Orthodox America

   Father Vladimir

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From childhood it was obvious to every one that Fr. Vladimir did not belong to this world. Unlike his younger brother Boris who had a noisy and lively character, Vladimir was exceptionally quiet; he loved to go to church but otherwise he preferred to be left alone. Their paths in life were likewise sharply contrasted: Vladimir became a priest and in 1924 was sent with his parents into voluntary exile". There he was given great veneration and love by his parishioners. He fearlessly called on everyone to resist any church interference by the Bolsheviks. After one extraordinary sermon, he bid farewell to his parents; that night he was led away and executed in the Lyubuanka prison in Moscow. Boris, however, gave in to the propaganda of the Revolution and became not only a Young Communist, but an active member o{the Atheist League to the great sorrow and terror of his family. He married a' girl who also ridiculed God and the next year they had a son. They soon discovered that the boy had been born with a tubercular spine and even the best physicians gave them no hope. One day the boy was very sick; his legs were already growing cold; the local medic came and left saying the child's last minute's had come. Boris had given himself over to despair when suddenly he saw his deceased brother coming towards him, dressed in priests' vestments and carrying an icon of the Saviour, "Not- made-with-hands ", which he gave to him and vanished. In blessing his marriage, his mother had given him that very icon, making him promise not to destroy it. Boris immediately ran to the shed, and taking the icon out of the trunk where it had been kept, laid it on the dying boy. The next morning the child was completely .well The prayers of Fr. Vladimir -had healed not only the child, but also the sons of his parents From that time forth, Boris renounced his activity among the communists and told everyone everywhere about the miracle, calling them to faith in God. It was not long before he too was martyred.