This article studies the life and ministry of the Orthodox Confessor of the Faith (Russ. исповедник) Archpriest Alexander Makov (1881‒1985; Russ. Александр Маков), who survived the revolution and civil war, the Renovationist schism (Russ. обновленческий раскол), the persecution of the Orthodox faith, repression and underground (catacomb) ministry in the USSR. In the 1920s, in Ekaterinodar (Krasnodar), he was the only Orthodox priest who remained faithful to Patriarch Tikhon, whereas the rest of the clergy of the city, headed by the ruling bishop, fell into the Renovationist schism. Not having a single “Tikhon’s” Orthodox church in Krasnodar, he went underground in 1922‒23 and began to perform divine worship at home. Having received special blessing from Patriarch Tikhon, he accepted through repentance priests from Renovationism to Orthodoxy in Kuban’ region. He was repeatedly arrested and persecuted by Soviet authorities. After serving a long sentence in forced labour camps and exiles, he was forbidden to live in Kuban’ region and in the major cities of the USSR. Hiding from persecutors, he moved to the city of Chernigov (Ukraine), where he established an underground (catacomb) community and illegally performed divine service at home up to his repose in 1985. Because of the fact that after his move to Chernigov and his start of underground service, there was no reliable information about him any longer, it was thought that he fi nished his life in the period of mass repression of Stalinist time. Following this opinion, the data about him, borrowed from the book by Revd. Mikhail Pol’skiy (Russ. Михаил Польский), was included in the lists of New Martyrs and Russia’s Confessors of Faith submitted for glorifi cation by the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1981. At that moment, Revd. Alexander Makov was exactly one hundred years old; consequently, there seemed to be no hope that he could survive such trials and live up to such an age. Nevertheless, in 1981 he was still alive and continued to perform the ministry of the Confessor of the Faith remaining underground. He died in 1985. Such a fact of intra vitam canonisation is unprecedented in the history of church.
Alexander Makov, Patriarch Tikhon, metropolitan Anastasiy Gribanovskiy, patriarch Sergiy (Stragorodskiy), patriarch Alexiy (Simansky), bishop Fotiy (Purlevskiy), Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Renovationism, persecutions of church, catacombs, New Martyrs, Confessors of Faith, canonisation
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