February 18, 2021

The "Good Friday" of Russian Monasticism (17-18 February 1932)

A special place in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the twentieth century is occupied by the event, which was named the "Good Friday of Russian Monasticism." On one night from 17 to 18 February 1932, hundreds of monks and nuns were arrested, thrown into prison and subsequently sent into exile. These were primarily from monasteries in the northwestern region of Russia: Makarievskaya Hermitage, Alexander Nevsky Lavra, and the monasteries of Ioannovsky, Novodevichy Voskresensky, Vokhonovsky, Pyatogorsky, Kashinsky, Staroladozhsky. On this day, the following were arrested, and later numbered among the saints - Sts. Arefa Mitrenin, Lev Egorov, Maria Lelyanova and Patrick Petrov. At the moment, there is information there were about 273 monastics and 45 brothers and sisters. This is not a complete list. The arrests continued, and on April 17 and 18 of the same year, more than 200 people were arrested.

Anatoly Emmanuilovich Krasnov-Levitin, a Russian writer, an emigrant, wrote in his memoirs about this terrible day: “... a bright and terrible day has come, the Good Friday of Russian monasticism, unnoticed by anyone and now almost unknown to anyone - February 18, 1932, when all of Russian monasticism disappeared to the camps overnight. On February 18 in Leningrad there were arrested: 40 monks from the Alexander Nevsky Lavra ..., 12 monks from the Feodorovsky Cathedral, 8 monks from 'Kinovia', a branch of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra beyond Bolshaya Okhta, monks and nuns from various closed monasteries living in Leningrad - hundreds. A total of 318 people. All the brothers of the Makaryeva Hermitage were arrested and brought to St. Petersburg ... All were sent to the Kazakh Territory."