Male Raifa Monastery (Kazan)
Once upon a time, in the distant past, near the sacredSinai Mountain, towering above the peninsula of the same name, washed by the warm waters of the Red Sea, the monastic settlement of Raifa was formed. What this name meant, it is difficult to say today. However, based on the fact that through these places the way of the "Israel's sons" from Egypt to the Hasan land lay, one can admit its Hebrew origin.
Whatever it was, in the fourth century it was herethere was a tragedy. At that time, forty-three monks lived in Raif, some of the elders spent fifty or sixty years in this settlement. The pagan tribes of the Nob, who then moved to the Nile valley from the Libyan desert, captured them, at first they tortured them, demanding gold, and then they were killed. The monks died, glorifying God, for which the Orthodox Church was ranked among the saints.
Thirteen centuries have passed, and the traditions of the slainthe elders were reborn in the Kazan land. The history of the new Raifa monastery is very interesting. To feel this, we'll look into the depths of the centuries and feel the breath of time that has gone far from us ...
How Raifa Monastery was founded (Kazan)
The founder of the monastery is the hermit Philaret.When his parents died, he went on a journey through the cities of the Volga region. In Kazan, a monk came in 1613 and first settled in the Transfiguration Monastery of the Transfiguration. But then, in search of seclusion, Filaret arrived on the shore of Sumy Lake, which is twenty-seven kilometers to the north-west of the city, and built a cell there. At first the monk lived alone, only occasionally local cheremis came to the lake to perform their pagan rites. So Orthodoxy met with paganism.
This meeting was addressed by the fact that the Maridistrict spread the news about the appearance of the hut of a holy man on the shore of the lake. Soon many Orthodox gathered around Philaret. On his instructions built a chapel - there were initial prerequisites for establishing the Raifa monastery. Kazan after the capture of Ivan the Terrible did not yet know such monasteries - this is one of the earliest Orthodox communities formed on this territory.
The main shrine
Filaret died in 1659, but his workcontinued. In 1661, a precise copy of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God, written off from the original, was brought to the Raifsky Monastery in Kazan from the Krasnogorsk Monastery, near Kholmogory. Since the seventeenth century and until today it is the main shrine of the monastery, thousands of pilgrims come to it from different parts of the country every year. In the same year, 1661, Kazan Metropolitan Laurence blessed the monastery. He got his name from the very place where monks died in the 4th century, the Raifsky Bogoroditsky.
The cloister remained entirely wooden before the fire1689 year. From the turn of the 17th-18th centuries a stone ensemble began to form. In 1690-1717 years. erected the existing towers and walls, which stretched more than half a kilometer along the perimeter and formed a monastery picturesque Kremlin. In honor of the monks who died in Raif in 1708, the church was built in stone, in 1739-1827. over the brotherly cells built Sophia Church - one of the smallest: in the temple part can be only seven people at a time. In the period 1835-1842, the Georgian cathedral was erected in the style of classicism - the work of the architect M. Corinth, and in 1889-1903. built the highest structure of the monastery - the gate belltower, which is about sixty meters in length. In 1904-1910 the Neo-Trinity Cathedral was erected in the Neo-Russian style by the architect F. Malinovsky.
Now Raifa monastery in Kazan is oneof the most luxurious and majestic architectural ensembles in the Middle Volga region. Unusual picturesqueness is given to it by a unique environment: the Sumskoe Lake (it is also called the Raifa Lake), about one and a half kilometers long and 300 meters wide, and a delightful pine forest, which since 1960 was declared a reserve.
Events after the 1917 Revolution
On the eve of the October Revolution, RaifaThe monastery (Kazan) numbered up to eighty novices and monks. In 1918, the monastery was officially closed, but the churches were used for worship services for several years. On the charge of anti-Soviet and counter-revolutionary activities in 1930, the novice Peter and the last hieromonks were arrested: Joseph, Job, Sergius, Varlaam, Anthony. In the same year, they were all shot. Since the 1930s, there was a prison for political prisoners, then a colony for juvenile offenders.
Only in 1991 he regained the Raifa monasteryKazan. Archimandrite Vsevolod remembers that when he, while still young, first came to the ruined and abandoned abode with two novices, the revival seemed to him incredible. However, everything turned out, and it is surprising that local Muslims were the first to start helping monks.
Now the brothers number up to sixty people.In the monastery there is a school-orphanage for orphans (boys). The whole architectural ensemble is completely restored, and the monastic life is fully restored. Guests of the city like to come to Raifa monastery (Kazan). The pilgrims' comments are full of admiration for the beautiful flower beds, the magnificent sculptures, the wonderful spirit, the beautiful nature. Three temples have survived to this day: Troitsky and Georgian cathedrals, as well as a cathedral in honor of the monks killed in Raif. In addition, the St. Sophia Church operates.
Raifsky Monastery (Kazan): excursions
To visit the territory of the monastery is open to anydaytime. The easiest way to get here is by bus from Kazan. From the Northern Station, buses run to Urazli and Kulbash, their flights pass through the Raifa monastery. For pilgrims on the territory of the monastery there is a hotel, which is called "The House of the Pilgrim". Every day from 7 am to 20.45 in the monastery a water-shed chapel is opened, which in 1997 was consecrated by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. Since ancient times water is a means and a symbol of purification, especially if it is water consecrated. The water-bearing chapel stands on the western side of the subhum area, where water is drawn from artesian wells. Guests and pilgrims can always sip water from a consecrated source or pick it up and take it with them. For those who do not want to get there by themselves, numerous travel agencies offer an organized excursion to the Raifa monastery. Kazan is an amazing city, having arrived to it, do not miss the opportunity to see this monastery.