Russia Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Monastery September 2009

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Monasteries, according to St. Philaret (Drozdov), were the “spiritual stronghold” of Orthodoxy. Pilgrims went to the holy monasteries not only to worship the shrines,
but also to experience the correct Christian life. The believers were guided by the words of John of the Ladder: “The light of the monks is the Angels, the monks are the light for
all men.”

In ordinary life, in the hustle and bustle of everyday worries, the intensity of spiritual life weakened. Coming to the monasteries, the pilgrims observed a strict monastic life
– for them, it was a true Christian life – and then they tried to imitate it in the world. In the monasteries, the usual prayers and chants sounded in a special way. Each of
them had its own saints. The monastery was a living illustration of the lives familiar to many from childhood. The moral feat of the saints inspired a righteous
life. The life according to the commandments of Christ was also promoted by the advice of experienced elders. People from all walks of Russian society sought them for spiritual conversation in the monastery
. Visiting the monasteries morally cleansed, strengthened in faith and piety.

Sometimes, after returning from a pilgrimage, people changed their entire lives. The religious philosopher and historian Prince Sergei Trubetskoy considered monasteries “a place of spiritual
and moral education of the people”. Having received a charge of faith here, the pilgrims then carried it to the world.

Solovki has always attracted pilgrims seeking the shrine. But many participants of scientific expeditions, foreign
travelers, writers, and industrialists also came to the islands. They found their interest here – business, scientific, educational. Everyone perceived Solovki in their own way, but
all visitors noted that there is a special world here, different from their ordinary worldly life. People sometimes began to think for the first time that
there is another life — high and spiritual. And today Solovki is visited not only by Orthodox pilgrims. The islands are
still open to everyone. Here everyone finds something that is interesting to the mind and dear to the heart. A visit to the Solovetsky Islands always enriches you with new knowledge,
impressions, and joyful experiences. Let it at the same time open the door to the world of the Orthodox monastery for some, and make this world more open for others.
close and understandable, and someone may want to come back here again. Let everyone here feel the joy of coming into contact with the shrine and
keep the bright feelings experienced in their soul as long as possible. Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Stavropol monastery.

Viceroy Archimandrite Porfiry

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