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Vaterunser by Agnes Hidveghy

Contact Reijo Oksanen, editor

Reijo Oksanen
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© Reijo Oksanen 2010

Father Michael of Valaam

Father Michael came to Valaam from Western Russia in the early 20th century. In the twenties he retreated to a skete on Valaam's Smolensky Island.

During the 2nd World War he was one of the monks who survived the Russian bombing and came to Finland. In the New Valaam Father Michael continued his life as a recluse, but soon found that an increasing number of people wanted his council.

In 1957 the Metropolitan of Krutitsi invited Father Michael to come to Russia, where the need of spiritual fathers was great. He left for Moscow with seven of his friends and disciples. They were directed to the Pskovo-Pechersky monastery.

On the eve of his departure from Finland Father Michael sent Sergius Bolshakoff his last letter of direction, which said: "I will give no more direction. The Lord has commanded me to pray fervently for everyone and to lead a hidden life, but not to teach. As St. Arsenius the Great, I love everyone and run away from it all."

Source: Sergius Bolshakoff: Russian Mystics © Cisternian Publications, Inc. 1976