During its centuries-old history, the monastery has gone through a lot. There were periods of decline and prosperity. The event that took place on the bright day of Easter in 1993 shocked the entire Orthodox world. Red Easter in Optina Pustyn has since become a day of joy mixed with pain. On Easter night, from the seventeenth to the eighteenth of April, three monks were killed in the monastery - Hieromonk Vasily, and two monks Trofim and Ferapont.
A lot of people gathered for the service that Easter night. People rejoiced, praised the risen Christ. It never occurred to anyone that a Satanist was killing brothers very close by, on the belfry. Of course, the criminal was found, tried, he confessed everything. He was declared insane and was sent to a closed hospital. But the loss is irreplaceable.
The Optina New Martyrs, Fathers Basil, Trofim and Ferapont, died for Christ, fulfilling their usual obediences. They killed not the first ones who came across, but the most worthy - so the Optina monks believe. Each of those killed had his own path to monasticism, and all three were ready to accept a martyr's death in the name of Christ.
Hieroskhimonk Michael, a resident of Optina Hermitage, recalls that on that Easter night, many brothers felt an approaching disaster. Someone felt horror, someone despondency, but no one expected such a disaster. At that time, there was a film crew on the territory of the monastery, which was filming a film about the monastery.
Father Mikhail was saved by a searchlight beam. He walked from the Vvedensky temple to the skete along a narrow path in the predawn darkness. Three suspicious men came out to meet him, anger and hatred in their eyes. Even the "killers" flashed through my head, but from the beam of the searchlight the strangers disappeared into the darkness. Who knows, there might have been more sacrifices, but the Heavenly Father did not allow, took the most worthy ones.
Each of those killed had their own path to monasticism, but there was some amazing seal on them. Many who communicated with the brothers noted that there was something special about them. As if they were chosen by the Creator Himself for a special mission.
Father Vasily, ordained to the rank of hieromonk (Igor Ivanovich Roslyakov), came to the monastery from sports. A native of Moscow, he graduated from the Faculty of Journalism, but did not work in his specialty. The Lord rewarded him with the gift of speech. Becoming a monk, the gift of a preacher was clearly revealed. He nursed the prisoners, wrote poetry. Was not afraid of any job. Father Vasily was the youngest of the murdered brothers, at that time he was thirty-two years old.
Six years after the death of her son, his mother went to a monastery, took monastic vows with the name of Vasilisa. Before her tonsure, she said that she really wanted to meet her son when her earthly journey ends.
Inok Trofim (Tatarnikov Leonid Ivanovich) was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death. He was considered a hero, thanks to his remarkable strength. Before the monastery, he managed to work on a trawler, was a member of a yacht club, was a machinist, shoemaker, firefighter, even a cattleman on a farm. He was very fond of nature, collaborated with the newspaper as a photojournalist.
I got to Optina with a group of pilgrims, and realized that his place was here. Talking about himself, he once said: “Life shook me. I thought, what is all this for? But it turns out that everything was needed so that now, here, in the monastery, I could apply all my little experience to serve God and people! " He was in constant good deeds, trying to help everyone. At the monastery he performed various obediences, including being a bell ringer.
Inok Ferapont (Vladimir Leonidovich Pushkarev) is remembered in the monastery as a serious person, deep in constant prayer. He always prayed, even when his hands were busy with work. At night, taking time away from sleep, he worked five hundred. He was a spiritually and physically very strong man. At the time of his death, he was thirty-seven years old.
He was born in the Novosibirsk region, loved to play the guitar, even sang in an ensemble, was engaged in martial arts. After the army, having received the appropriate education, he worked as a gamekeeper for three years. He loved solitude and silence very much. Arriving with a group of pilgrims, he stayed forever.