ΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΠΡΙΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ, ΔΕ ΘΑ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΟΤΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ

(ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ ΜΟΝΑΧΩΝ)

Σάββατο, 19 Νοεμβρίου 2011

New Martyr fr Daniel Sysoev († 19.11.2009)

STUDIES ON CHRISTIAN HAGIOGRAPHY 

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΙΔΙΟ, ΕΔΩ & ΕΔΩ

Can One Consider the Death of Father Daniel Sysoev to be a Martyrdom?


Fr. Daniel Sysoev
Death is the last event in a person’s earthly life. For a missionary, death is the last homily, the last message preached, the last witness for Christ, Whom the missionary loved with complete readiness to sacrifice his or her life for the sake of the triumph of the Faith. Father Daniel Sysoev [1] had prepared himself for this sacrifice long before. Even in his younger years when studying at the Moscow Theological Seminary where this writer taught Fundamental Theology, Father Daniel was pierced through with the fiery conviction that only Orthodoxy contained the fullness of saving truth. Possessed of great talents, as a seminarian he already knew the church canons, and passionately contested with students and instructors when they allowed themselves the slightest compromise. To people who were indifferent to the spreading and deepening of the faith, his aversion to compromise seemed strange; and some of them fell into judgment and condemnation—but his death as a priest in the church which he himself had built, gave proof of his earnestness, his zeal, his single-minded commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church.

From the very beginning of his priesthood, Father Daniel chose the most difficult form of ministry—missionary outreach, which was initiated by the Apostles. In the early Church, missionary work was identical with martyrdom. “The martyrs were preachers of Christianity, continuers of the Apostolic ministry; and this mission they fulfilled precisely as martyrs*, that is, presenting themselves as witnesses.” (Bolotov V.V., Lectures on the History of the Early Church. 1. The Post-Apostolic Church and the Roman Empire. in Russian). After the Bolsheviks seized power in 1918, their first blow was directed specifically against missionaries. Murdered were the missionary Bishop Ephrem Kuznetsov, Protopriests John Kochurov, John Vostorgov, Konstantin Golubev, diocesan missionary Nicholas Varzhansky and other such missionaries. [*martyrs: the Greek root μάρτυς (martys) means “witnesss”.]

Father Daniel Sysoev carried out his missionary activity among Moslems. His Evangelical preaching was very successful: He converted and baptized many people; he received death-threats in response. His answer to such threats was to preach Christ with still greater zeal. Therefore his death is a Christian sacrifice for the sake of the great cause to which he felt called by Jesus Christ. Such a death is an open and manifest victory, because “warriors for Christ are not killed, but crowned” (St Cyprian of Carthage, hieromartyr. Epistle 66).

The early Christians referred to the day of death of their brothers and sisters in the faith as their birthday—birth into a new life. With the coming to earth of the Saviour, mankind’s relationship with death was changed forever. “If we believe in Christ, and if through faith in His word and promises we shall never die, then we ought with joyful daring to go to Christ, by Whom and with Whom we shall live and reign forever. It is through temporal death that we cross over to immortality; and eternal life can begin for us only after our departure from here. And this is not really a departure but only a crossing over or resettlement into eternity after our temporal sojourn on earth. Who would not hasten to cross over to that which is better? Who would not desire to be changed and transfigured according to the image of Christ and the sooner to partake of heavenly glory?” (St Cyprian of Carthage, hieromartyr. Book on Mortality).

To him (or her) who dedicates himself to the service of Christ are given various means to bring people to the Truth: preaching by word, and preaching by one’s life as a living example of self-sacrificing service. These earthly labors for Father Daniel have ended. There remains the brightest and most powerful preaching: the preaching of death. “From henceforth, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: Yea, saith the Spirit, they shall rest from their labours; for their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

[1] Fr. Daniel Sysoev was short dead in his church in Moscow on November 19th, 2009.
Hieromonk Job Gumerov
29 / 11 / 2009
Source: here

Fr Daniil Sysoev (1974-2009)


Father Daniel Sysoev is the rector of the Apostle Thomas Church and the initiator of a growing community in honor of the Prophet Daniel. We met on the occasion of the opening of the missionary center in honor of Saint Thomas the Apostle. Olga Kurova talked to Fr. Daniel.
 
- Fr. Daniel the occasion for our meeting is the opening of a missionary center. It goes without saying that there was a great deal of preliminary work. Please tell us how it all began.
 
- If we are to recall from the very beginning, it would be 1993, when I was a missionary right on the streets. And from August of 1996 I have entirely officially, with the blessing of His All-Holiness, the Patriarch, led missionary Biblical conversations at the Krutitsy Patriarchal Metochion. These conversations were first intended for converting Protestants. Later more and more occultists and victims of different “sorcerers” appeared. And at last I turned to missionary work among Moslems. So, our center is open to victims of paranormalists and to young people who want to learn the basics of Christianity, as well as for those of other faiths.
 
- What are your goals?

- Not so long ago we consecrated a temporary church in honor of Saint Thomas the Apostle. A large missionary church in honor of the Prophet Daniel with a chapel to Saint Thomas the Apostle is being built now. This chapel is already functioning, for the moment as its own church. One of our goals is the conversion of non-Christians, mostly non-Russians. The Kantemirovskiy district of Moscow, where the church is located, is a district of different expatriate communities. Moreover, it is a place where different sects are very active. Near the church there is a large Mormon center, and in the area there are Baptists, Adventists, and occultists. But there were no Orthodox until quite recently.
We opened a catechetical school about the basics of Christianity. Every five weeks we conduct a course of five catechetical discourses for those who want to be baptized or just to know more about Christianity. A community of Orthodox Tartars is already functioning in the church and the information agency of Saint Akhmet is starting its activity.
Very soon we are planning to have an open house: we will paste up notices around the district saying that all those who wish may come to the church and ask the priest any question. Later we would like to have such days every three months.
We also work with youth.  Beside our temple there is the Moscow Engineering and Physical University. Curiously enough, we were the first ones to hold a moleben (supplicatory service) before students’ exams. Molebens before the beginning of the academic year have already become traditional in all Orthodox churches, although exams are a more strained period for students. Somehow students do not go beyond lighting candles. Anyway, we hold molebens before the exams, after the Liturgy, and invite all the students.

- How can you alone cope with all you have to accomplish? Do you have any assistants, some sort of initiative group?

- Yes, we have an initiative group; it was already formed at the Krutitsy Patriarchal Metochion. In addition there is the Tartar Orthodox community, which has existed since 2003. And certainly many different Christians of different nations take part in mission. After the feast of the Theophany of Our Lord we hope to open missionary courses. Perhaps, later we will create a missionary institute based on it, and it will prepare preachers of the Gospel. There will be all kinds of preaching: on the streets, in universities. We want to deprive sectarians of their weapon. 

- And how do you work with expatriate communities? Let us take the Azerbaijani, who live near Kantemirovskaya, for example. How can you enter their community? What can you talk to them about?

- I can not say anything about the Azerbaijani community, because I have not yet formed any contacts with them. But I can say a lot about the Tartar expatriate community. I have appeared time and again in a Tartar cultural center, and have gone to Kazan. Tartars are the third largest national group in Moscow. And our work is quite successful: many Tartars, especially young ones, are becoming Christians. Since 2003 I have performed molebens in the Tartar language for the conversion of those astray.
Our task is to break down the barriers that can be found in the cultures of different nationalities that prevent them from accepting Orthodoxy. The news that Orthodoxy is the universal faith, to which all nations are called, is still considered scandalous.

- How should a true young missionary behave talking to someone of the same age?

- A missionary should be the one to start the conversation about God, or else he is no missionary at all. But at the same time, he must soberly evaluate his own knowledge and skills. He should know the answers to the basic questions his counterparts usually ask about Christianity. He should remember that attack is the best form of defense. He should never hesitate to say that you are right and they are wrong. It is not necessary to bow and scrape before each listener. But at the same time, he must not injure somebody's pride in order to prove his case. Christ died for everyone. One should remember that one should respect a person, not his delusions. There should be rejection of falsity, but love for man.
It is difficult for a teenager to go against the collective, to become a black sheep, but it is essential to have that boldness. Previously, in the time of my youth, I considered it prestigious to differ from others. I believe we should restore that tradition. A black sheep is a noble animal. A real Christian should remember this. And if he does not have the strength, he should ask God for help. A young missionary should certainly be prepared for his words to arouse scandal and indignation. But he should not be afraid of that. Our mission consists in saying unpleasant things. Have you noticed that when reading the Bible you feel uncomfortable? The Book begins to judge you! But that does not mean that the truth should be kept away. The Lord Himself said: Woe to you, when all men speak well of you.
Another mistake that can lure a missionary is the attempt to direct mission to some definite group of people. There appears a mission for children, a mission for youth… Many smart, deep young people do not accept it. Why so? That is because when we talk to young people using their own language, as if condescending to them, we fix them at this level. But we should elevate them, raise them to wisdom, and not leave them at a level they have probably already grown out of. It is even better to talk to children as if they were grown-ups. Do you remember Makarevich singing in a very Christian way; “It’s not worth being weighed down by the fickle world”? That should be a motto not only for missionaries, but for all Orthodox Christians.
And certainly we must not forget about prayer and going to church, because sometimes an incorrect missionary outreach can enthrall someone so much that he does not pray or go to church.

- And why must we go to church every Sunday?

- Because Christ gave us such a commandment: six days are for you, and the seventh is for the Lord God. He can demand us to return part of our time as our sacrifice. And the second thing: we should remember our Heavenly Master, our Heavenly Motherland.
The Blood of the Martyrs Is the Seed of the Church (here)
If you will, all we Christians are terrorists. We are the members of a rebellious army, which is revolting against the prince of this world (the devil). Churches are linking stations. There we get information from our governing body: ciphers (New Testament), reinforcement (Holy Communion), and we get support through mutual communication. We master all kinds of tricks in order to commit terrorist attacks against the prince of this world, that is, we learn how to do good. Obviously if an agent of the Holy Kingdom shirks attending the headquarters and does not keep in touch with the command center, he can easily get lost, lose his power, and fall in battle. According to the rules of the Church, someone who without sufficient cause goes three Sundays without attending the Divine Liturgy is excluded from Communion.
Often those who do not attend church tend to get tired very quickly. If someone thinks that he will sleep in on Sunday to make up for the rest of the week instead of attending the Liturgy, he will very soon understand that Sunday sleep does not bring pleasure. You can eat a ram, but remain hungry, or you can sleep for twenty-five hours, but still feel sleepy. If God does not give you power, you will never find it in any other place.
If you are in love with someone, you constantly wish to see your loved one, to communicate. You do not have to force such a one to go on a date, do you? Christianity is built on the love between God and man.
It is still very important not to search for justifications if you miss a church service. We can find one thousand justifications, but this will only make things worse. It is necessary to struggle ruthlessly with sin, with laziness. Christians are beings of another kind. There are Homo sapiens, and there is Homo Christianus. Christians should communicate with their like.

- Why do Christians have a different nature?

- A Christian is a person plus the Divine force given to it in Baptism. A non-Christian is simply a person, besides being enslaved by the devil. Either the Holy Spirit is in your heart or the devil is in your heart – can you see the difference?

- Everyone has his way to church. But as a missionary you must have some amazing stories about people’s conversion.
 
Why go far? We have a member of our parish, Tatyana Imranovna, my closest assistant. She converted from Islam to occultism, and from there, having encountered unpleasant things that frightened her, to Orthodoxy. She came to Christ – at first simply as a way to rescue. Then she began to “churchify.” And the closer she came to the Church, the worse her parents condemned her. It is strange – the worse they behaved towards her, the more problems they had. For example, they cursed her, they threw out her icons – and the same night their dacha burnt down. Here is an example for you of how God protects His own.
There are also examples of miraculous healings. Once the parents of a child, Pentecostals, came to me. They had taken their child to see all kinds of "psychics." As a result the child had a fever up to 39 C for three months. Nothing could help. We Baptised him very solemnly at the Baptismal Liturgy. He stood, of course, very weakly, but showed interest in everything. We gave him Holy Communion and they went home. He went to sleep, woke up – and his temperature was 36.6. He has not been ill for several years since then.
Quite often it happens that everything is explained to someone. He agrees with you in mind, but does not accept it with his heart. But pray for him, and he changes. It always happens that after a moleben for the return of the erring that several people are Baptized.
So if you wish to see many miracles – you should become a missionary or a martyr. They say that if you wish to anoint someone with myrrh you should pour it into your hand and smell it yourself, and only then anoint another person. It is the same thing here: if you wish to tell another about the power of God, you should first feel the power of God yourself.

© Copyright 2004 by 'Orthodoxy and the World' www.pravmir.com
Source: here

On the Death of My Husband: A Message from Matushka Yuliya Mikhailovna Sysoeva, Widow of Fr Daniil Sysoev


November 26, 2009

Matushka Yulia SysoevaMatushka Yulia Sysoeva
Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for your support and prayers. This is the pain which cannot be expressed in words. This is the pain experienced by those who stood at the Cross of the Saviour. This is the joy which cannot be expressed in words, this is the joy experienced by those who came to the empty Tomb.
O death, where is thy sting?
Fr Daniel had already foreseen his death several years before it happened. He had always wanted to be worthy of a martyr’s crown. Those who shot him wanted, as usual, to spit in the face of the Church, as once before they spat in the face of Christ. They have not achieved their goal, because it is impossible to spit in the face of the Church. Fr Daniel went up to his Golgotha in the very church which he had built, the church to which he gave up all his time and all his strength. They killed him like the prophet of old – between the temple and the altar and he was indeed found worthy of a martyr’s calling. He died for Christ, Whom he served with all his strength.
Very often he would say to me that he was frightened of not having enough time, time to do everything. He was in a hurry. Sometimes, as a human-being he exaggerated, he got things wrong, he tripped up and made mistakes, but he made no mistake about the main thing, his life was entirely dedicated to HIM.
I did not understand why he was in a hurry. The last three years he was busy serving, never taking days off or taking holidays. I moaned, just now and again I wanted simple happiness, that my husband and my children’s father would be with my children and me. But another path had been prepared for him.
He used to say that they would kill him. I would ask him who would look after us. Me and the three children. He would answer that he would put us in safe hands. ‘I‘ll give you to the Mother of God. She’ll take care of you’.
These words were forgotten too soon. He told us which vestments to bury him in. Then I joked that there was no need to speak about that, we still did not know who would bury who. He said that I would bury him. Once our conversation turned to funerals, I don’t remember the details but I did say that I had never been to a priest’s funeral. And he answered that it did not matter because I would be at his funeral.
Now I remember many words which have gained a meaning. Now my doubts have dissolved, the misunderstandings have gone.
We did not say goodbye in this life, we did not ask each other forgiveness, we did not embrace one another. It was just another day: in the morning he went to the liturgy and I did not see him again. Why didn’t I go to the church that day to meet him? I had thought of it, but I decided I had better get the evening meal ready and put the children to bed. It was because of the children that I did not go there. There was a hand that did not let me go. But the evening before I had gone to the church and met him. I had felt as if dark clouds were gathering over us. And in the last few days I had tried to spend more time with him. Over the last week I had thought only about death and about life after death. I couldn’t get my head around either the first or the second. That day my head was spinning with the words: ‘Death is standing right behind you’. The last week everything was so hard, as if a huge load had been emptied out on top of me. I am not broken. He is supporting me, I feel as if he is standing by me. Then we said so many affectionate words, which we had never said to each other in our whole life before. Only now do I understand how much we loved each other.
The memorial service for the forty days of Fr Daniel takes place on the eve of his namesday and the patronal feast of the future church, 29 December, and 30 December is the feast of the holy prophet Daniel. According to the prophecy of an elder, the church would be built but Fr Daniel would not serve in it. The second part of the prophecy has already been fulfilled.
 

Matushka Yulia Sysoeva

Source: here

icon from here


Priest-Monk Nestor the New Martyr of Zharky (+1993)

2 σχόλια:

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Brother in July 2010 a Christian pastor of the Pentecostal church was murdered. He was a protestant but he was a CHRISTIAN and a martyr as well as father Daniel

From wikipedia

"On July 15, 2010, Pastor Artur Suleimanov, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was murdered by a gunman. The pastor was killed in his car as he was leaving the Hosanna House of Prayer in Makhachkala, Dagestan in the North Caucasus region, according to a religious persecution watchdog group, Voice of the Martyrs, report. Pastor Suleimanov's church is one of the largest Protestant churches in Dagestan. Christians in the Russian Republic of Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, face harassment and intimidation from various groups. Pastor Suleimanov's life had been threatened on several previous occasions."

ΝΕΚΡΟΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ είπε...

He is of course a martyr. But is he a saint? Only God knows.
Pentecostals have opened themselves up to "supernatural" experiences of a dubious origin, which they acknowledge as visitations of the Holy Spirit, when they are so different to the true experiences of the holy teachers of Christianity - from the ancient time through to this day.
The ancient Church and the Orthodox Church (which is the historical and spiritual continuation of the ancient one)
honour the martyrs as saints; they talk to them through prayers, they honour their sacrificed and sanctified bodies (the holy relics), and icons and feast-days are dedicated to them.
And those martyrs respond and reply, with their miracles and their appearances to people.
Do Pentecostals do the same? How can someone become a saint, in a church that has no communication with Saints?
We naturally desire all people to be saved, and we have respect for every sincere Christian who dies for the things he loves; however, I needed to make this clarification, so that there won't be any confusion.

For the extremely important matter of Pentecostalism's relationship with Christ's Truth and the Gospel, I would recommend the following books: "In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord" (http://o-nekros.blogspot.com/2010/11/in-peace-let-us-pray-to-lord.html) and “Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future” (http://o-nekros.blogspot.com/2010/12/orthodoxy-and-religion-of-future.html).

Thank you.
May Christ be with you.