Introduction to the Church of the Virgin and the Battle of Moscow – Rossiyskaya Gazeta
In 2021, the news feed brought together two important events – the 80th anniversary of the start of the counter-offensive near Moscow and a large church holiday – the Introduction to the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos. The introduction to the temple of the Most Holy Theotokos, unlike many other church celebrations, has a fixed date – December 4. And it coincides with the end of the defensive period of the Moscow battle and the beginning of the counteroffensive. Skeptics will object: “There are many battles during the war, there are also enough holidays in the Church, coincidences are inevitable!” And they will be right. First, let’s remember the brightest. The rest are at the end of the article.
Everyone probably knows today that Hitler attacked the USSR on the Day of All Saints Who Shone in the Land of Russia – thanks to the newsletter in the chats, he knows how to explain the deep connection of events with just one gif. But eighty years ago, only people who could see the spiritual essence of events could see in such a coincidence a good sign. People with the gift of insight. This is what Metropolitan Veniamin (Fedchenkov) of Aleutian and North America made on July 2, 1941, with a huge crowd of people at a grand rally in Madison Square Garden (New York): There is only one day of the year when the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of “All Saints of the Russian Land” from the beginning of Christianity today. This significant coincidence, undoubtedly, is not accidental!
Metropolitan Nikolai presents medals for the defense of Moscow. Photo: pokrov.pro
The end of the war – and this is also common knowledge – is no less symbolic: the main hostilities of the Great Patriotic War were completed on the day of memory of the Great Martyr George the Victorious, which in 1945, the victorious year, coincided with the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ – Easter.
And these are not the only coincidences! Exactly 80 years ago, on December 4, 1941, the defensive period of the Moscow battle ended, Hitler’s plan to encircle and capture the Soviet capital failed. The counteroffensive of our troops began on December 5 and ended – another significant combination! – on Christmas Day 1942. Skeptics will object: about church holidays in the winter of 1941 – 1942. in the atheistic USSR, no one thought. Not certainly in that way. And the feast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos and, of course, Christmas are important events for believers. And there were many more believers at the beginning of the war than it might seem.
Archpriest Pavel Uspensky. Photo: hram-predtecha.ru
Did Muscovites in 1941 connect these two events – a church holiday and the beginning of a counteroffensive? This is the question! To begin with, neither the press nor the radio directly announced: “The counter-offensive near Moscow has begun!” Stalin was careful. David Ortenberg, editor-in-chief of the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, recalled that on December 5, joy reigned in the editorial office – an issue for December 6 was being prepared with a list of settlements recaptured from the Germans. But in the evening, the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) A.S. Shcherbakov said: “You are running ahead. It was clear: the instruction came from Stalin, the number had to be redone.
Although, according to eyewitnesses, Muscovites felt that a turning point was taking place. Take the same headlines. If in October and November there were calls: “We will not give up Moscow!”, “All as one to defend Moscow!”, “Not a step back!” There was something in the air, and it was felt. A certain informant from the NKVD special group reported on December 4: in the Moscow queues, many believe that Moscow is out of danger at all, and that Hitler will soon be finished … “- oh, if only!
And the church holiday, such a bright, such childishly pure holiday of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos, at least revived this hope. Yes, the open temples could be read on the fingers. Yes, there were also few who dared to come to these churches for divine services. Mostly elderly women, old women – “white handkerchiefs,” as they are called in the Church. But they were! And divine services went on, including on the day of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos – a feast for the three-year-old girl Mary, who independently ascended the stairs in the Jerusalem Temple two thousand years ago. The holiday, which theologians call the commemoration, the beginning of our salvation. What an amazing coincidence!
Well, in order not to go into the realm of guesswork at all, in the final I will refer to one important document. This is a letter from Nikolai (Yarushevich), Metropolitan of Krutitsky and Kolomensky. It was sent to GG Karpov, Chairman of the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR. Letter of petition for rewarding the clergy of Moscow with the medal “For the Defense of Moscow”. Moscow.
“In presenting the semester of the clergy of the city of Moscow, who showed special patriotic activity during the months of the defense of the capital, I ask your petition to award the indicated representatives of the clergy with a medal.”
Kuznetsov Mikhail Georgievich Photo: church.necropol.org
Unfortunately, we know very little about these heroes. But read this list – these people also forged our Victory.
1. Palitsyn Alexey Mikhailovich, born 1881, nationality: Russian. In October 1941 – January 1942 – Archbishop of Volokolamsk, administrator of the Moscow diocese, after the evacuation of Metropolitan Sergius at the head of the Moscow diocese, organized private services in the churches of Moscow with the delivery of patriotic speeches that strengthened faith in victory and instilled a spirit of courage. He called – in his appeals to churches – a collection of money for the needs of the defense of Moscow and organized this collection.
2. Kolchitsky Nikolay Fedorovich, born in 1890, nationality: Russian. Archpriest, rector of the Patriarchal Cathedral in Moscow and Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate. Before evacuation to Moscow, st. Ulyanovsk (October 14, 1941), during September and the first half of October was an active assistant to Metropolitan Sergius in disseminating his patriotic messages among believers. He himself performed patriotic prayers in the cathedral and made speeches with the help of songs to courage, to help the Motherland in defending Moscow. Under him, the cathedral contributed 100 thousand rubles to the defense.
3. Bazhanov Nikolai Pavlovich, born 1891, nationality: Russian. Archpriest, rector of the Resurrection Church on Borisovsky lane, Moscow. He was the head of the fire protection team in houses No. 5 and 7 on Krasnoproletarsky deadlock (84th house management), personally took part in extinguishing incendiary bombs. As a priest, he organized the service of patriotic prayers in his church and made speeches with the help of messages to defend Moscow.
4. Tsvetkov Pavel Ivanovich, born 1890, nationality: Russian. Archpriest, Dean of the 2nd district of Moscow. Rector of the Elias Church in Cherkizov, Moscow, st. Moscow. Organized a bomb shelter in the temple. He personally participated in digging a reservoir near the Stalinets stadium – for defense purposes. He organized the collection of non-ferrous scrap (2 wagons) in the parish for the needs of defense. He made patriotic speeches. He organized a collection of money among believers for defense – about 50 thousand rubles.
5. Markov Stefan Markovich, born 1883, nationality: Russian. Archpriest, Dean of the 1st district of Moscow. Rector of the Church of the Sign in Pereyaslavskaya Sloboda, Moscow. Participated in the fire department of his house management. In the temple he collected warm clothes for the army. I addressed the church ambo with the defense of Moscow. Organized a collection of 80 thousand rubles from the temple for defense.
6. Ponomarev Arkady Konstantinovich, born 1884, nationality: Russian. Archpriest, rector of the Peter and Paul Church, which is near the Yauzsky gate, Moscow. He organized a bomb shelter in the temple. Organized the collection of silver items for defense purposes. Produced among the believers collection for the defense. Delivered encouraging patriotic sermons.
7. Romankov Vasily Filippovich, born 1891, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. Pastor of the church of the Pyatnitsky cemetery in Moscow. He organized a collection among believers for the needs of defense – 250 thousand rubles, a collection of warm clothes for the army. Participated in fire protection in the territory of the house management. In the church he conducted patriotic conversations.
Archbishop Alexy (Palitsyn). Photo: wikipedia.org
8. Kuznetsov Mikhail Georgievich, born 1890, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. Rector of the church at st. Losinoostrovskaya (Babushkin town). He often spoke at church with patriotic speeches. He arranged special patriotic prayers. Collected money in the church – for the defense of Moscow. With his participation, about 60 thousand rubles were contributed to defense.
9. Sollertinsky Vyacheslav Stepanovich, born 1872, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. Rector of the Transfiguration Church, which is on the Transfiguration Square in Moscow. In the temple he conducted encouraging patriotic conversations; organized a bomb shelter in the temple; collected things among believers for the needs of the army. Monetary donations for the defense of the country were collected by him about 30 thousand rubles.
10. Filonov Petr Dmitrievich, born 1876, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. Rector of the Church of Unexpected Joy in Maryina Roshcha, Moscow, Russia. Moscow. I set up a bomb shelter in the temple. Frequent performances from the pulpit supported the spirit of the faithful. He went around the houses of believers in order to maintain vigor and courage. He organized a collection in the temple for the defense of the country during the divine services.
11. Uspensky Pavel Stepanovich, born 1885, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. Rector of the Church of the Danilov Cemetery in Moscow. Believe in victory. Together with the church council, he organized gatherings for the defense both in the church and in the homes of believers.
12. Lepekhin Pavel Vasilievich, born 1880, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. The rector of the Nikolaev Church in Khamovniki (Teply lane) in Moscow. In difficult days he behaved like a patriotic shepherd. He organized patriotic services in the church, accompanying them with speeches of patriotic content. Disposed believers to sacrifice for the needs of defense. He personally collected money and belongings in the church and donated personal belongings for defense.
13. Kazansky Fedor Pavlovich, born 1874, nationality: Russian. Archpriest. Dean of the 3rd district of Moscow. The rector of the church of the Vagankovsky cemetery in Moscow, in October 1941 – January 1942 he was the rector of the church in Pavlovo-Posad. In the temple, he organized systematic special services with the pronunciation of patriotic conversations. He took part in the funeral of several dozen workers killed during the enemy taxation at one of the factories, and delivered a patriotic speech, and during the funeral a new raid was made on the city. He went around the houses of believers with encouragement and suggestions for sacrifices for the needs of defense.
14. Larin Sergey Ivanovich, born 1908, nationality: Russian. Now – Bishop of Kirovograd, vicar of the Odessa diocese. In October 1941 – January 1942 – the Renovationist Bishop of Zvenigorod, who ruled the Renovationist Moscow diocese instead of the evacuated Metropolitan of Vvedensky. In the churches of the city he organized private services with speeches on patriotic themes, inspired believers to defend the capital and to make sacrifices for the needs of the defense of Moscow. He addressed the believers with written messages of a patriotic character expressing their faith in victory over the enemy.