Bishop Леонид (Толмачев Д.)

Letters from st. Macarius of Optina to L. A. Kavelin: beginning of correspondence and its regularity; publication of the last letter

Толмачев Денис (2023) "Letters from st. Macarius of Optina to L. A. Kavelin: beginning of correspondence and its regularity; publication of the last letter ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2023, vol. 114, pp. 144-155 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII2023114.144-155


This article studies the letters of St. Macarius of Optina to the future Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin) in order to be more specific about the biographical details of the church figure. The cause of the correspondence starting and its regularity are revealed. The article analyzes all the publications of the letters from Elder Macarius to L.A. Kavelin: in the general collection of letters to the laity, in a separate brochure and in collections of letters from the Optina elders, as well as the publication of letters based on archival materials. There is given a previously unpublished text of Macarius’ last letter to L.A. Kavelin before he entered the St. John the Forerunner’s skete of Optina pustyn. The cause of the correspondence with St. Macarius is determined by L.A. Kave-lin’s visiting the skete of Optina at the end of 1845, when they got to know each other better, as well as his asking the elder for advice depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, the article reveals an almost three-year break in correspondence, which allegedly arose due to L.A. Kave-lin’s lack of understanding of St. Macarius’ advice. The latter kept him from entering the monas-tery against the will of his parents, who entrusted the support of their two younger sons to their eldest son.


history of the Russian Orthodox Church, correspondence, Optina pustyn, St. John the Forerun-ner’s skete, Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin), St. Macarius of Optina, S.A. Burachek


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Information about the author

Bishop Леонид (Толмачев Д.)

Student status: Graduate student;
Student status: Graduate student;
Academic Rank: Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
Post: tshamda2012@mail.ru;
ORCID: 0009-0009-6063-5132;
Email: tshamda2012@mail.ru.