Orthodox America

   Bishop Arcadius

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Perhaps no other New Martyr so exemplifies a true Catacomb shepherd as Bishop Arcadius He was characterized by exceptional self-sacrifice and great power of prayer. As persecution began following the Revolution, the burning flame of apostolic zeal grew ever - brighter in his heart, drawing those around him into a single-minded devotion to God. He organized brotherhoods of laymen and women for bringing Christian work to the suffering Russian people; there were missionary groups, singers, groups which visited hospitals and helped the needy, others which made- sure the faithful received a Christian burial. Bishop Arcadius was first arrested at the age of 33, during Bright Week-in 1922 and his whole life became succession of arrests and exiles with brief periods of freedom which hardly differed from exile. He lived in hiding for long periods of time during which he secretly celebrated Divine services and inspired Catacomb brotherhoods. Deprived even of identity papers, he became a home less wanderer. But he possessed that "one thing needful" and aflame with zeal for pure Orthodoxy, he continued distributing the Bread of Life to hunger-mg souls across the Russian land. His final arrest occurred in 1938 during the infamous Ezhov purge. No longer an e a r t h l-y wanderer, he became a citizen of paradise.