|Father Nektarios Serfes - Lives Of Saints||Last Modified January 20, 2004|
New Martyred Soldiers For Christ Our Lord
New Martyr Monk-Soldier Roman & New Martyr Evgeny
Compiled By Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Introduction by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
In the 20th and 21st centuries we have two known Christ-loving warriors who where soldiers and gave there lives for Christ our God and His Holy Orthodox Church: the New Martyr Monk-Soldier Roman (1971-1994), and the New Martyr Soldier Evgeny (1984-2002). One was a monk, the other a layperson.
In both situations we discover that these warriors for Christ our Lord had faith in Holy Orthodoxy and were both zealous in pursing their salvation. Each New Martyred Soldier for Christ also had other great spiritual qualities such as being joyful in our Savior Jesus Christ.
Being an Orthodox Christian takes a deal of struggle. At the same time, it always comes down to our love for Christ our Lord and His Church -Holy Orthodoxy. Contemporary soldiers can turn to these two Martyred Saints for spiritual inspiration and intercession.
Now let me humbly and briefly share with you the story of these two recent soldier-martyrs for Christ.
At the age of seventeen Father Roman left the world and joined the first mission to reopen Valaam Russian Orthodox Monastery, located in Valaam, Russia, after it had been desecrated and secularized for fifty years. In his youthful zeal he heeded the call to martyrdom four years later. He was an idealist and a romantic poet - known for his frequent departure from this world into prayer, even to the sometimes-humorous obliviousness of his monastic obediences. He was zealous in his labor for God and his salvation, striving to help his superiors as much as he could. His spirit was joyful and light, but his deep and sober soul heard a call when the Bosnian Moslems and the Catholic Croatians were cruelly and lawlessly killing the Orthodox Serbians. He entered the front lines and was martyred in 1994, on October 2nd, thereby joining the saints of Valaam in heaven. There were quite of few monk saints who, when need arose, would exchange their monastic garb for that of a warrior to save Holy Russia from the onslaught of apostates or pagans. These Christ-loving warriors considered it their duty to follow in the steps of the disciples of St. Sergius of Radonezh, who went to the Kulikovo battlefield and saved Russia.
Source: Excerpts from Valaam Patericon -Book of Days- Valaam Society of America, New Valaam Monastery, Alaska 1999. p. 103.
When one of our associates was in Moscow last year, just about every parish bookstall had a Xeroxed notice about a young soldier named Evgeny, who had been captured by the Chechnens along with five of his buddies.
Chechnen field commander Rusland Haihoroev beheaded Evgeny, after Evgeny denied conversion to Islam and refused to give up his cross (which by the way was part of the medal for bravery). Many months his mother searched for his body, and finally after paying $500, was shown the forest where he was buried. She found the bodies of 4 more boys along with his. A giant wooden cross has since been erected on his grave. His own cross, the one that he refused to give up, his mother, Lubov Radionova, has donated to St. Nicholas Church in Ordinka, Moscow.
The New Martyr Evgeny the Soldier was canonized on August 20th. A Church in his name is to be build in Hankala, near Groziniy. It will be the only Orthodox Church in Chechnya.
Source: Orthodox Heritage. The Greek Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Poimen. Florence, Arizona. Volume 01, Issue 1 January 2003 p. 4.
For more information about the martyrdom of St. Evgeny, visit http://english.pravda.ru/society/2003/01/08/41724.html
Holy New Martyr Roman,
Holy New Martyr Evgeny,
Glory Be To God For All Things!
Content written/compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes.
(c)2004 Father Nektarios Serfes