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Liudmila Yu Knyazeva

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by Liudmila Yu Knyazeva   

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I had the good fortune to know personally Father Antony’s last lay sister, the now late nun Pavla (before taking the veil her name was Paraskeva) who told me a lot about Father Antony. She also passed on to me unique materials about him including lifetime video footage complete with a recording of Father Antony telling his own life story, along with some other documentary material.
During the last years of Pavla’s life I lived and worked together with her at the Monastery. I later wrote a drama one-act play based on this story. Called “The Ascent to Noah’s Ark”, it was performed at the municipal drama theatre in the city of Istra early this year.
My Symphony No.1 is a piece of programme music and I used selections from it for the musical accompaniment of the one-act play.
Dear readers, I would appreciate any comments you might care to make about this book. My e-mail address is:
Respectfully yours,

This book is about the blind monk who suffered in GULAG. This story is based on fact, nothing in it is fictionalized. Excerpt

In 1901, long before Antony was born, his father and grandfather on the mother’s side, once got on a steamer and sailed to Saratov on the Volga. In the city’s cathedral they had the good fortune to meet St. John of Kronstadt, who gave them his blessing to abandon their estate and all possessions, and flee from the tornado of revolutionary change. Telling his own children later about this fateful meeting Dmitri Fyodorovich quoted the words of St. John of Kronstadt: “Spare nothing but your life. Drop everything, flee from your village. Take your family with you and run!”
Dmitry Semyonovich took the prophetic advance warning of St. John of Kronstadt seriously. And indeed by pulling up his stakes and fleeing he gave his family an extra ten years of relatively quiet life. He gained valuable time to give his children education, to temper their spirit and character and fortify their faith.
In 1928 came and the Bolsheviks banned the local parish.
On the night of Good Friday a group of local militant atheists led by members of the new local government burst into the Semyonovs’ house demanding that Dmitry Fyodorovich, the parish warden, hand over the keys to the Archangel Michael Church. They planned to convert the church into a clubhouse, you see.
He flatly refused to surrender the keys as he would not let the blasphemes desecrate the holy temple. Well, the Bolsheviks beat a retreat and found another place for the clubhouse but not before they burnt the Archangel Michael Church down. Dmitry Fyodorovich, for his refusal to surrender the keys was shot summarily. Before he was buried they stripped him naked and threw him into a hole in the ground without bothering to put him into a coffin even. They drove an aspen stake, the earth mound info wrote: “Enemy of the great Soviet people”. Good Lord, it’s unbelievable! And yet that’s exactly what happened and how it happened. Every word of it is true (let us pray for the innocent martyr Dmitry and for the repose of his soul).


His soul shall reside with the righteous.
And his memory will live on in generations.

Professional Reviews

Dmitry Skrynnikov ( BERLIN )

Hello, Lyudmila.
With huge interest I all over again have heard to a fragment from the book, and have then read through the text of the book. Music sounds hardly more loudly, than it would be desirable.
Reading the book, with horror you trust, that everything described there, was actually. But if to remember that fact, that bolsheviks under Lenin's order have shot imperial family anything to be surprised it is not necessary. You have brightly enough described those tortures and tests which fall to a lot of father Antony. I thought, and here if with me would happen such, forces in general would suffice to live further?
Probably, as they say, the God helps such people. At him « the third eye », i.e. ability to see and expect has been opened. In fact not we solve when to leave in the world other. All we know date of the birth, and nobody knows dates of death. There are exceptions which concern here to such here to seers. In Bulgaria, for example, Varna, has predicted day of the death. But at her « the third eye » too has been opened. Plus to everything, the people bearing goods, under the law of circulation of goods and a harm in the nature kindly also comes back. The person doing the blessing, receives additional energy from Space. Only I can explain to these, that father Antony has coped with the tests which have dropped out on his share.

You ask in the book to the reader such questions on which not all at once can answer, and some people, I think, cannot answer in general. I think, the last concerns to young generation which the life still has not pulled about.
Thank God, we live now during such time when people do not know on personal experience, that such famine, illnesses, punishments.
That bolsheviks in those days got up, does not give in in general to any description.
It is impossible to explain, for example, words, that such taste or a pain. It should be felt, gone through.
You managed to describe brightly enough all horror of that time. Reading the book, people try on written to themselves. At whom the big life experience, can experience the contents of the book much more deeply and more full.
I think, for this reason cheap detectives were very popular recently. They are easily read, the events described there, happen presently. And especially to think and strain it is not necessary. As they still also are thought up. I.e. it is books for rest.
Your book is written for work of mind. Reading it, you represent those severe years when the human life, serving to the God did not cost not a stiver. You have opened and have shown the reader one more black page of our state from the impartial side. For a choice of such theme, I think, several years ago on a head have not stroked.

Thanks you for your Work.

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