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Orthodox Yelets
Lipetsk region > Orthodox Yelets

Orthodox Yelets

The people in Yelets were always very religious, they built many churches and monasteries and supported them. The people of the city lived according with the biddings of the old Russians and the close relations with the Orthodox Church, thats why Yelets could and must be named the Christ loving city. Mother Mary spread her cover over Yelets from the times of Tamerlan, because only the miracle could save Rus from the invasion. And the miracle appeared. The Prince of Moscow Vassiliy Dmitrievich ordered to bring the old icon of Mother Mary Vladimirskaya from the city of Vladimir to Moscow. August, 26, 1395, the Moscow people met this icon and at the very time the terrible Asian invader, who was never afraid of something or somebody and never stepped back, after the 15-days staying near Yelets went back to the Asia and nobody chased him.

The legend says that at the very time when the Moscow people met the icon of Mother Mary Vladimirskaya Tamerlan slept in his tent. And in his dream he saw A woman, beautiful and great, with lots of warriors, looked like lightening. This Great Woman ordered Tamerlan immediately to go off from Rus and never damage it. Woke up, Tamerlan asked all his wise men and they told him that he saw The Great Defender of Russia, Mother Mary. Many people think this story is unreal, but the event in Yelets history was. Tamerlan understood that he couldnt invade Russia, he turned his army and came back to his land. The icon of Mother Mary Yeletskaya is now one of the most honoured in the city. And its not surprising that the real piety of Yelets people make St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, who had many friends from the people of the city, feel the holy delight. I love this city, as if I was born here, said Tikhon of Zadonsk. Now and then Yelets is the real ecclesiastical centre not only in the Lipetsk region, but in Russia as a whole. And this event closely connected with the names of the people who served in the main? church of the city - Voznesensky Cathedral (the Ascension Cathedral) - hieromonk Sergiy Petrov, (the future metropolitan of Odessa and Kherson), archimandrite Vissarion (Matichin), protoiereus Nicolay (Ovchinnikov), in monasticism and schema Nectariy , hegumen Valeriy (Mirchuk), archimadrite in schema Serafim, confessor founded under Annunciation Church in the village Ozhega of Volovo district womens monastic community But the real soul of Voznesensky Cathedral from 1958 up to his death in 1981 was archimandrite Isaaky (Vinogradov) . During the I World War he went to the front. He found himself in the emigration with the Volunteer Army, in Paris he entered Theological Institute and became a monk. After some time he was in Yelets. From 1958 up to his death he was the dean of the Ascension Cathedral and the Dean of Yelets District.. Father Isaaky was great prayer-reader, real spiritual father for the thousands of people, who came to him for advise from the whole country. In 1993 the Orthodox Sunday School was opened in Voznesensky Cathedral. Not only children, but adults are studying there. In 1996 the Orthodox School named after Tikhon of Zadonsk was opened in Yelets. It was opened under the initiative of the dean of the Ascension Cathedral and with the blessing of the bishop. Every tourist, visiting Yelets and seeing the amount of churches in the city, asks how many churches are there in Yelets now and how many churches were there before. And always Yelets people say: in 1918 there were 33 but one. Now there are less churches, but, nevertheless, all the visitors are surprised by their amount.

 
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