened from an unsuspected direction—that of his own ecclesiastical authorities. Undoubtedly frightened by the number of certificates he had to deliver, a diocesan functionary demanded that the priest produce his parish registers. Fr. Dimitri simply refused. "Those who are baptized are my spiritual children, and your conduct is not inspired by spiritual considerations, but to indulge the occupation authorities. The Church has always been a place of sanctuary for victims of barbarism. No, I will not let you see my parish registers."

Mother certainly participated in this scheme of baptismal certificates delivered to true and false Christians whose only wrong was to be called Silberstein or Lourie. Not only was she perfectly in the know, but she served as their godmother if things came to that point. One day when she saw that some of the baptismal certificates were marked in pencil with the letter "t," at first she thought it had to do with her own goddaughters or those of her sister-in-law Tatiana. But Fr. Dimitri, adopting an attitude which was at once mysterious and amused, replied to her that the letter "t" designated for him alone the false baptismal certificates. It referred to the French word tilleul (lime tree), which was translated in Russian by lipa, which, in a figurative sense, meant "substitute" or "ersatz." It was his humorous way of engaging in conspiracy.

"No, I am not a heroine," Mother told me later. "The only thing I can be proud of is that I never tried to turn your father aside from his dangerous activity. I never told him not to put our family in danger, contrary to what the Soviet novelist Elena Mikulina claims in her book Mother Maria."

One day Fr. Dimitri admitted to his friends that he was afraid. How many certificates had he drawn up saying that people belonged to his parish, and how many Jews had he baptized? Today no one can say. In an interview with a Jewish journalist, Lydia Blicher, Mother spoke about a hundred or so cards. What was admirable was that Fr. Dimitri was not content to help the people who presented themselves to him, but he himself went to people's houses when he knew they were in danger. This was the case of the very young Natasha Ruzhina. He was the one who went to find her and who brought her in her crib all the way across Paris to hide her at Lourmel. She told the story in a newspaper in Moldova, where she lived. Her family saved as a precious relic the Gospel book the priest gave her, in which he had written on the flyleaf, "Come to Me, all you who labor, and I will give you rest."


Tropaire, ton 1:
Par les souffrances que les saints ont endurées pour Toi
sois emploré, Seigneur,
et guéris toutes nos maladies:
nous t’en prions, ô Ami des hommes.

Tropar - Tone 1:
Through the sufferings which the saints have endured for Your sake,
O Lord, we beseech You
to heal all of our infirmities,
O Good Friend of Man.

Kontakion, ton 8. Sur: Commes premices:
Comme témoins de la vérité, et prédicateurs de la piété,
honorons dignement par des chants divinement inspirés
Dimitri, Marie, Georges et Elie,
ayant supporté les liens, les souffrances et l’injuste jugement,
et que par les martyre ont reçu la couronne inflétrissable.

Kondak - Tone 8:
As witnesses of truth and preachers of piety,
let us worthily honor through divinely inspired chants:
Dimitri, Maria, George and Elias,
who have borne the sufferings,
the bonds and unjust judgment,
in which like the martyrs
have received the imperishable crown.


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