December 12, 2021

The Glinsk Pustyn. Miracles on earth

The Glinsk Pustyn is a monastery that has been bringing light and love for the Lord into the world for over four centuries already. Its history truly surprises with how the striving human persistence for purity and faith made its way through the most difficult trials and sorrows. In the 20th century the monastery was destroyed twice. But every time after its ruin the monastery was reborn like a phoenix from the ashes.



The Glinsk Pustyn during the revolution    


In the hard time of the revolution the monastery was completely destroyed. But the spiritual state of being cannot be blown up or eliminated or wiped off the face of the earth. Despite the expulsion of the brothers from the monastery and the cruelty of the sinful world, the monks carried the light of the inextinguishable lamp throughout their entire way instructing sinners on the path of righteousness and strengthening faith in the Lord in the person.


After the terrible events of the revolution, the monastery began to function again during the Great Patriotic War. Its abbot was Archimandrite Nektary. It was the first monastic monastery in those days. Many monks returned. There were not only brothers but also sisters at that time.


Piles of rubbish, leftover bricks and iron – this is what remained then from the main cathedral. The monks had a difficult time. They were exhausted by hardships but still found the strength to provide everything they needed. They made their own bast shoes, weaved their own clothes for monks and baked bread. However, the true joy and happiness for them was in their native sacred place. Despite the difficulties they tried to help all those in need and grateful people remember their good deeds till now.


Archimandrite Nektary’s life was short. After him, father Seraphim Amelin became the head of the monastery to whom father Seraphim Romantsov, who became the confessor of the monastery, and father Andronik Lukash, who became the dean, arrived. They continued the traditions of the Glinsk elders. They taught prayer, good deeds before the Lord and life according to the will of God.


The light of unceasing monastic prayer drew the pilgrims to commune with the Almighty. Those who aspired to get into the monastery headed to Glukhovo then got to the monastery on their own. Most beautiful view opened up before their eyes. Silence and peacefulness reigned all around. A pine forest stretched out from the east. The monastery fence was destroyed but the squat corner tower was still standing. In honour of Christ there was only a church with a wooden cross without a dome. Every pilgrim could stay here for the night and have dinner. For that no money or connections were required.


The morning service began at three o’clock. The pilgrims gathered in a half-dark church lit by a single candle.


In those years the monastery received up to 700 people every day. After finding all that is most precious to the soul in the church people themselves wanted to help the Glinsk monastery in any way they could. Thank-you parcels came here from all over the world: from Canada and Australia and other distant places.


But the Soviet authorities didn’t allow the monastery to flourish. In 1961 it was surrounded on all sides by police officers and the Soviet party apparatus. The monks were taken in cars to the nearest stations. Despite false promises they were forbidden to take money, things and even food with them. The building was handed over to the Sosnovka Home for the disabled.


However, even after the official closure the hermitage still had a great impact on the spiritual development of the state.


A new stage in the revival of the Glinsk Hermitage



In 1994 a new page in the restoration of the Glinsk monastery opened when its entire complex passed to the Ukranian Orthodox Church. In 1996 the Ukranian Orthodox Church got the status of stauropegia as a sign of its special role and significance in the Orthodox world. Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev became the archimandrite of the monastery. Together with the prayer, the former grace also returned here.


In 1997, His Beatitude Vladimir consecrated a cross at the site of the foundation of a chapel church in honour of Saints Joachim and Anna. In 1998, a chapel already stood at the site of the apparition of the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. The Kiev metropolitan of all Ukraine Vladimir consecrated the gate church in honour of the Iberian (Iveron) icon of the Mother of God. Thus, the connection of times was restored. It was in honour of the Gate Guardian Theotokos that the church was consecrated in the middle of the 19th century and after that it was brutally demolished at the beginning of the 20th century.


In 2001, work on the church in honour of St. Nicholas was completed. It became the main church of the monastery. In 2002 they rebuilt a holy well and a chapel in honour of the Transfiguration above it. Now the pilgrims quenched here not only spiritual but physical thirst as well.


Charity work of the Glinsk Pustyn


In the Orthodox world it has always been customary to help one’s neighbour. God deeds have always been highly valued in Orthodox circles. Despite all the woes and tribulations that the Glinsk monastery had to endure, it always helped people in need.


Spiritual and educational activity was one of the fundamental tasks of the monastery.


Among the noble deeds of the monastery, it is worth noting the many donations that were made by the monastery during the Great Patriotic War. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a significant growth in the monastery material well-being. This was largely due to impressive private donations. So, the sphere of agriculture became the largest scale in the Kursk diocese. The improved financial status led to the fact that there appeared funds for charity. Every year pilgrims who were housed in a special reception centre at the monastery came here. Residents of nearby villages who needed help received food and livelihood here. The Glinsk Pustyn also supported families affected by fires, poor harvests, etc.


The monastery's charitable work also included educational activities. A workhouse was set up, children learned to read and write and practiced various types of handicrafts there. The best teachers who knew a lot about this or that matter were taken for teaching children. In addition to teaching crafts, they talked about God, taught church singing. The students of the Workhouse were sure to go to church.


Moreover, the Glinsk Pustyn donated many utensils for military and medical institutions. The monastery tried to help not only within the state but also abroad.


The Glinsk monastery made an enormous contribution to the spiritual education of the people as well. The books of moral and spiritual content were published here. The publishing house started operating in 1891. The tremendous publishing effort was appreciated by contemporaries. The “Glinsky Bogoroditsky books” were in great demand. This book series was included in the school library of the Kursk province. The publication about the monastery itself became a very important work. Thus, in 1891 descriptions of the monastery named “The Nativity of the Theotokos Glinskaya Pustyn” were published.


As you can see, the entire history of the monastery was steeped in a mission of charity. The monastery generously helped those in need not only in the Russian Empire but also far beyond its borders.


Shrine of the Glinsk Pustyn


One of the events that determined the special status of the Glinsk Pustyn in the Orthodox world was the apparition of the miraculous Icon of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos named The Glinskaya (Nativity of the Theotokos icon of Glinsk). Numerous healings that were performed from it for the glory to the Mother of God and the strengthening of faith attracted pilgrims from all over the world. Though, the appearance of the monastery itself is also associated with the appearance of the miraculous image of the Mother of God at this place.


Once in a dark forest on one of the pine trees beekeepers noticed the icon of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos which exuded divine radiance. After praying they returned home and told others about what had happened. Since then, many began to come to the newly-appeared image receiving the help of the Heavenly Queen from it.


From the pine tree on which the icon appeared a spring of healing water broke through. Not only lay people began to come to this sacred place but also monks who observed fasting.


It took a while to take the miraculous icon into chapel. The Mother of God didn’t want it and when the image was brought to the church, the very next day it was found on a pine tree. As a result, the tree was commanded to be felled. It turned out to be difficult to give an exact answer to the question of what specifically caused this decision. But when the pine tree was cut down the spring under it immediately dried up. Having been previously in good health the abbot fell ill on the same day and then died.


For several centuries, many healings have been given to people through this image. The news of the help of the Heavenly Queen spread widely. Huge groups of pilgrims came here. These were people with a wide range of problems and illnesses: possessed by the spirit and blind, paralyzed, suffering from epidemic diseases, mostly difficult cases when earthly healers were already powerless.


There is one Lord who heals all kinds of sickness and infirmity in people. The blind began sighted, the crippled became viable, the sick recovered. On top of that cases of the miraculous effect of the icon in times of epidemics, natural disasters both in the monastery itself and outside it, were recorded.


From the above it can be concluded that the Mother of God never left in trouble all those who with faith and love turned to Her for help. The graceful help through the icon of the Glinsk was poured out on all sinners.


But since 1922, when the desert was closed by the new government traces of the shrine were lost in dozens of years of obscurantism. According to the predictions of the spiritual elders the icon of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos is to appear at this monastery which will serve as a sign for the revival of the Glinsk monastery and the prosperity of spiritual life and enlightening activities among the people. Even while remaining invisible to the human eye the grace-filled power of the miraculous image undoubtedly continues to pour out abundantly on all those who with faith in souls and with a pure heart pray for the help to the Queen of Heaven.


The state of the monastery today



As of today, the reconstruction work of the hermitage is unfortunately far from victorious completion. The labour-intensive restoration process continues. The revival of the Glinsk Pustyn has already become a tradition that kept going in the 21st century.


By God’s grace, two most beautiful churches have already been built and favourable conditions for monks have been created. The project to rebuild the monastery does not stop there. The monastery is still reviving. The plans include the construction of a bell tower, a Cathedral church and a fraternal building. However, due to the fact that the construction requires considerable financial investments it is rather difficult to say exactly when the monastery will be completely reconstructed. This is because it is located in the provinces, on the fringe of the country.


Pilgrims come here little by little. The state of the roads leaves a lot to be desired. People used to come to the monastery from Russia. The political situation seriously hinders this now.


Unfortunately, there’re no drawings of the old monastery project left. At a time of devastation, the monastery looked like a lot of diverse buildings. All these buildings were built then destroyed again and restored. Orthodox history tells us that many monasteries are in a state of permanent construction. However, at the time of the devastation there was nothing to take on but the location itself. Reconstruction here is based on the very best traditions, and instead of expectations it is believed that there’s God’s Will for all things: as the Most High wills everything will happen.


Friends! We are a charity fund collecting donations for monasteries and churches. The Glinsk Pustyn is in great need of your help today. Without our efforts and financial assistance it is impossible to revive what has being built for centuries. Let's help this truly sacred place, because the giver's hand will never run out. 

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