St. Herman Press publishes new installment for ‘The Northern Thebaid, Vol. II’

The detailed Life of St. Cornelius of Komel presented in the newly published The Orthodox Word #311 provides fresh inspiration for Orthodox monastics and seekers, as well as for a certain pilgrim with a camera…

From the announcement on the St. Herman Press website (emphasis added):

Vol. 52, No. 6 (311) November-December, 2016
The Life of St. Cornelius of Komel

This issue of The Orthodox Word features a new chapter of the second volume of The Northern Thebaid: Monastic Saints of the Russian North.

St. Cornelius of Komel (†1538) was a great monastic founder of the Vologda region of Russia, about 250 miles to the northeast of Moscow. Like the renowned St. Sergius of Radonezh a century and a half before him, St. Cornelius was the spiritual father of many disciples who became founders of yet more monasteries.

This Life, based on the original Slavonic version, is rich in historical details and appears here in English for the first time. St. Cornelius’ monastic Rule is one of the only four surviving written testaments of that era of Russian spirituality; his introduction to that Rule is included in this Life.

Order the print version here, digital version here, subscribe (choose print or digital) here.

Beautifully illustrated by full color icons of St. Cornelius on the front and back covers, and numerous illustrations, icons and photographs accompanying the text (some in full color in the digital edition), this issue of The Orthodox Word points to the eventual publication of a worthy successor to The Northern Thebaid, originally published over forty years ago.

The extent to which monasteries in the Americas honor and maintain their connection to the living tradition of Orthodox monasticism of preceding centuries, is the extent to which The North American Thebaid will not only flourish in our vast continent, but will be able to help sustain, comfort and nurture the faithful in the chaotic 21st century, bearing witness to the Lord Jesus Christ, and advancing the mission of the Orthodox Church in America.

From the Editor’s Introduction to OW 311:

“In 1968 the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood began including Lives of Russian desert-dwelling monastics in issues of The Orthodox Word. Later, in 1975, the Brotherhood was able to compile these Lives in the first edition of the now-classic book, The Northern Thebaid, painstakingly hand-printed on a letter-press. Containing twelve chapters on the lives of the pioneers of Northern Russian monasticism, including St. Sergius if Radonezh, St. Cyril of White Lake, and St. Nilus of Sora, this book has been an inspiration to English-speaking monastics and laymen.

However, the great number of important monastic saints of Russia’s North whose Lives have not yet been presented in English gave rise to the desire to make more such texts available. Thus, twenty years later, in issue no. 180 of The Orthodox Word, this process was begun again with the translation and printing of the Life of St. Martyrius of Zelenets, with the intention of eventually compiling enough Lives to produce a second volume of The Northern Thebaid.

“In the ensuing years, the Lives of St. Adrian of Ondrusov (nos. 230–231, 2003) and St. Cyril the White of New Lake (nos. 236–237, 2004) were added. In the current issue, we present the next installment, the Life of St. Cornelius of Komel.”

Excerpt From: “The Orthodox Word #311 (November-December 2016).” iBooks.

As the inspiring inscription in the original The Northern Thebaid beckons to us:


“Blessed is the life of the dwellers of the desert, for they are winged by divine fervor.”

Sunday Matins: Hymn of Degrees, Tone 5, First Antiphon


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