Orthodox Thought for the Day


Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Nuns of Shamordino part 2

The Nuns of Shamordino:  Prisoners of Solovki

Be ever more obedient to God and He will save you.
St. Pachomius 

In a week the commandant of the Sanitary Division entered the physician’s office and, among other things, informed us, “We’re all worn out with these nuns, but now they have agreed to work. They sew and patch up clothing for the central ward. Only they made as conditions that they should all be together and be allowed to sing quietly some kind of songs while they work. The chief of the camp has allowed it. There they are now, singing and working.”  

The nuns were isolated to such an extent that even we, the physicians of the Sanitary Division who enjoyed comparative freedom of movement, and who had many ties and friends, for a long time were not able to receive any kind of news about them. And only a month later we found out how the last act of their tragedy had developed. 

From one of the convoys that had come to Solovki, there was brought a priest who turned out to be the spiritual father of some of the nuns. And, although contact between them seemed, under the camp conditions, to be completely impossible, the nuns in some way managed to ask directions from their instructor. 

The essence of their questions consisted of the following: “We came to the camp for suffering and here we are doing fine. We are together; we sing prayers; the work is pleasing to us; have we acted rightly that we agreed to work under the conditions of the regime of Antichrist? Should we not renounce even this work?” 

The spiritual father replied with an uncategorical prohibition of the work. 

And then the nuns refused every kind of work. The administration found out who was guilty for this. The priest was shot. But when the nuns were informed about this, they said, “Now no one is able to free us from this prohibition.” 

The nuns soon became separated and one by one were taken away somewhere. 

Despite all our attempts we were not able to find out any more news about them. They disappeared without any trace. 

Years later from the mouth of an American prisoner who was in a slave-labor camp, comes the following supplementary information shedding light on the spiritual outcome of the ascetic firmness of such nuns…. 

To be continued…

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