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091. Aug. 13/26, 1971. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Dear Brothers in Christ [Fr. Panteleimon et al.],
Rejoice in the Lord!

Thank you for the card and manuscripts (Arkady and Transfiguration). We note that Jordanville celebrates St. Herman on July 27 — but somehow this feast hasn’t caught on with us. What does the monastery do with St. Panteleimon?

The Arkady ms raises several questions, about which I will be frank. Of course, we appreciate it, but right now it will go into our file and we have no idea when we can make use of it. Wasn’t it you who once called for a task force for the problems facing Orthodoxy? Well, in the general scheme that won’t work, but in specific areas such as the New Martyrs it’s probably just what’s needed. The New Martyrs can be presented, not just at random, but according to a definite scheme. The Polsky volumes are just a first collection of materials, a starring point, for a presentation of the New Martyrs. Few of them can or should be presented just the way they are — which is why we recently gladly promised Vladika Vitaly that we won’t go into competition with him by printing vol. 1. And these volumes have the great weakness of understating the sources — they’re stuck at random in the back, and half of them are pseudonyms or initials. On the contrary, one of the first things one should know is who is telling the story — and most of the material is simply quotes, improperly or not at all identified as such. We are in contact with a number of the sources of this material, and they supply some supplementary material; we also have some manuscript material, which should be added. As a result, of our New Martyrs of the past year, only Bp. Maxim is a more or less straight translation from the text. The rest of them are compiled from various sources, and the witnesses identified.

Therefore: a systematic approach, all the way down to an index of all martyrs mentioned in Polsky and elsewhere, which we are doing. (Part I of the System, as you can see, is: witnesses of the Catacomb Church). But this requires hands and minds. So far 90% of our hand and mind labor is devoted to the sheer physical problem of printing (and chopping wood, etc.), and our translation and intellectual work is snatched fitfully between hours at the printing machines. (That’s not a complaint — it’s probably our salvation!) Therefore our presentation of the New Martyrs comes out painfully slow; but the plan is there, and there is quite a bit of material. In this plan, by the way, our next need is for a translation of the whole of Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich (vol. 2, pp. 12-18), which was written by Alexei Rostov (formerly “S. Nesterov”), who has also given us some additional information; and hopefully we will also be able to get something on Archbp. S’s years in America.

Your epistles are too cryptic. Send us a word — not necessarily about your “plans,” but about your souls. Where are your hearts? Give us a word or two.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

p.s. Thanks also for the Theophil translation of some months back, which we’ve read several times to guests at trapeza. Is the monastery coming out with the book soon?

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