This is a privately owned blog. It is not and has never been an official organ of any ecclesiastical organization.

"No one man, or group of men, can himself speak for the Church of Christ. It is nonetheless possible to speak from within the Church, in conformity with Orthodox tradition; and it is this that we shall attempt to do." Fr. Seraphim Rose Orthodox Word #1 Jan-Feb 1965 p. 17

ROAC 2006 Pilgrimage Northern Thebaid (part 2)

no parent post (RRb sticky 8/15/15)

Northern Thebaid. Part 2
(The first part is here).
Next day the friends went to a famous Spaso-Kamenny monastery that was founded on an island in Kubenskoe lake in the 13th century by a prince who was miraculously saved on this island during a terrible storm. The name of the island was Kamenny ("stony"), and the monastery was dedicated to the Savior. The teacher of St Nilus of Sora--St Paisy of Yaroslavl--wrote a special praise to that monastery. It was the center of monastic life in 14-15th centuries and it gave birth to many other monasteries in Russia.
So from Vologda they went to the small town of Ustie (this name means "embouchure", because the Kubena river falls into Kubenskoe lake not far from here).

So they saw something like an island with a church and decided to go there.

Soon they found a man with a boat who was pulling a good oar. They asked him is he can take them to the church and to wait there for an hour. The man agreed gladly and immediately installed a motor on his boat.

The man turned out to be a river scorcher. Besides his pronunciation was very special. In Vologda region they spoke a special dialect, a so-called northern Russian where they pronounce more "o" sounds than people from central Russia. But that man was a more strong type of a Vologda person. It sounds very nice for a Russian ear and also it is closer to Church Slavonic that to a modern language.

The church was very beautiful. They walked around and studied everything there.

There was not much to do there. It seemed like nothing was preserved from the old monastery...

Suddenly they had a strange feeling. They studied the map... They were not on the island! It was another bank of the river! It was the church of the village Chirkovo that was built on the place of the last princes of this area!

The man himself suggested them to take them to the island. But he needed more gas for his boat, so they waited for him in the town of Ustie. The town was very small but it was a huge sobor in baroque style.

Finally they headed to the island. The river was big, quiet and beautiful.

But then the river ended and they entered the lake. And there the problems started.. The lake had huge waves that were covering the boat. The man gave them the raincoats, but the friends got really wet!..

This is how Pavel looked like:-)

But the island was getting closer..

...and closer. It was actually a very calm day for the lake that is storming most part of the year when it is not closed with ice. When it is iced it storms sometimes too, and the ice got broken terribly.

The island turned out to be very small, wild and beautiful..

And it was really stony.

The main church of the 15th century was destroyed by the Soviets.

It probably took a lot of efforts from them to destroy it because the walls were really thick. The buildings there were supposed to be a fortress from the weather to save those who live and pray there from storms. They say that it seems sometimes during a big storm that it will destroy the island completely. In winter the ice stands like a wall around the island sometimes. And the big stones from the bottom are sometimes thrown by the weather in the middle of the island.

This is the part of another church that was built in the 16th century. It is being renovated now.

This is how it looked before the revolution. The church at the right was destroyed.

Only some walls were left.

And it was a cupola with frescos once...

This is the grave of the man who started to restore the churches on this island in 1980th. Alexander Nicholavich Pligin was saving it with his wife.

He died, but his vife Nadezhda continues to restore and preserve the reminds of the monastery to save it from complete destruction. Sometimes some volunteers come to help her, and they can stay on the island too.

The island has no electricity. It has a small boat and a small banya. It is connected with a natural stony road with another island.

There were cross-bearing processions on the second island in the good old days....

This is the entrance to the survived church.

This is the cupola inside. The friends sang there "We Magnify..." to the saints of this island: St Dionysi of Rostov (who became a bishop later), St Ioasaf of Kubena (he was a prince), St Cassian of Kamenskoe, St Dionysy Glushitsky, St Alexander Kushtsky and Blessed Basil of Kubena. The relics of Blessed Basil are hidden somewhere on the island, but nobody knows the place.

The island in unbelievably good..

When they were leaving the island they realized that they forgot to sing "We Magnify.." to St Paisy of Yaroslavl, so they sang it in a boat..