Accounts of the Martyrs of the Chinese Orthodox Church who fell victim in Beijing in 1900.

Icon of chinese orthodox Martyrs. Murdered during Boxer Rebellion (1900). Canonized before 1917.

The Boxer Rebellion is one of the little known historical pages of Russian Spiritual Mission in China. The year 1900 is known as the time of the most active activity of the Yihetuan – mostly a religious movement called the Boxer Rebellion following the incorrect British translation. Directed against foreigners, its ideology lay in anti-Christianity. When the uprising enveloped the entire capital, Director of the Russian Spiritual Mission, Archimandrite Innocent (Figurovskii, future Metropolitan of Beijing and China) left Beiguan with his collaborators and moved to the Russian embassy. Along with the church accessories they brought with them an ancient icon of St. Nicholas of Mozhaisk, brought from Albazin by Fr. Maxim Leontiev back in 1685. Chinese government allotted 10 pikemen to guard the Mission, but on June 11 it was burned to the ground, destroying its library, archive and sacristy. Yihetuans have tortured to death 222 Orthodox Chinese, which are considered the first Chinese martyrs. Among them – hieromartyr Metrophanes, first Chinese priest consecrated in Japan by its enlightener, St. Nicholas. By the intercessions of the Mission’s Director, the Holy Synod has appointed a liturgical celebration to the holy Chinese New-Martyrs (Decree №2874 from April 22, 1902). Their holy relics, many of which turned out to be incorrupt, were buried in the crypt of the new church dedicated to All Martyrs. The “Praise” following their lives is written by Archimandrite Avraamii (Chasovnikov), who, together with Archimandrite Innocent, was a witness of the horrors of the Boxer Rebellion. The “Praise to the slain” was first published in “Izvestiia Bratstva Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi v Kitae”, №8 (July 1, 1905). – Ed.


Part I

Priest MITROPHAN. Priest Mitrophan, his Chinese name being Chang Yangji, was born in 1855, on the 10th day of the 12th month. Before reaching twenty years of age, he was appointed to the post of catechist. At 25 he was ordained to the priesthood by Nikolai, bishop of Japan. He lost his father in early childhood and was raised under the care of his grandmother Ekaterina and his mother Marina; his mother was a teacher at a school for females. At the time he experienced many troubles. When Archimandrite Pallady became head of the Mission for the second time, he charged his teacher Jǔrén, Lóng Yuán (举人隆源) to take great care in educating Mitrophan, in order to prepare him for eventual ordination. Mitrophan was a humble person, very cautious and quiet, peaceful and not impassioned; even when faced with great insults, he did not try to justify himself. Archimandrite Pallady's successor was Archimandrite Flavian, who later became Metropolitan of Kiev. From the time of his arrival in Běijīng (北京, Peking), Archimandrite Pallady charged him, as well as the teacher Long Yuan, to try to have Mitrophan attain what had been predestined (that is the priestly rank). Mitrophan did not want to accept ordination and constantly refused, saying "how can a person with insufficient abilities and charity dare to accept this great rank?" But under the forceful urging of Archimandrite Flavian and the persuasion of the teacher, Mitrophan obeyed, even though he knew that by accepting priesthood, his end would be inauspicious. Under Archimandrite Flavian, Priest Mitrophan assisted him in translating and checking books. For fifteen years, he tirelessly served God, while suffering many hurts and insults both from his own people and outsiders, he finally had a mild breakdown. Sometime after this spent three years living outside the mission, receiving half of his previous salary. All his life the Priest Mitrophan was not avaricious and many took advantage of this.

23.06.2018Read more

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose – The Future of Russia and the End of the World.

A Lecture given by Fr. Seraphim at the Youth Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, San Francisco, August 3, 1981.

Every Orthodox Christian is placed between two worlds: this fallen world where we try to work out our salvation, and the other world, heaven, the homeland towards which we are striving and which, if we are leading a true Christian life, gives us the inspiration to live from day to day in Christian virtue and love.

But the world is too much with us.  We often, and in fact nowadays we usually forget the heavenly world. The pressure of worldliness is so strong today that we often lose track of what our life as a Christian is all about.  Even if we may be attending church services frequently and consider ourselves “active” church members, how often our churchliness is only something external, bound up with beautiful services and the whole richness of our Orthodox tradition of worship, but lacking in real inner conviction that Orthodoxy is the faith that can save our soul for eternity, lacking in real love for and commitment to Christ, the incarnate God and Founder of our faith. How often our church life is just a matter of habit, something we go through outwardly but which does not change us inwardly, does not make us grow spiritually and lead us to eternal life in God.

21.06.2018Read more

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose – The unbroken continuity of the orthodox monastic tradition (18th Century Russian's Monasticism).

The great monastic movement which began with St. Sergius, the great Abba of the Northern Thebaid, came to an end with the conclusion of the 17th century. New historical conditions – chiefly the Old Believer schism and the Westernizing reforms of Peter I – made no longer possible that harmony between the ascetic fervor of the best sons and daughters of Russia, and the profound piety of the believing Russian people, which led to the creation of innumerable new monasteries and convents under the inspiration of the Byzantine monastic ideal. We have seen, indeed, that the end of the period of the Northern Thebaid is one of decline – but it is a decline only by comparison with the astonishing monastic blossoming of the 14th to 16th centuries; by comparison with almost any other Orthodox land or period, the 17th century Russian monastic movement would have to be called a flourishing one that produced at least 45 canonized Saints1 (and many were never canonized owing to 18th-century conditions) and a large number of new monasteries.

At the end of the 18th century, a new great epoch of monasticism began with the great Elder Paisius Velichkovsky, the Abba of a new monastic movement whose current has not entirely died out even in our own times. That must be the subject of another book.

20.06.2018Read more