Russia: Matrona of Moscow and Iosif Vissarionovich! (Stalin)

Icon and Stalin


One of our readers named MattMacL brought my attention to an interesting subject in Russia that is happening at a time when anti Stalin sentiments are running rather high in the old Soviet areas.

An interview of Father Yevstafiy can be found at the Georgia Daily by Paul Goble of Window on Eurasia. (Link)

His superiors in the Russian Orthodox Church denounced this action as “inappropriate.” And story after story on Russian television (, the print media ( and the Russian blogosphere ( played up the debate.

In comments to “Novyye izvestiya,” Father Yevstafiy stood his ground. “The feeling that Stalin is the father of the peoples, that he is thus in part my high father has never left me in the course of my life. I thus have two fathers, besides the Heavenly Father: one is my father in the flesh and the other is the father of the peoples who was strict” and may “have made mistakes.”

Any attacks on him are wrong and inappropriate the dissident priest continued, and he said that he “remembers Iosif Vissarionovich in all services where this is appropriate, especially on those days when he died, was born and when he celebrated the common Victory of our people.” And he insisted that Stalin was “a believer.”

But at the same time, Yevstafiy was careful to specify that “this is not an icon glorifying Stalin. This is an image of. Matrona of Moscow. And Iosif Vissarionovich is one of those people whom she blessed. She blessed many people,” the priest said, including “a well-known architect and a well- known composer of those times. And Stalin too.”

Now we are not really here to debate the good and or bad about Stalin. I am finding out that this is getting to be a heated argument around this part of the world.

I have no right to say much myself because American history painted a whitewashed picture of the Soviet Union during the WWII times, America needed the help of the Soviet Union and slam dunking Stalin was not the way to get help. The history books held a mild opinion of him for many years. Even with a minor in History the class that I took in collage on WWII hardly touched the subject of Stalin.

My wife has said nothing about her feelings of the Stalin era nor about her Mothers feelings of that era.

So if anyone has more information then please present it!

Kyle & Svet