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Some features of monastic self-sacrifice in the Mordovian region (16-18th centuries)

nekotory features of monastic self-sacrifice in the Mordovian region (16-18th centuries)

V.V. Semelyov


Work is presented by department of the theory and cultural history of Research institute of the humanities at the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor A.V. Martynenko

Article is devoted to formation of orthodox monkhood in the territory of the Mordovian region. Traditions of monastic self-sacrifice are the integral and important part of spiritual experience and cultural heritage of Mordovia since 16th century. An important element of spiritual culture of the period of formation and development of Orthodoxy in the region is the starchestvo which bright representatives were Gerasim Krasnoslobodsky, Matvei, Isaaky, the abbot Feodosiy, Feodor Sanaksarsky.

V. Semelev


(16th-18th CENTURIES)

The theme of the paper is the development of the institution of the Orthodox monks on the territory of Mordovia. The important part of the Orthodox spiritual culture of this region was so-called starchestvo (spiritual eldership). The main representatives of Mordovian starchestvo were Gerasim Krasnoslobodsky, Matthew, Isaac, Father Superior Theodosius and Feodor of Sanaksar.

The process of Christianization of a mordva which dragged on for several centuries had rather difficult character. So, the historian and the ethnographer N.F. Mokshin in this occasion notes: "Christianization of the Mordovian people - the difficult, long and contradictory process anyway interfaced in structure of other, historically much broader and multiple-valued process of joining of the Mordovian people to the Russian state and the subsequent its development as a part of Russia" [10, page 144].

The mordva Epiphany which began with the second half of the 16th century of willows whole come to the end in the middle of the 18th century, was important means not only ethnoconfessional, but also is broader - its ethnosocial integration as a part of the Russian social organism,

adaptations in structure of this state education which became its Fatherland.

The earliest documents on a baptism of a mordva belong to the beginning of the 16th century. In historical documents of 1508 it is told about novokreshchentse-Mordvinian Fedor who as a tolmach had to accompany "from Kolomna to Ukraine * the Nogai ambassadors" [5, page 79]. In the decree of the tsar Fedor Alekseyevich on granting privileges to a mordva in case of a baptism of May 16, 1681 it is told: "And as they are christened, and in any taxes will be given them privileges for six years" [10, page 147].

From 1628 to the 1710th in Orthodoxy most often passed the Tatar and Mordovian murza getting thus titles of the Russian princes and large manors with the numerous peasantry [8] into the period.

At the end of the 17th century the distribution of Christianity among a mordva accepted mass character. The certificate to that is a significant amount of monks, natives of a mordva. Among the first monks of Sarov Monastery, judging by lists of 1731, not less than a third were Moksha of the Arzamas and Temni-kovsky Counties [2].

Figures of cherneets of Dionysius who founded Krasnoslo-bodsky Holy Transfiguration Monastery, and the monk Gerasim Krasnoslobodsky in the 50th of the 17th century after the rewritten Charter of monastery and also the founder Sanaksarsky of the monastery of the abbot Feodosiy, subsequently one of the first Christian educators of the people of Eastern Siberia are distinguished from representatives of monastic self-sacrifice in the territory of the Mordovian region.

The monk Matvei who founded in 1573 Shatsky Cherneeva of deserts who for the missionary activity got the nickname "Mordovian apostle" is known [3, page 32]. The aged man Matvei and his successors in a century christened actually all pagans the district, got extensive flock, attached on the Wednesday a lot of mordva, accepted inocheskiya tonsured. Among all monasteries of the Mordovian region of Matveeva of deserts was considered as the largest missionary center which had serious impact on formation of Christianity among a mordva.

The history of the Mamontovy desert is also closely connected with the history of distribution and strengthening of Orthodoxy in the Mordovian region. It was specified in documents of Shatsky archive that in 1629 on command of the local land owner nun Marfa Ivanovna it was authorized to monk Mamont to open deserts for the sake of the Prelate Nikolay on the Nikolsky glade [9, page 6-7].

Monks of the Mamontovy desert intensively were engaged in enlightenment among the mordva professing the pagan beliefs. Certainly, monks-missionaries did not solve the main task of the activity - Christianization of all Mordovian population. However they not just christened a mordva, but also awakened in novokreshchenets aspiration

to special spiritual life. The certificate of a fruitful inochesky mission among adherents of ancient pagan cults is the fact that among monks of Sarov Monastery at the beginning of the XVIII century there were many natives of the Moksha villages of Ponizovya Mokshi and Tsna.

Other influential monastic monastery of the Mordovian edge became Troitsk Ver-hotsensky deserts, being located in the thick of the Moksha population living on Tsna's coast. In HUP-HUSh of centuries of Verkhotsen-Skye of deserts played a significant role Christianizations of a mordva, having left behind thousands of pagans turned into Orthodoxy. Spirituality of monks, rules of the internal organization of community were an example for many new brotherhoods which arose in the Tambov region.

At the same time the Tambov historian I.I. Du-bacuov, characterizing the general condition of local monkhood in the XVII century, concluded that "Shatsko-Tambovsky monastic chronicles are in effect mournful chronicles" [6, page 36]. The scientist was surprised the poverty reigning in one and all twenty monasteries of edge. Vyshenskaya of deserts, for example, "had no grounds and income and did not happen, tokmo there are hay to a mowing hundred shocks and bee to the plant small number" [6, page 45]. The Tambov Voznesensky's mother superior of convent Ekaterina Ushakova reported in questionnaires that real estate any was not available for sisters, and what was, burned down in the fire of 1724 when all wooden Tambov died [11, page 55-72].

In the majority of monasteries of edge, even in such safe as, for example, Kozlowski Troitsk, the financial situation of monks was rather difficult and was characterized by very severe conditions of life and managing. Almost all known causes of death of monasteries, such as natural disasters, ruin from excessive state requisitions or attacks of thuggish bands, had external origin.

For Christianization of the considered region the city the Ring road had serious value. After transferring of a jail having turned -

Some features of monastic self-sacrifice in the Mordovian region (HUT-HUSH of centuries)

be sewed to the village Old the Ring road the Tatars who soon underwent violent Christianization occupied generally. The Christian layer in Kadom to the middle of the 17th century was sufficient to organize arrival, to build the temple and even to found the monastery - Old and Kadomsky Troitsk deserts. She was obliged by the emergence to the monk Jonah who in 1652 put the temple and collected around it a number of chernets [4, page 63]. The patriarch Nikon took new monastery under protection and attributed deserts to the "home" monastery - to the Istra Voskresensky. For maintenance of economy Troitsk deserts received several country families from number novokreshchen and the small number of the earth near the village. However after a while extremely adverse attitude towards monks neighboring mordvy-pagan and Muslims became the reason of fast falling by Sta-ro-Kadomskoy of monastery.

An important circumstance the fact that from among her monks there was Sanaksarsky's founder the monastery aged man Feodosiy, more than twenty years of the selfless activity given Sanaksara

is represented

The most salutary and close cooperation during all historical periods connected two cities - Temnikov and Arzamas. The Arzamas monk Isaaky put Sarov Monastery, the sanaksarsky prior celibate priest Feodor Ushakov restored the Arzamas Alekseevsky female community. The Arzamas monks quite often passed into temnikovsky and krasnoslobodsky brotherhoods, monks of Sarov Monastery promoted economic much, and, above all - to the spiritual growth of the Serafimo-Diveevsky monastery and its communities which extended on several counties. Official borders of provinces in monastic making in general had no value, and borders diocesan always remained rather transparent not to interfere with interaction of the inochesky organizations, by the nature inclined to cooperation and the union.

In 1764. The Saransk district of the Tambov diocese Krasnoslobodsky had 63 temples and 7 monasteries, the district - 35 temples and 6 monasteries, the Insarsky district - 44 temples and two monasteries [8].

With cancellation of patriarchate the Mordovian edge was spiritually supported by locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne. Ioanno-Bogoslovsky and Mikhailo-Arkhangelsky temples of the Makarovsky monastery were under construction on blessing of the metropolitan Stefan Yavorsky; blessing of the locum tenens was asked at construction of new temples in Ryabkinska and Sanaksarska deserts, at foundation of the Saransk Peter and Paul monastery, at laying of Trinity Cathedral in Krasnoslobodsk, Spassky Cathedral in Tem-nikove, the Pyatnitsky desert near Settlements, at construction of the first cells and the temple of the Predte-chensky monastery in Krasnoslobodsk.

The greatest contribution to development of Orthodoxy in the Mordovian region was made by the bishop Tambov Theophilus (1788-1811) [8]. At lord Theophilus Sa-naksarsky, Krasnoslobodsky Spaso-Preobrazhensky, Saransk Peter and Paul monasteries were completely created, dozens of temples, rural and city were again constructed or remade. The lord blessed opening of the first classical educational institution in the Mordovian region - the Saransk spiritual gymnasium.

Especially missionary activity of monks Sanaksar-sky Sretenka, Gulyaevsky Spaso-Preobrazhensky, Atemarska Voznesenskaya, the Saransk Ilyinsky desert of the 17th century, Kras-noslobodsky Spaso-Preobrazhenskoye, Saransk Peter and Paul monasteries, Ryabkinska Uspenska and the Sarov desert in the 18th century was important

It should be noted that in the territory of the Mordovian region there was a whole galaxy of a starchestvo leaving far away from monasteries. The 17th century opened a name of the celibate priest Gerasim who was a confessor of monks Krasnoslobodska Spasska, Ryabkinska Uspenska and the Sarov Uspenskaya the desert. In hundred years after death of the righteous person of his power were found netlen-

ny. To the middle of the 20th of the 20th century the remains of the aged man Gerasim were based in a crypt of the Red and suburban monastery, were not thrown out and burned by Bolsheviks [8] yet.

In the 18th century the Mordovian edge was glorified by the Reverend Theodore (Ushakov), Sanaksarsky's reducer the monastery which is widely esteemed by the believing people. From the biography it is known that after several years of heartrending experiences he on personal permission of the empress Elizabeth Petrovna was tonsured in monks of Alexander Nevsky Lavra under the name of Theodore in which it began the senile spiritual and tutorial activity.

In 1759 the aged man Theodore (Ushakov) moved to Sanaksarskaya of deserts with the pupils and schoolgirls. The empress Caterina II Ucasom of April 23, 1763 allowed to tonsure in monks of 11 pupils of the aged man Fedor, retired Guards officers [12, page 20]. It was authorized to tonsure all novices wishing to live under the leadership of the father Fedor later. This unusual structure of brotherhood remained, apparently, and in the next years. Written certificates of the beginning of XIX and the beginning of the 20th century that the most part of monks came from officers in resignation and noblemen [3] remained.

Efforts of the celibate priest Theodore (Ushakov) former Sanaksarsky Sretenka deserts began to be called as the monastery and over time turned into prospering

monastery of the Tambov diocese. At the celibate priest Theodore and his successors in the monastery stone casings of cells and three main temples were erected: cathedral, for the sake of the Nativity of the Theotokos; the temple in the second floor of the bell tower in honor of Lord's Transformation and hospital Vladimirskaya Church. Thanks to Feodor Sanaksarsky the monastery by the end of the 18th century gained the all-Russian popularity.

The aged man Theodore's pupils left organizers of monasteries, the famous devotees and figures of Russian Orthodox Church subsequently. Among them archimandrite Feofan Novoyezersky, Mack-ry Peshnoshsky's archimandrite, skhimonakhinya Marfa (Protasyeva), etc.

The Reverend Feodor Sanaksarsky died on February 19, 1791 at the age of 73 years [7, page 915].

October 6, 2004. The hierarchal cathedral of Russian Orthodox Church defined to rank as a face of general church Saints and to include in the Menologion ** Russian Orthodox Church of the Reverend Feodor Sa-naksarsky (Ushakov) [1].

Thus, orthodox monkhood in the territory of Mordovia has centuries-old traditions that, in our opinion, in many respects caused its fast revival in the modern Republic of Mordovia after decades of domination of the atheistic Soviet mode.

* Ukraine, i.e. border.

** Memory of the Reverend Feodor Sanaksarsky on February 19 / 4 March and on April 21 / 4 May.


1. Hierarchal Cathedral ROC. Moscow, October 3-8. 2004. URL: ru/news/sobor_2004_saints .html#beg.
2. Hierarchal Cathedral ROC. 2008. URL:
3. S.B. Bakhmustov. Monasteries of Mordovia. Saransk. 2000. 976 pages
4. S.B. Bakhmustov. Orthodoxy in the Mordovian region: historical and culturological aspect / S.B. Bakhmustov. Saransk. 2006. 384 pages
5. A.A. Geraklitov. Materials on mordva stories. M.; L., 1931. 127 pages
6. Dubasov. I. Essays from the history of the Tambov region. Tambov. 1993. 443 pages

Some features of monastic self-sacrifice in the Mordovian region (16-18th centuries)

7. Biography of the aged man celibate priest Theodore (Ushakov), reducer and prior of the Sanak-sarsky monastery//Tambov diocesan sheets / Sost. abbot Tikhon (Tsiplyakovsky). Tambov. 1886. No. 22. 932 pages
8. From the history of the Saransk diocese. URL:
9. Mamontova of deserts of the Tambov province: Dokum., the Deserts relating to history, SOBR. P.I. Piskarev. Tambov. 1887. 149 pages
10. N.F. Mokshin. Religious beliefs of a mordva. Saransk. 1998. 248 pages
11. Tambov Voznesensky's inventories of convent//ITUAK. Issue XXX. Tambov. 1895.
12. Reverend Feodor Sanaksarsky: manuals to spiritual children / Sost. iyer. Venedikt (Kuleshov). Saransk. 2003. 223 pages
13. Sanaksarsky monastery / Sost. iyer. Venedikt (Kuleshov). Saransk. 2005. 208 pages
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