In 1961, N.S. Khrushchev promised through 20 years to show on TV the "last pop." 12 June 1988, in the Week of All Saints, in the Russian Land shone, Soviet television for the first time during its existence showed Divine Liturgy on the square of the restored Danilov Monastery in Moscow.
A large number of “priests” were present there, starting from Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Pimen - Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, Patriarch of Jerusalem Diode I, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, Patriarch of Romania Romanian Fectist, Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria, Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomus I. Orthodox Christian celebrated the 1000 anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. Nobody remembered Khrushchev's prophecy in those days, as, indeed, his promise to build the “foundations of communism” in the same time frame ... It was not Khrushchev's prophecy that came true, but the artistic prophecy of the artist Korin, who in 1930 wrote the picture “Russia leaving ". There, among the persecuted Russian priesthood, headed by Patriarch Tikhon, is depicted in the foreground and to no one known young hieromonk. He went to war in 1941, defeated fascism, returned to the bosom of the Church and became many years later, having survived Khrushchev, Patriarch Pimen - the same one that 12 of June 1988 was shown on TV when he served the liturgy in honor of the 1000 anniversary Baptism of Russia.
Is there a connection in the clash of these facts, prophecies and names? There is - and this is the supreme law of the universe, read in the events of human stories.
Beliefs embedded in the masses as the dominant ideas, live on average no longer than the lives of one generation (they can do more if recognized by an absolute majority). Subconsciously, the authors of ideas can not feel it. Hence the slogans: "The current generation of Soviet people will live under communism." Said in 1961 year. A change of generations, as is commonly believed, occurs every 30 years. Let's add to 1961 thirty - it will turn out 1991. By this year, as we know, not only the foundations of communism were not built (it was planned, actually, ten years earlier), but they also refused any specific dates. And it was in that year that the first socialist state in the world perished. Coincidence or not, let historians or political scientists decide, and we note that beliefs transformed into ideas are approaches to faith, and not faith. More precisely, beliefs must be derived from faith, and not vice versa. The path to faith through beliefs is littered with such potholes that you can shake them all your life.
For what is the collapse of the Soviet Union, if not a crisis of belief? In 1985, intellectuals of all stripes enthusiastically listened to the talkative Gorbachev. People with convictions believed that Gorbachev also had them, and what their shock was when it became clear three years later that the Secretary General’s verbal incontinence was inversely proportional to the presence of his ideas. How, many were amazed, so you can play in convictions? Yes, so that we believe? Alas, alas, it is impossible to pretend to be a believer in front of a believer, but it’s not so difficult to portray a person with convictions to so-called ideological people. Why so?
Yes, because, while appreciating our beliefs, we believe that they are just as difficult to get to others who can reproduce them for us. This is the biggest intellectual mistake. There were so many such craftsmen. With a hungry gleam in their fleeting eyes, which we took for longing for ideals, inspiringly turning pale at the word "dollar", they hid behind Gorbachev and then Yeltsin for the time being. And here they are, hand in hand with criminal world businessmen, after October 93 reached the top of power, they divided the state among themselves, and all our kitchen truths were brought to justify themselves. A pioneering bonfire of ideas, divorced by politicians since 1985, has burned all that was called beliefs among the people. Today, few people seriously think about them. People have one thing left - faith.
The fundamental difference between man and animal is not that people can speak, write and do something with their own hands, but that they are able to believe, for faith is the crown of meaningful existence. A thought, like a bright fluorescent lamp, can both dispel darkness and emphasize the wretchedness of our life. From the first meaningful days of the existence of mankind, from Ecclesiastes to Tolstoy, it is pursued by a ruthless, life-defying question: why? And only faith, nothing more, gives the answer.
Understanding of this came then, in the midst of "perestroika", 12 June 1988, on the square in front of the temple of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Danilov Monastery. I have never seen open-air worship before, I have never seen Patriarch Pimen with my own eyes. It seemed that the whole Russian people stood on the square then, divided for some reason by the police into sectors - according to the degree of "importance" or rank, or something. I remember Vasily Belov in a gray three-piece suit - then still strong, cheerfully walking. Now he is no longer with us, and before that Peter Palamarchuk, who was also standing there, was still there - serious, quiet, sober, with a resin beard flying in the wind without a single gray hair ...
And I think everyone had one thought then: a thousand years passed, and the main thing in a millennium was the same as in 988, the acquisition of the Faith.
The initial Russian chronicle conveys a beautiful legend about the testing of faiths by Prince Vladimir. The ambassadors sent by the prince were to the Mohammedans, then to the Germans who served in the service according to Western custom, and finally came to Constantinople to the Greeks. The last story of the ambassadors is extremely significant, for he was the most important reason for Vladimir to elect Christianity precisely from Byzantium. We give it in translation into modern Russian. Ambassadors of Vladimir came to Constantinople and came to the king. “The king asked them why they came? They told him everything. Hearing their story, the king rejoiced and made them a great honor on that very day. The next day he sent to the patriarch, so saying to him: “The Russians came to test our faith. Prepare the church and the clergy and dress yourself in holy robe to see the glory of our God. ” Hearing this, the patriarch ordered a clergy to be convened, made a festive service according to the custom, and set fire to the censer, and arranged for singing and choir. And I went with the Russians to the church, and put them in the best place, showing them the beauty of the church, singing and bishop service, the upcoming deacons, and telling them about their service to God. They (that is, the ambassadors) were in awe, wondered, and praised their service. And the kings Basil and Constantine called them, and said to them, “Go to your land,” and sent them away with great gifts and honor. They returned to their land. And Prince Vladimir called his boyars and elders and said to them: “Here came the men sent by us, let us listen to everything that happened to them,” I addressed the ambassadors: “Speak before the squad”. ”
We omit what the ambassadors said about other faiths, but what they said about service in Constantinople: “and we came to the Greek land, and led us to where they serve their God, and did not know whether we were in heaven or on earth : for there is no such spectacle and beauty on earth and we don’t know how to tell about it. We only know that God dwells there with people, and their service is better than in all other countries. We cannot forget that beauty, for every person, if he tastes sweet, will not take bitter afterwards; neither can we be here in paganism. ”
Recall that the test of faith meant not what kind of faith is more beautiful, but what kind of faith is true. And the main argument of the truth of the faith of the Russian ambassadors is announcing its beauty. And this is no accident! It is by virtue of this idea of the primacy of the artistic principle in church and state life, the first Russian Christian princes with such diligence build their cities, they put in the central churches.
Not all countries, the adoption of Christianity was almost bloodless, like in Russia. In Norway, it caused a civil war in which Olaf the Holy was killed. It happened already in the reign of Yaroslav the Wise. In Poland, riots broke out, which Kiev helped to suppress. There, to the aid of King Casimir against the rebel Moislav, Yaroslav the Wise went twice in 1041 and 1047.
The claims of “neo-pagans” that Christianization has deprived Russians of their ethnic and religious uniqueness, or, as they say, autochthonousness, have no basis.
Let us recall the Celts (Britons, Gauls, etc.): “primordial paganism” did not help them to remain as an independent ethnic community. Now in the world there is only one independent state of ethnic Celts - Ireland. In this case, the vast majority of Irish speak English.
The years from Vladimirov to the Baptism of Rus until the death of Prince Vladimir in 1015 were years of unprecedented well-being of the people and the state. Slavic tribes, subordinate to a single prince and united by the preaching of Christianity, which called for love for each other, lived in peace. The sons of Prince Vladimir were growing up, and the father gave each of them a city and lands around the country to reign; he himself took the title of Grand Duke, and all appanage princes were subordinated to him. During these years, Russia grew stronger. Temples were built, in which there were schools. Under Prince Vladimir, education became an important Christian virtue.
Finally, another Christian virtue, from the point of view of Vladimir, was the mercy of the rich towards the poor and needy. Having been baptized, Vladimir began primarily to take care of the sick and the poor. According to the chronicle, Vladimir “brought the prince to every beggar and wretched man and levied every need, drink and food, and from khounami (money) from the schooting”. And those who could not come, the weak and the sick, deliver supplies to the yards. If this care of him was to some extent limited to Kiev or even to a part of Kiev, then the chronicler’s story is extremely important because it shows what the chronicler considered the most important in Christianity, and with him most of his readers and copywriters of the text mercy, kindness.
The first circle of beliefs associated with idols, gods, was decisively rejected by Vladimir, and idols were cast down and lowered into the rivers - both in Kiev and in Novgorod. However, the second circle of beliefs, more poetic than ritual, regulating work on the seasonal annual circle: spring, summer, autumn and winter works, began to Christianize and acquire shades of Christian morality.
There remained, in particular, in different parts of Russia peasant “helpers”, or “toloka”, - the common work accomplished by the entire peasant community. In the pagan, pre-feudal village, helpers were performed as a custom of common rural work. In a Christian (peasant) village, helpers became a form of collective assistance to poor families — families who lost their heads, were disabled, orphans, etc. The moral sense concluded in the pisses intensified in the Christianized rural community. It is remarkable that the help was made as a holiday, wore a cheerful character, accompanied by jokes, jokes, sometimes competitions, common feasts. Thus, with the peasant assistance to low-income families, some offensive character was taken off: from the neighbors, the help was done not as charity and sacrifice, which humiliated those who were helped, but as a cheerful custom that brought joy to all the participants. To help the people, conscious of the importance of what was being done, went out in festive clothes, the horses were “cleaned for the best harness.”
“Although the work is hard and not particularly pleasant, meanwhile, toloka is a pure holiday for all participants, especially for children and young people,” the witness said (or helpers) in the Pskov province of the XIX century.
Pagan custom acquired ethical Christian coloring. Christianity softened and absorbed other pagan customs. So, for example, the Initial Russian Chronicle tells about the pagan abduction of brides near the water. This custom was associated with the cult of springs, wells, water in general. But with the introduction of Christianity, beliefs in the water weakened, and the custom to meet a girl when she walked with buckets in the water remained. Pre-conspiracies of a girl and a boy were committed near the water. So, for example, occurs at Grigory and Aksinyi at the beginning of Sholokhov's “Quiet Don”. Perhaps the most important example of the preservation and even enhancement of the moral principle of paganism is the cult of the earth. Peasants (and not only peasants, as VL Komarovich showed in the work “The cult of the clan and the land in the princely environment of the 11th-13th centuries”) treated the land as a shrine. Before the start of agricultural work, they asked the land for forgiveness for “ripping its breast” with soya. The land has been asked for forgiveness for all its wrongdoings against morality. Even in the 19th century, Raskolnikov, in Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment,” first of all publicly asks for forgiveness for the murder of the land directly on the square.
There are many examples.
The adoption of Christianity did not abolish the lower layer of paganism, just as higher mathematics did not abolish the elementary. No two sciences in mathematics, there was no dual faith in the peasant environment. There was a gradual Christianization (along with the withering away) of pagan customs and rites.
The churches erected in the 11th century are still the architectural centers of the old cities of the Eastern Slavs: Sofia in Kiev, Sofia in Novgorod, Savior in Chernigov, Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, etc. No subsequent churches and buildings have overshadowed what was built in the eleventh century.
None of the countries bordering Russia in the 11th century could compare with it in the greatness of its architecture and in the art of painting, mosaic, applied art and in the intensity of historical thought expressed in chronicling and working on translated chronicles.
The only country with high architecture, sophisticated in both technique and beauty, which can be considered, in addition to Byzantium, the forerunner of Russia in art, is Bulgaria with its monumental buildings in Pliska and Preslav. Large stone temples were built in Northern Italy in Lombardy, in the north of Spain, in England and in the Rhineland, but this is far away.
The aesthetic moment played a particularly important role in the Byzantine revival of the 9th — 11th centuries, that is, just at the time when Russia accepted Baptism. Patriarch of Constantinople Photius in the 9th century, in his address to the Bulgarian prince Boris, insistently expresses the idea that beauty, harmonious unity and harmony in general distinguish the Christian faith, which is precisely this that differs from heresy. In the perfection of the human face, nothing can be added or subtracted - and in the Christian faith. The neglect of the artistic side of worship in the eyes of the Greeks of the 9th — 11th centuries was an insult to divine dignity.
Russian culture in an obvious way was prepared for the perception of this aesthetic moment, because it was kept for a long time in it and became its defining element. Recall that for many centuries Russian philosophy was intimately connected with literature and poetry. Therefore, it is necessary to study it in connection with Lomonosov and Derzhavin, Pushkin and Gogol, Tyutchev and Dostoevsky ...
The accepted date of the Baptism of Russia - 988 year may not be true: sources have recorded that Byzantine recognized Askold's Baptism of Russia, which happened on 126 – 128 years before (I write in detail in the recently published book The Unknown History of the Russian People), but it must be said that the official version is not at all erroneous. This paradox is easily understood by the example of those peoples who were baptized in antiquity but did not become Christian. Here, say, once Orthodox Albania. There are now Orthodox and Catholics there, but in general it is, as is well known, a Muslim country. And if in Albania a second, final Baptism takes place, then which of them will go down in Albanian history as official? I suppose the second. That's why we are counting on the complete, final Baptism of Rus by the Grand Duke Vladimir.
Russia appeared with its Kiev, the rival of Constantinople, on the world stage exactly then. A thousand years ago, both high painting and high applied art appeared in our country - just those areas in which East Slavic culture had no lag.
We also know that Russia was a highly literate country, otherwise how would it have formed such high literature already at the dawn of the 11th century?
The first and most marvelous in form and thought work was the work of the “Russian” author, Metropolitan Hilarion (“The Word of Law and Grace” —a work that no country had in its likeness in its time — church-like in form and historical-political in content.
Attempts to substantiate the idea that Olga and Vladimir adopted Christianity according to Latin custom are devoid of any scientific documentation and are clearly tendentious in nature. Only one thing is unclear: how important it would be if the whole Christian culture was adopted by us from Byzantium and as a result of the relations of Russia with Byzantium. From the very fact that Baptism was accepted in Russia before the formal separation of Christian churches into Byzantine-Eastern and Catholic-Western in 1054, nothing can be inferred. It is impossible to derive anything decisively from the fact that Vladimir, before this division, accepted in Kiev Latin missionaries “with love and honor” (what were his reasons for accepting differently?). Nothing can be inferred from the fact that Vladimir and Yaroslav betrayed their daughters as kings adjoining the western Christian world. Didn't Russian tsars in the 19th century marry German and Danish princesses, betrayed their daughters as Western sovereigns?
It is not necessary to list all the weak arguments that are usually given by Catholic historians of the Russian Church, Ivan the Terrible rightly explained Possevino: "Our faith is not Greek, but Christian."
Pushkin said so about Christianity in his response to N. Polevoy's “History of the Russian People”: “The newest history is the history of Christianity.” And if you understand that Pushkin understood history primarily as a history of culture, then Pushkin’s position is in a certain sense correct for Russia Considering that painting, music, architecture and to a large extent almost all literature in Ancient Russia were in the orbit of Christian thought, Christian disputes and Christian themes, it is quite clear that Pushkin was right if his idea was widely understood.
To Christianity, Prince Vladimir was led not by mysticism or philosophy, but by a real and logical understanding of the advantages of Christian teaching over other religions and its benefits for the people and the state. He realized, possessing an accurate, indisputable and reasonable logic, that only Christianity gives the right direction in life and the correct assessment of all human actions, desires and thoughts.
In the history, the identity of the pagan who converted, Grand Duke Vladimir-Vasily, stands out against the background of other rulers, thanks to his wisdom, kindness, justice, care for a huge state, improvement of affairs associated with the newly emerged Church, a skillful approach to Greek influence on the Russian Church, reasonable and firm diplomacy, and most importantly - a gracious, cordial and kind attitude towards others, including the poor and disadvantaged.
For these traits of his character and for the fact that he led the Russian people to the light of Christianity, the Russian Church ranked Grand Prince Vladimir to be a saint with the title of Equal Apostles. But even before there was recognition of the people.
A.V. Kartashev wrote: “Of all the leaders of ancient and old Russia, the epic memory of the people exclusively singled out two leaders: St. Vladimir, whom she called ла affectionate prince and the red sun’, who loved the poor and loved them, and - a formidable tsar Ivan, just judge, ruthlessly who executed the offenders of the people. "
Photo: picture by V.M. Vasnetsov "Baptism of Russia"