by Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov

A review and excerpts from an amazing book that eloquently speaks about the soul of Russia that is so misunderstood in the world today.
        I discovered this book while surfacing the internet at the beginning of December and I ordered it from Amazon.   I finished reading it last night and I was simply blown away by the profound spirituality that it offers to a suffering world.  The book was first published in Russian in 2011.  It was translated into English in 2012.   More than a million copies and several million electronic versions of this book were published in less than a year after its release.   Every Day Saints is the English translation of the work that has soared to the top of the bestseller lists in Russia since its publication in late 2011.  Winner of several national awards including “Book of the Year,” its readership spans philosophical boundaries.  Surpassing all competition many times over, it was voted the most popular book in Russia for 2012.
        Open the book and you will discover a wondrous, enigmatic, remarkably beautiful yet absolutely real world. Peer into the mysterious Russian soul, where happiness reigns no matter what life may bring.  Page upon page of thanks, praise, and testimonies to the life-changing effect of these bright, good hearted, and poignant tales have flooded the Russian media.
        As a retired Greek Orthodox priest in America, I would recommend especially that every priest or young man who plans to become a priest in the Orthodox Christian Church should read this book.   Every lay person in the Orthodox Church in America should read this book to grasp the triumphant spirituality that pervades our Holy Orthodox Church.  It reveals to us how the Russian Orthodox Church survived seventy years of brutal atheistic communist brutality.   This is especially important for Orthodox Christians in America who, facing rampant materialistic liberalism, need a firm spiritual foundation to defend themselves from this scourge of contemporary life.  This scourge is just as destructive as communist atheism.
Compiled by:
+Fr. Costas J. Simones, Waterford, CT, USA, December 30

          The translator of this book writes the following in the introduction of the book.  “It may surprise some of us who grew up during the Cold War, but Russia, feared for so many years as the land of godless Communists, is in fact one of the most intensely spiritual and devout nations in the world.  The profound faith of its people, Orthodox Christianity, rooted in a mystical understanding of  life as a covenant and of worship as a sacrament, has always been the secret underpinning of the mysterious Russian soul, whose elusive immanence makes Russian literature, art, and music so special.  In the twentieth century, under brutal totalitarianism of the Soviet system, Russia endured some of the very darkest days in human history.  Yet where there is darkness, as this book shows, light shines forth ever brighter to meet it.  Ultimately, though it may take a while, love and light and compassion conquer hatred and darkness and indifference.