August 26, 2021

Saint Adrian of Ondrusov Protects the Villagers of Obshi During World War 2

During World War 2, Karelia (a region in northwest Russia, bordering Finland) was occupied by the Finns. In 1944, a large offensive of the Soviet troops began on the Karelian Front. In the area of the village of Obzhi, heavy shelling from Katyusha rocket launchers and artillery was conducted. The Finns left the village by the beginning of the offensive. But the Soviet artillerymen did not know this. The shells exploding near the village houses rattled terribly, everything was engulfed in fire and smoke. The villagers, who fled in fear from their homes, lay down with their livestock in a deep ditch by the river. Someone's cow, frightened by the shooting, jumped out of cover and got stuck in a swampy place near the Obzhanka river. But no one, out of fear of dying, dared to help her get out until the shelling stopped and the advanced Soviet units approached. Only then did the villagers come out of their hiding place.

The advance units went forward, and a line of Katyusha rocket launchers stretched across the village. The artillery captain approached the villagers and began to peer into their faces, as if looking for someone. Having examined all the inhabitants carefully, he asked: "Where is the old man, all white, with a beard?" He was told that there was no such person in the village. Then the captain said that while firing at the offensive area, they directed the Katyusha's to the village as well. Suddenly a bearded old man emerged from the clouds of smoke from the direction of the village, raised his hand, stopping the shooting, and said: "There are only civilians here." The captain wanted to question the old man, rushed to him, and he seemed to vanish in smoke. After listening to the captain's story, Nastya Bibikova, a resident of the village of Obzhi, came forward and said that it was Saint Adrian of Ondrusov (+ 1549, commemorated on August 26th), the heavenly patron of those northern places, who saved them.