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Re: [orthodox-synod] Hieromartyr Michael of Chistopol

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  • VladMoss@aol.com
    SCHEMA-BISHOP MICHAEL OF CHISTOPOL Bishop Michael (Yershov) was born on September 17, 1911, in the village of Mamykovo in Kazan province, in a peasant family.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2003
      SCHEMA-BISHOP MICHAEL OF CHISTOPOL

      Bishop Michael (Yershov) was born on September 17, 1911, in the village
      of Mamykovo in Kazan province, in a peasant family. His father, Basil, was a
      Bolshevik. His mother's name was Daria. The father persecuted the son and did
      not allow him to go to church, as a result of which he went blind.
      Afterwards, when he repented, he recovered his sight.

      When Michael was twelve years old, he was receiving communion a church
      in Chistopol when an elder saw him and said:

      "This lad will take upon himself the sins of the whole people."

      He was tonsured into the mantia in 1927, and in 1928 was ordained to the
      diaconate. In 1930 he was ordained to the priesthood by the Catacomb
      Archbishop and future Hieromartyr Nectarius (Trezvinsky) in Kazan. He then
      wandered from place to place serving Christians of the Catacomb Church.

      Fr. Michael's first arrest was on March 3, 1931, for the Faith and the
      Orthodox Church. He was condemned to eight years in prison for anti-Soviet
      agitation. He was arrested a second time on December 12, 1943, for church
      preaching; and on August 18, 1944 he was sentenced to death by shooting. He
      spent 81 days in the death cell; they starved him the whole time. On November
      9, 1944, they commuted the death sentence to 15 years' hard labour.

      Fr. Michael passed through almost all the prisons of the Soviet Gulag:
      Kazan, Arzamas, Vorkuta, Olga, Bannino, Sakhalin, Nagayeva, Magadan, Suman,
      Kolyma, Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk, Bratsk, Taipet...

      It is thought that in the 1950s Fr. Michael was secretly consecrated
      Bishop of Chistopol in the camps, and in this capacity took part, according
      to one source, in the Nikolsky Council of the Catacomb Church in 1961 through
      Monk John. However, the real existence of this Council is doubted by many.

      In 1958 he was released from camp in Kazan, but almost immediately was
      given another 25-year sentence in Potma station, Mordovia. He spent 15 years
      in irons. All his hair and the hairs of his beard were pulled out one by one.


      Bishop Michael possessed the gifts of healing and prophecy. He healed
      many criminals, possessed, lame, blind and sick people, and gave them
      instructions on how to live well. He healed the withered hand of John Kokarev
      and the legs of Basil Kalinin, who had lain without moving for three years.
      He came up to him, took him by the hand and said:

      "Get up and walk."

      He healed Gregory Rusakov's leprous face, which was already stinking,
      and took the whole crust from his face.

      A.S. Dubina reported that Bishop Michael died in camp on June 4, 1977.
      According to another report, however, he died in a special prison hospital on
      June 4, 1974.

      However, his relatives heard that he had been transferred to the Kazan
      special psychiatric hospital. It seems that the secret was let out by the pr
      ocurator of the town of Kazan when he was receiving his relatives. It is
      possible that the authorities wanted to hide him from the believing people
      because of his great popularity - he was known as "the Tsar of Mordovia" and
      people came to catch a glimpse of him through the barbed wire from all over
      the Soviet Union. Bishop Michael himself prophesied that they were going to
      hide him, and he ordered them not to believe the story of his death. All his
      spiritual children were convinced that he had been hidden away in a
      psychiatric hospital so as to be annihilated there.

      Bishop Michael was a fervent opponent of the Moscow Patriarchate.
      According to Eugene Vagin, he believed that it was wrong to have any contact
      whatsoever with Moscow Patriarchal churches.

      (Sources: Les Cahiers du Samizdat, April, 1978; Russkoye Vozrozhdeniye, 1978,
      N 4, pp. 39-42; Schema-Monk Epiphanius (Chernov), Tserkov' Katakombnaya na
      Zemlye Rossijskoj (MS), 1980; I.M. Andreyev, Russia's Catacomb Saints,
      Platina: St. Herman Monastery Press, 1982, chapter 42; Chronicle of Current
      Events, no. 32, p. 80; Bishop Ambrose (von Sievers), "Episkopat
      Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Katakombnoj Tserkvi", Russkoye Pravoslaviye, N 4 (8),
      1997, pp. 14-15; "Katakombnaya Tserkov': Tainij Soboer 1948g.", Russkoye
      Pravoslaviye, N 5 (9), 1997, pp. 20, 27; I.I. Osipova, Skvoz' Ogn' Muchenij I
      Vody Slyoz", Moscow: Serebryanniye Niti, 1998, pp. 180-182, 259)


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