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This entire double issue of The Orthodox Word is dedicated to the Life of St. Isaac (Antimonov) of Optina, who served as the superior of Russia’s Optina Hermitage from 1862 until his repose in 1894, a period that almost perfectly coincided with the eldership of the great Elder Ambrose. A man from a wealthy background, St. Isaac nevertheless became the strictest of ascetics and, under the guidance of Elder Ambrose, led the monastery during its most famous period, when people from every corner of Russia flocked there to receive spiritual counsel, purification, and consolation. A humble yet firm leader of his monastic flock, he greatly multiplied the many talents entrusted to him by the Lord. This Life, appearing for the first time in English, is a translation of the original 1899 Life, and includes additional material from the 1995 Life, both published by Optina.