07/02/2020, 10.25
RUSSIA
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The referendum's obvious outcome. Father Lev and Providence

by Vladimir Rozanskij

70% turnout, Putin victory of 80%. The results published before the closing of all of the ballot boxes in the Federation. Miracles in Optina where "The Russian Pilgrim's Tales" was born: the construction of a new church; exorcisms; medical cures.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The referendum on changes to the Constitution has closed in Russia with a turnout of of over 70% of the voters and the overwhelming approval of the new form of Putinian power. The result was so obvious, that the electoral committee began to communicate the official results starting from 3pm in the afternoon (when the seats in the Far East provinces closed), without waiting for 9pm in Moscow, as required by law: an estimated 80% of the voters were in favor of the changes.

A Russian journalist, Elena Kucherenko (photo 3) of Pravmir.ru, during the campaign of "presidential propaganda" blogged about her experience of voting online, given that she has been in isolation for three months protecting herself from the pandemic. Instead of the new constitution, she said she discovered the miracles of divine Providence. The countryside is located near the Optina Pustyn 'monastery (photo 2), one of the historical places of Russian holiness and spirituality, and in the small village of Nizhnye Pryski there is a young priest at the service of the faithful, Father Lev. Not seeing Elena's family at the Easter liturgy, the priest went to visit them, and since then an intense friendship was born, which extended to the other inhabitants and even to the monks and nuns of Optina.

Father Lev (photo 1) has been a priest for a couple of years, and when he arrived there was no church, no money available. Without asking for anything, offers of pure charity began to arrive, and he learned to believe more and more in divine aid, even if his parish was then only an empty piece of land. He remembered the prayer of one of his confreres, Father Ioann, who had found himself in a similar situation in another village: “Lord, help me therefore! You see that I am the most foolish of fools, but all my hope is in You”.

After a week of this prayer, a man rang on the door of the priest's house: "Father, don’t you need to build a church here?" The man offered advice, prepared the papers and left a large sum of money: the priest will call his church, dedicated to the Transfiguration, "the gift of heaven". His confident attitude spread among the clergy of the area, and another priest, Father Evgeny, decided to give all the money he had to pay for the care of an elderly parishioner, a single woman in need of a very expensive operation. The money was returned a week later, through an anonymous donation.

Father Lev also reportedly learned to heal demons: several times he welcomed people who railed against God and against the Church into the church, like a girl who screamed throughout the ceremony "it's just a circus!". Without particular exorcism formulas, the priest decided that it was enough to bring communion to the lips of the obsessed woman: after shouting "burn, burn!", the girl took communion and quietened. This was also apparently the case for other similar circumstances.

These somewhat insane and very Russian stories of holiness recall and renew the stories of monks and pilgrims, such as the famous "Tales of a Russian pilgrim" which were written in Optina in the nineteenth century. If they are still repeated today, it really means that God has decided to stay very close to "Holy Russia" and to lead it on the path of true conversion, regardless of the high-sounding proclamations of the constitutional laws and autocrats of yesterday and today.

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