There are many new orthodox saints that have been born in the world today. They include Prince Vladimir, Metropolitan Nikodim of Rotov, Patriarch Sergius of Radonezh, and Patriarch Alexei. These new orthodox saints have contributed to the church in various ways. Whether it was the first time they became a martyr or they helped to lead a movement to unite the nation, these saints have all made a contribution to the church in one way or another.
During his lifetime, Patriarch Pimen of the New Orthodox Saints eked out a living in the face of a harsh censorship policy by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He was an able politician and a tireless churchman who struggled to save the Russian Orthodox Church from extinction.
Despite his valiant efforts, the Soviet government attempted to suppress all religious activity. In the end, more than one hundred thousand Orthodox monks and priests were reportedly executed during Joseph Stalin’s purge of the Russian Church. Thankfully, Patriarch Kirill has added 5,000 parishes per year and is expected to seek greater autonomy from the Kremlin.
Saint Vladimir, also known as Vladimir the Great, was a Russian saint who played a significant role in the evangelization of the Eastern Slavs. He was the Grand Prince of Kiev and was a prominent figure in the history of Orthodox Rus’.
St Vladimir was born into a family of Rurik Dynasty, a family of princes who ruled Kiev. His grandfather was Malk Liubechanin, a Drevlyani, and his father was Svyatoslav, the son of a Rurik prince.
Vladimir had a wild and sensual life. He had a Solomonic appetite for women. In his younger days, he indulged in promiscuity and prostitution. Eventually, his interest in Christianity became serious.
Patriarch Sergius of Radonezh
Saint Sergius of Radonezh was a monk, ascetic, and patron saint of Russia. He was born to a noble Russian family in 1314. His parents were devout Orthodox Christians. The family moved to Radonezh in 1328.
When his father died in 1328, his family became impoverished. Despite the poverty, Sergius was devoted to his work and his faith in God’s help. Eventually, he established a hermitage, which became known as Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra.
After founding the hermitage, he began teaching the farmers better ways of farming. Later, he started several schools and monasteries. Some of his disciples eventually joined him. Eventually, the monastery of the Holy Trinity became famous and influential in Russia.
Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov)
Nikodim was the first to reach out to society in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was appointed to oversee the Catholic-Uniate jurisdiction of the former USSR, a role which he held for over twenty years. His efforts are still evident nearly two decades after his death.
He was the head of the Department of External Church Relations of the ROC. During this time, he played a pivotal role in world politics. He had to use other levers of influence to affect government policy.
The Russian Orthodox Church has had its share of persecution. It was a Soviet republic at the time of the Holocaust, and it was led by an old and weak patriarch. Moreover, the church was in the middle of the Arab-Israeli confrontation, and the Israeli authorities were highly critical of the USSR. Despite these obstacles, the Russian Church managed to survive.
Georgian Orthodox Martyrs
Thousands of Georgian Orthodox martyrs have given up their lives as a sacrifice for Christ. Their blood has been the seed of the Church. They have been rewarded imperishable crowns from the Lord.
The history of Christianity in Georgia dates back to almost 3,500 years. Georgians adopted Christianity through the ministry of Saint Nino in the 4th century. It is considered one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. This ancient faith has also produced some of the most prominent philosophers and writers.
Georgians have always fought against foreign invaders. Many of the Georgian royal reigns showed great heroism and courage.
Alexei (or Alexi) II is the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. He led the church during its difficult years, reestablishing cooperation with secular institutions and leading the church in a religious revival after the atheist period of Soviet rule.
During his tenure, the Russian Orthodox Church was one of the largest in the world. Its membership was estimated to be two-thirds of the country’s 142 million people. During his time as Patriarch, the church fought against schismatic churches in neighboring Ukraine.
Among his many accomplishments, he was a proponent of the separation of church and state. He was also active in international Christian forums.