Vol. 54, No. 5 (322) September-October, 2018
A Shepherd of God's Mercy
Schema-archimandrite Gregory (Davydov)
This issue of The Orthodox Word features the life of a Russian elder of modern times, Schema-archimandrite Gregory (Davydov). Born in 1911 to a pious peasant family, Fr. Gennady (his name before receiving the schema) learned the value of hard work from an early age, gaining skills that would help him to survive the Soviet Union’s brutal Gulag. He was tonsured at the unusually early age of sixteen in the Ploschansk Hermitage, where he was an exemplary monk. During the mass persecutions of the 1930s, he was arrested and exiled to the Kolyma concentration camps in eastern Siberia. After his release, he served in various places, first as a deacon and then as a priest. In 1957, he was assigned to the Protection Church in the village of Pokrovka near Belgorod, where he served until his repose thirty years later. During this time he skillfully guided the souls brought to him by God, not only in his own parish, but from all over Russia. He was endowed with spiritual gifts such as discernment, clairvoyance, and prophecy. Healings occurred through his prayers. When he reposed in 1987, he left behind many disciples: bishops, abbots, abbesses, clergy, monastics, and laity, who carried on his spiritual legacy.
Also featured in this issue is the continuation of the letters of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov.