Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Martyr Eugene

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Rodionov (Russian: Родионов Евгений Александрович) (May 23, 1977 - May 23, 1996)
.
This blessed soul gave his life rather than renounce the faith, he was beheaded rather than remove the cross he wore and convert to Islam.
.
"Evgeny Aleksandrovich Rodionov was born thirty minutes after midnight on May 23, 1977 in the village of Satino-Russkoye near Moscow in what was then the Soviet Union. According to his mother, as a boy in this small village, all he really wanted was to be a cook. When he was eleven years old, Evgeny Rodionov received from his grandmother a little Cross on a chain. He wanted to wear it to school, but his mother, then an atheist, warned him against it, since the communist authorities frowned on such things. Evgeny wore it anyway and refused to ever take it off.
.
In 1995 Evgeny turned eighteen and was drafted into the Russian armed forces as is required for all Russian men. Right before being drafted, Evgeny was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church on his own accord seperate from his parents who were still atheists. For his duty he was chosen to work in a frontier guard unit (something of a mix between the US Border Patrol and the National Guard) and sent for training in the Kalingrad area of what was formerly East Prussia. After training he was sent to the border of Chechnya and posted near the town of Galashki. This was towards the end of the controversial First Chechnyan War. On the night of February 14, 1996, just six months after he started his service, Evgeny and three comrades were captured by a force of Muslim Chechen guerillas who were disguised in an ambulance while the Russian soldiers were manning a checkpoint.
.
Upon capture they were held in the cellar of an abandoned house for 100 days as ransom demands were sent to their families. Kidnapping and demanding ransom was almost a cottage industry in Chechnya during that time period. They kept Evgeny hanging by his wrists in a basement. They starved and beat him.
.
Chechen field commander Rusland Haihoroev (also spelled Khaikhoroyev in some sources) eventually beheaded Evgeny with a rusted saw that took over an hour to complete on May 23, 1996 (his 19th birthday) near the settlement of Bamut. His body, along with four other Russian prisoners were placed in a bomb crater outside the village of Alexeevskaya and covered up with lime and dirt. Haihoroev stated later in an interview that he only killed Rodionov after the soldier denied conversion to Islam and refused to give up his Orthodox Cross, while two others with him had converted to Islam. Russian troops occupied the village where Evgeny was murdered the following day after the execution." - Saints Lives Blogspot

.

Prayer
.
Thy martyr, Yevgeny, O Lord, in his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from thee, our God, for having thy strength he has brought down his torturers, has defeated the powerless insolence of demons. Through his prayers save our souls.
.

.
Odor of sanctity.
.
"Today according to Inferfax of Russia in Penza, an Icon of Evgeny Rodinov gave off aromas of myrrh in the St. Lukas Church at the Penza regional oncologic dispenser. Russian soldier Rodionov was executed in Chechnya in 1996 after refusing to renounce Orthodox faith and take off his cross.

.
“Myrrh came out in two spots, in a palm of his hand and where one wears the cross,” the church Rector Alexy Burtsev told journalists.
.
According to the Church Rector, it happened during the All-Night Vigil on February 15. Those in attendance, at the Church, stood behind praying, and took in the strange pleasant aroma.
.
The priest noted that on February 15, 1996, Penza-born Evgeny Rodionov was captured in Chechnya, imprisoned for hundred days and when he refused to renounce Christian faith, militants beheaded him." - Source
.
Soldier saint for modern times.
.
 
Eugene's mother with a photo of the child Eugene and the soldier martyr.
.
"Among the photographs of her son that Mrs. Rodionov spreads on her kitchen table are laminated cards that she says some soldiers carry with them for luck. They bear his image along with a prayer:

.
'Thy martyr, Evgeny, O Lord, in his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from Thee, our God, for having Thy strength he has brought down his torturers, has defeated the powerless insolence of demons. Through his prayers save our souls.'
.
Icons and pictures of this young man Evgeny spread around Russia very quickly and he was hailed as a New Martyr for Christ. In these icons sometimes he wears a uniform, sometimes a red robe (which is a way he appears in visions to the faithful, especially soldiers and children), sometimes armed, sometimes holding a Cross of martyrdom, but always with his halo. The picture distributed of him shows Evgeny wearing the Cross around his neck for which he died. Miracles have been occurring in connection with Evgeny's relics as well. During a religious procession in commemoration of Martyr Evgeny on November 20, 2002 the icon with the image of the soldier started secreting sweet-scented myrrh." - Source

.
Thanks to Spirit Daily for the story.
.
My understanding is that his cult has not yet been officially recognized by the Orthodox Church.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are welcome all - Ang - I thought of you and Luke immediately - I'm praying Eugene will protect him!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maria6:16 PM

    Re Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Rodionov

    "Haihoroev stated later in an interview that he only killed Rodionov after the soldier denied conversion to Islam and refused to give up his Orthodox Cross…"

    The martyrs of today are the seeds of future Christians… We cannot imagine this kind of death. I'd love to know nore about his Mother's relationship to God.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for this, Terry. Very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, did his parents convert? or are they still atheist? Can you imagine getting you head cut off with a rusty saw? That is a most amazing story! He is a true saint! I'm going to start praying to him for Luke!

    ReplyDelete
  6. His dad died of grief shortly after his death, and his mom did convert not too long ago.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is true holiness.
    How inspiring.
    Thank you, Terry.
    I would never had known about him.
    Is this, perhaps, what might be the movement of the "conversion of Russia" prophesied by Our Lady of Fatima?
    I know "hard-liners" only accept conversion to the Catholic Church;
    but this is absolutely incredible...
    how many other stories of witness to Christ and His Truth are there?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Has the Vatican spoken about this? I've done some searching for any declaration from the Roman Catholic Hierarchy on this declaration (including the Vatican site) but haven't found any. All references that I've found to Yevgeny's 'sainthood' have been from the popular press, and seem to be caused by Russian Orthodox laity calling for a declaration of his sanctity. I do not deny that Yevgeny's heroic actions speak of sanctity, but as a Roman Catholic I look to the Holy See for a declaration of sainthood, especially as the Russian Orthodox church has less stringent qualifications for declaring a saint and often uses political criterion for the proclamation of sainthood (e.g. the case of the Romanov's). Can anyone point me to a Vatican declaration in the case?

    ReplyDelete
  9. ArchAngel - You are correct - the Holy See would have made no ruling regarding the sanctity of a Russian Orthodox believer. As of this writing I do not even believe this man is officially canonized in the Russian Church. It seems he is a 'saint' by popular acclaim. I was under the impression that was made clear in the article. My apologies.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think the confusion was caused by you, it was a general impression I was getting from Blogdom. Unfortunately in this day of immediate "information" conveyance (TV, Internet, et. al.) we have to be very clear about what we communicate less it is misunderstood by the less informed (and I'm just a stick-in-the-mud about details!). :-P
    It's good to hear about the unsung heroes though, even from our "absent" brethern...

    ReplyDelete
  11. He has already been canonized as a Saint by local Church even though there was some dispute as to whether he should be glorified as a Saint by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
    As I know that in the Orthodox Church, the first step of canonization of a Saint comes from the local Church to the Patriarchate, so I hope someday Patriarchates will canonize him to be glorified as a Saint.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Many people said that the movement to glorify Hieromartyr St. Yevgeny is too hasty, but I would venerate him and I am asking for his prayers even now.
    Because it is not an easy thing for me to sacrifice my life for Christ just like he did.

    Martir suci Yevgeny, berdoalah kepada Allah buat kami!
    Holy Martyr Yevgeny, pray to God for us!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Timotheos, thanks for your comments, I too hope the Moscow Patriarchate will soon canonize him - he is a much needed intercessor in our day - I pray he will protect you. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. Be sure and double check if your comment posted after you do the verification deal - sometimes it doesn't print if you made an error.