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Father Arseny, 1893-1973: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father : Being the Narratives Compiled by the Servant of God Alexander Concerning His Spiritual Father Paperback – December 31, 1998
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Original Language: Russian
Top Customer Reviews
The chapters all have a ring of truth as they describe the horrible conditions of the prisoners in Stalin's Siberian camps. The stories of how Father Arseny, a former art historian turned Russian Orthodox priest, survived and shared the love of God with his fellow prisoners, including the Communist official who sent him there, are humbling and truly awe inspiring.
The middle section deals with Father Arseny's days following his release from prison, but still during the days of Communist opposition to any underground Christian activity.
The final section introduces the reader to individuals whose lives were incredibly touched by the ministry and faith of Father Arseny.
We in the West need to learn more about what went on behind the Iron Curtain during the Bolshevik years. This book puts a human face on the suffering.
Thus, when something big happens in the world of Orthodox publishing, it's mostly unknown outside church circles. Something big happened four years ago, with the publication of "Father Arseny: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father."
This was a translation of a book that had already sold 400,000 copies in Russia, the first open publication of a battered manuscript which had previously circulated only in carbon copy, underground.
American Orthodox immediately recognized "Father Arseny" as a spiritual treasure. The book is a collection of memoirs assembled by someone who calls himself "the servant of God Alexander." The essays describe a Russian priest through the eyes of many who knew him, both during his years in a communist
concentration camp, and in the town where he lived till his death in 1975. Father Arseny's radical compassion and humility embody the distinctive flavor of Orthodox spirituality, and as such his story struck an immediate chord.
For example, the book opens with dawn in the sub-freezing gulag, as the feeble, aging priest struggles to light a fire for the barracks. Clergy were despised by everyone, even other prisoners; Christians were believed to be stupid. Yet in the course of this typical day Fr.Read more ›
This books is highly recommended for spiritual edification and growth.
The first part of the book describes Father Arseny's time in a Soviet gulag and the many miracles which were performed through him. One of these stories in particular - that of Fr. Arseny and the prisoner Alexei in a cell for three days in -22 degree weather - is so miraculous, it alone makes the book worth picking up. Another - that of the woman being saved by the Mother of God from being raped - also has a profound affect on the reader. These are just two of the many stories which I will never forget, and which I will return to to read again many times in my life.
Mainly, this book taught me two things: First, I find that I see faith in everyone now. The Light of faith exists in all people, even if only a spark.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book changed my life. It is packed with amazing stories.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Having read many prisoner-of-war/escape stories over the years, not to mention Solzhenitsyn's works, I naturally absorbed Father Arseny, A man about whom I knew nothing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Katherine Miroy
This is one of the MOST PROFOUND books I have ever read. I believe we in the west are close to a type of persecution unknown to most of us. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carla Smith
LOVE this book and wish everyone could read it; so inspiring!
Thank you for the excellent service and delivery.
Wonderful book about a man for whom God is a living being with which he is united. Theosis, I dare say, truly came to Father Arseny.Published 11 months ago by tania
It is a great book to read especially when one needs a spiritual reading. Not because it is religious but because it gives hope.Published 12 months ago by Hermann
Literally a life transforming perspective for the better. Resonated and soothed painful areas in life while giving tremendous hope, encouragement and the ability to see the light... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Roger Khoury
I've bought several copies of the book over the years to give as gifts. Am now re-reading for myself.Published 14 months ago by Daniel J. Trapp