The holy people quoted here, most of them saints, foresaw the catastrophe of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the long, bloody period of warring atheism.
But many of them also saw beyond the destruction…into a brief, but vivid, rebirth of Russia and Orthodoxy.
(These prophecies were published in the May-June 1973 issue of The Orthodox Word — St. Herman Brotherhood, Platina, California.)
St. Anatole the Younger of Optina (1917)
“There will be a storm. And the Russian ship will be smashed to pieces. But people can be saved even on splinters and fragments. And not everyone will perish. One must pray, everyone must repent and pray fervently. And what happens after a storm?
…There will be a calm.’
At this everyone said: ‘But there is no more ship, it is shattered to pieces; it has perished, everything has perished.’
‘It is not so,’ said Batiushka. ‘A great miracle of God will be manifested. And all the splinters and fragments, by the will of God and His power, will come together and be united, and the ship will be rebuilt in its beauty and will go on its own way as foreordained by God.
And this will be a miracle evident to everyone.” [Orthodox Russia, 1970, no. 1, p. 9].
St. Seraphim of Sarov (+1833)
“Before the birth of the Antichrist there will be a great, protracted war and a terrible revolution in Russia passing all bounds of human imagination, for the bloodletting will be most terrible: the rebellions of Ryazan, Pugachev and the French revolution will be nothing in comparison with what will take place in Russia.
Many people who are faithful to the fatherland will perish, church property and the monasteries will be robbed; the Lord’s churches will be desecrated; good people will be robbed of their riches and killed, rivers of Russian blood will flow…
But the Lord will have mercy on Russia and will bring her along the path of great sufferings to glory.”
“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”
Elder Aristocles of Moscow (+1918)
St. Nectarius of Optina (1920s)
“Russia will arise, and materially it will not be wealthy. But in spirit it will be wealthy, and in Optina there will yet be seven luminaries, seven pillars” [I.M. Kontzevich, Optina Monastery and its Epoch, Jordanville, 1973, p.538].
St John of Shanhai and San Francisco (1938)
“Shake away the sleep of despondency, O sons of Russia! Behold the glory of her suffering and be purified; wash yourselves from your sins! Be strengthened in the Orthodox Faith, so as to be worthy to dwell in the dwelling of the Lord and to settle on His holy mountain!
Leap up, leap up, arise, O Russia, you who from the Lord’s hands have drunk the cup of His wrath!
When your suffering shall have ended, your righteousness shall go with you and the glory of the Lord shall accompany you. The peoples shall come to your light, and kings to the shining which shall rise upon you.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.