October 3, 2010

Monk-Soldier Roman (1971-1994)

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 Muslims and the Catholic Croatians were cruelly and lawlessly killing the Orthodox Serbians. He entered the front lines in Bosnia 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.