Orthodox America


 Bishop Maxim of Serpukhov 


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An exceptionally talented physician and psychiatrist, Bishop Maxim, while still a layman, became the intimate friend of Patriarch Tikhon. The latter blessed him to accept secret monasticism and-in the event that after his death the Church authorities were to betray Christ-to become a secret bishop. After Metropolitan Sergius' Declaration in 1927, he was accordingly consecrated by the suspended' Bishop Dimitry of Gdov, becoming the first bishop of the Catacomb Church. He was arrested in 1929 for his vigorous and open opposition to the Soviet Church and sent to Solovki prison camp where he continued his work both as physician of souls and bodies until he was shot on June 23, 1931 for refusing to recognize the authority of Metropolitan Sergius. Thus he proved himself to be a worthy imitator of his heavenly protector, St. Maximus the Confessor, who said: "Even if all the world shall enter into communion with the (heretical) Patriarch, I wil not."

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