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Kitezh, the Russian Grail Legends

Publication - Kitezh   Title : Kitezh
  Author : Munin Nederlander
  ISBN : 1855380374
  Publisher : The Aquarian Press
  Page count : 272
  Date published : 1991
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translated from the Dutch by Tony Langham

Foreword by John Matthews

The Aquarian Press An Imprint of HarperCollinsPuWistars 77-85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

Published by The Aquarian Press 1991

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

© Uitgeverij De Ster, Breda 1988 English translation
© The Aquarian Press, 1991

Munin Nederlander asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 1855380374

Typeset by Harper Phototypesetters Northampton, England Printed in Great Britain by Mackays of Chatham, Kent

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

Contents

Acknowledgements

7

Foreword by ]ohn Matthews

9

Introduction

11

I.

The Kitezh legends
The legend of Kitezh - the Slav Church version
(The legend of the Holy City of Kitezh)

13

Introduction

13

Basic prose text

14

The legend of Kitezh, twentieth-century version (W. Belski)

25

(The legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and Lady Fevronia)
Introduction by W. Belski

25

Introduction by Munin Nederlander

26

Verse text (libretto of the opera in four acts) — verse

27

II.

Introduction to the Kitezh legend
(Valentin Tomberg on the Kitezh legend;
Kitezh as the community of Philadelphia in the Apocalypse)

91

III.

Early Russian history up to 1236-40, when Kitezh
and Kiev Rus fell, as the history of the Slav-Rurik Call
and the Varangian Answer to it

107

IV.

The Russian bylini, with commentaries

131

Introduction

131

The bylini

131

    The mythical bylini

132

        Sviatogor

132

        Volkh Vselavyevich

135

        Volga Sviatoslavovich

138

        Volga Sviatoslavovich and Mikoela Selyaninovich

141

    The heroic bylini of Kiev

145

        The wedding of King Vladimir

145

        The contest between Dunai Ivanovich and Natasha Korolyevichna

151

        Dobryna Nikitich and the dragon Zmei Gorynchich

153

        Dobrynya Nikitich and Natasha Mikoelichna

157

        Alyosha Popovich and the magician Tiigarin Zmejovich

158

        The Cure of Ilya Muromets

163

        Ilya Muromets frees Chernigov

167

        Ilya Muromets and Solovej Razbonjiek

169

        Ilya Muromets and Sviatogor

174

        Ilya Muromets and Idolich

177

        The dispute between Ilya Muromets and King Vladimir

179

        Ilya Muromets and Tsar Kalien

181

        Ilya Muromets and the falcon Sokolniek

184

        The three journeys of Ilya Muromets

188

        The betrayal of Alyosha Popovich

192

        Michailo Ivanovich Potyk

195

        Stavyor Godinovich and Vasilisa Mikoelichna

200

        The death of Stavyor Godinovich and Vasilisa Mikoelichna

202

        Solovei Budimirovich of Venice

203

        Dobrynya Nikitich and Vasili Kasimirov

207

        How the Bogatyri of Holy Russia met death

209

    The heroic bylini of other southern Russian cycles

215

        Prince Roman Mstislavich

215

        The campaign of King Igor

217

    The heroic bylini of Novgorod

219

        The youth of Vasili Buslayev

219

        The death of Vasili Buslayev

225

        How Sadko became a rich merchant

227

        Sadko and the Sea King

229

Reflections on the bylini

232

V.

Epilogue

239

Appendix: The histories of Dimitri Donshoi and Dimitri Ivanovich,
with a commentary

245

Glossary

263

Notes

265

Further Reading

267

Index

269

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the many people who have helped me in the preparation of this book, particularly my wife, Alja Wormgoor-Werz, and my friend, Bas van de Bosch. Without their help this book could not possibly have been published. My wife accepted that in relation to the size of this work I had to devote a disproportionate amount of time to it: working on the manuscript proved to be very arduous.

The beginning of the commentaries on the Kitezh legend and the Russian bylini contained in this work, which are taken from early Russian history, is based on an article by the Russian publisher Valentin Tomberg in the German magazine Antroposophie, Wochenscrift für freier Geistesleben, 13th year, no. 12, 22 March 1931. In that article, which is reproduced here in translation, the Kitezh legend is identified as the central legend of the Slav culture. It was Tomberg who first identified it as such. Therefore I would also like to thank him.

My greatest thanks go to the benevolent spiritual forces that have guided me. I dedicate this book to everyone it will concern.

Foreword

I first became aware of Kitezh: the Russian Grail Legends in 1988, when Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki drew my attention to the large volume she had acquired while teaching in Holland. Knowing of my interest in the Grail and in Russian legends, she showed me the book, and together we decided to recommend its translation and publication in English by the Aquarian Press. Happily, this has been achieved, and the book you are holding is the result.

It tells a strange and fascinating story, drawing some exciting parallels between the Russian legends of Prince Vladimir of Kiev and his Knights of the Golden Table and those of Arthur and the Round Table of Camelot. Although there are almost as many differences as there are similarities between the two cultures, the overlap between the two mythic cycles — between Camelot and Kiev — are indeed remarkable, and open up possibilities for deeper exploration still, which I myself hope to achieve during the next few years.

Of the great and mysterious city of Kitezh itself, little is known. It was supposedly founded in 1168 by Georgi 0uri) Vselodovich, a distant cousin of the same Vladimir around whom the cycle of tales referred to above first constellated in the Middle Ages. At some point, however, it vanished, rather like Arthur himself, and from that moment it became a place of legend, a withdrawn paradise to which only the elect could find their way.

This too is reminiscent of the Arthurian tales, in which the knights of the Round Table go in search of the Grail, the final resting place of which is the holy city of Sarras, far to the East. In these Western European Grail legends the Quest-Knights ride out in search of what they perceive as an object, which can heal the earth. In those of Eastern Europe the Grail is manifest as the earth itself, and the heroes of the Golden Table of King Vladimir experience its mystery in a symbolic relationship with their native earth through the presence of the invisible city of Kitezh. (This supplies the missing element of an actual Grail Quest in the Russian legends.) Munin Nederlander suggests that in a future time, mirrored by the past, all people will be able to enter the spiritual City irrespective of their nature. This belief lies at the centre of his book, which sets out to prove that the ancient mysteries of 'Mother Russia', as embodied in Vladimir and his Botaryi (Knights), reflect a future arc of history in which these symbolic stories will be re-enacted, but in a spiritual dimension.

This is all in keeping with Anthroposophical teaching, and 'Munin Nederlander* (the name can be interpreted as meaning 'Memory of the Low Lands') is first and foremost a student of Rudolf Steiner's intricate and fascinating vision. The book is written in a curious mixture of naivety and sophistication which characterizes much Anthroposophical writing. The almost transparent mysticism is balanced by the precise and detailed commentary. The two interact to form a unity of surprising strength, and though the book is at times difficult to follow in terms of detail, it is very well worth the occasional effort for the gems of wisdom and insight this produces.

One of the most important aspects of the book are the translations (many for the first time in English) of the great cycles of heroic songs known as Byliny. These contain a fascinating account of a past heroic age, very little removed from that of the ancient West. The many parallels are evident, even at a superficial reading, and some are traced in the present book in extraordinary detail.

At a time when the Eastern and Western halves of the European continent are speaking to each other for the first time in many generations, this is indeed a timely and important book. It shows some of the ways this dialogue can be opened up to create a new spiritual unity between the USSR and the rest of the world. It is my personal hope that this is allowed to develop unchecked, and that further and deeper explorations of Slavic and Russian myth and spirituality are permitted to continue. The outcome can only be of the greatest value to both East and West.

John Matthew, London, 1990

Introduction

This publication is the first part of a treatise on the Slav Kitezh legend, in commemoration of the thousandth anniversary of the existence of Kiev Rus. It provides an interpretation of:

  1. 'The legend of the holy city of Kitezh', an ancient Slav text from Kitezkaja Legenda, published by V.I. Komarovic, Moscow 1936 (prose);

  2. 'The legend of the invisible city of Kitezh and Lady Fevronia', the libretto of the opera Kitezh by M. Rimsky-Korsakov, written by W.J.Belski in 1905 (verse).

These are two versions of the mysterious Russian legend about the ascension or descent of the sacred city of Great Kitezh into the Svetli Jarr the brightly shining lake. Both versions of this legend are simply called the Kitezh legend.

Mani, bringer of the light

The interpretation is carried out firstly in relation to the Slav Bylini (heroic epics) about the Round Table of (the Brotherhood of the Grail) of King Vladimir, the Red Sun of Kiev. It is also seen against the background of early Russian history, which can be considered as an organic unit with a foundation in the honorary request of the Slavs to the Varangians for order (the so-called Slav-Rurik Call, and the Varangian Answer to this). These indicate how the Kitezh legend is related to that of the Bylini. It is also interpreted in the light of Western European spiritual science. The reader is assumed to have some knowledge of the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, and of theosophy, anthroposophy and Rosicrucianism. For this purpose, the Bylini stories are summarized in this book, virtually all taken from Boris Raptschinsky's book, Russian Heroic Sagas and Legends (Thieme, Zutphen, 1923), together with commentaries which are also based on Western spiritual science.

With regard to the facts in the outline of early Russian history, and the two subsequent historical periods, I based my description on standard works, such as Ancient Russia from the Parool-Life series, and Ph. L. Barbour's Dimitri.

The Kitezh legend will be identified firstly as a Slav cultural legend (cf. Faust as the Germanic cultural legend). Secondly, it will be seen as a Utopia (the Utopia 'Philadelphia' from the Apocalypse) or as the 'social conclusion' in the form of a Christian communist state, the quest for the Grail by King Vladimir's Round Table.

Western European spiritual science, particularly anthroposophy, emphasizes that early Russian history (including the reign of Dimitri Donskoi) should also and particularly be seen as a mythological outline anticipating Russia's future history. Clearly, a similar idea applies to an even greater extent to the mythological side of this history, i.e. to the Kitezh legend, and in relation to the bylini. Therefore the interpretations and commentaries will constantly indicate that the content of the bylini and the Kitezh legend (like the history of Kiev Rus) is related both to Russia's past and future.

The introduction and the emphasis on this idea inevitably raise the question of the character of 'modern Russia', i.e. Russia as a land conquered by the Mongols, a Tsarist empire, and a communist Soviet republic

The history of Kitezh and its interpretation will show that:

1)

Present-day Russia emerged from the Slav Call for order and some unasked for (incorrect) answers to this - an unasked for answer on the part of the Mongols, an incorrect answer on the part of the Anglo-Saxons, and an unasked for and incorrect answer from both. It will also show that its character (the character of a non-Christian communist state, in a threefold sense) is based on this.

2)

The force is active in 'modern Russia', which is represented by the so-called Demetrius essence. This links Russia's early and future history, Kiev's former and subsequent Round Table, and above all the Christian communism of the ancient and future Kitezh.

1 hope that this treatise will contribute to the correct Varangian Answer to the Slav-Rurik Call for order in the sense described in the Epilogue. Baarn, Whitsun 1988

1. The Kitezh Legends

The Legend of Kitezh: the Slav Church version (The legend of the Holy City of Kitezh)

Introduction

The original Slav Church version of this legend can be found in the book Kitezkaja Legenda by the Russian historian and linguist V.L. Komarovic, published in 1936 in Moscow. Kitezkaja Legenda consists of the basic Slav Church text of overlapping and interrelated fragments, an extensive interpretation of the text in twentieth-century Russian, as well as a map of the area where the cities of Great and Little Kitezh were supposedly situated.

This translation of the legend, like the German translation of the anonymous Russian original, is completely faithful to the Slav Church basic text. The texts shown in brackets were provided by the Russian student N.N., who translated the text into German. The texts shown in double brackets are my own additions or clarifications.

Basic prose text - The book was written, according to tradition the fifth of September of the year 1138 (6646)

Once upon a time there lived the exalted true believer and great prince, Georgi Vsevolodovich, the son of the exalted true believer and great Prince Vsevolod, who was christened with the holy name of Gavril, the miracle worker. This exalted true believer and great Prince Vsevolod was the son of the great Prince Mstislav, and the grandson of the exalted King Vladimir of Kiev, the supreme ruler of the whole of Russia who resembled the Apostles. Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich was the great-grandson of the exalted true believer and great King Vladimir. The exalted true believer Prince Vsevolod was the first ruler of Novgorod.

After some time it happened that the people of Novogorod became agitated about the following problem: 'How can our Prince, who is not christened, rule over us, who are christened?'

A delegation was sent and drove him away. He fled to his uncle, Jaropolk, in Kiev, and told him why he had been driven away by the citizens of Novgorod. When his uncle had heard his story, he gave him a castle. The people of the city of Pskov asked him to rule over them, and this is how Vsevolod came to rule over Pskov. During his reign he was blessed with holy baptism, and was given the name Gavril.

In Pskov he led a devout life and was held in high esteem up to the day of his death on the 11th of February of the year 1163 (6671). He was buried by his son, the true believer and great Prince Georgi.

His holy powers brought about many miracles. Praise be to Christ, our God and all the saints,
Amen.

At the request of the people of Pskov, in the year 1163 (6671) the exalted true believer Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich ascended the throne of his dead father, the true believer Prince Vsevolod, baptized with the name of Gavril. The exalted true believer and great Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich went to visit the true believer, Prince Michail Chernigovski. When the true believer and great Prince Georgi arrived to visit the true believer Prince Michail, he bent down before him and uttered the following words: 'Greetings, O true believer and great Prince Michail! May you excel in your devoutness and Christian belief. Endeavour to resemble in all ways our great-grandfathers and our great-grandmother, the true believer and great Queen Olga, who was converted to a belief in Christ, the chosen one, the pearl of great value, and to a belief in his holy Prophets, Apostles and holy Church fathers. Endeavour to resemble our just great-grandfather, Tsar Konstanin, who was like the Apostles.'

The true believer Prince Michail replied: 'Greetings to you, true believer and great Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich! You come to me with well considered advice and without envy. You speak with a different mind than our grandfather Sviatopolk, who wished to reign alone and therefore killed his brothers who were true believers and great princes. He ordered that Boris be pierced with a spear and Gleb stabbed with a dagger. Throughout the years of their rule he betrayed them by means of flattery and the infernal lie that their mother was on her deathbed. And because they, like their peaceful prophet Christ, were well intentioned lambs of God, they did not defend themselves against their hostile brother. However, the Lord raised up his followers, the true believers, princes and miracle workers, Boris and Gleb'

The great princes Georgi and Michail embraced each other, anc celebrated a solemn feast and were joyful.

Then the exalted and great Prince Georgi addressed the true believer Prince Michail: 'Grant me permission to build houses and citadels of God in the cities of the holy land of Russia.'

The true believer and great Prince Michail answered: As it is your wish you will build houses of God to the glory and honour of the holiest name of God. And you will be rewarded for your devout wish on the day o: Christ's return to earth.'

For many days there was a solemn feast, and when the true believer King Georgi wished to return to his home, the true believer Prince Michail ordered his servants to prepare the official consent to build the churches. He endorsed it with his signature.

When the true believer and great Prince Georgi started his journey back, the true believer Prince Michail accompanied him and took his leave with dignity. The two princes knelt down before each other and the true believer Prince Michail handed him the consent.

(Another version continues from this point.)

The true believer Prince Georgi took the consent from the true believer Prince Michail, and bowed down before him. Then the former also bowed down.

Georgi travelled through many cities, and when he arrived in Novgorod in the year 1164 (6672), he ordered a church to be built in honour of the Assumption of Our Holiest Lady, the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary.

From Novgorod he travelled to his own city of Pskov, where his father, the true believer Prince Vsevolod, baptised under the name of Gavril, the miracle worker of Pskov and Novgorod, had died. From there he travelled on to Moscow, and in the year 1164 (6672), he ordered a church to be built in honour of the Assumption of Mary, Our Holiest Lady, the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. From Moscow he travelled to Pereslavl Saleski, and on to the city of Rostov.

At that time the great and god-fearing Prince Andrei was in the city of Rostov. On the 23rd of May 1164 (6672), the true believer Prince Georgi ordered him (?) (not clear in the original Russian) to build a church in honour of the Assumption of Our Lady in the city of Rostov.

During Prince Georgi's sojourn there, deep ditches were dug for the foundations of the Church. During these excavations the immortal body of Leonti was found, the servant of Christ, and miracle worker and Archbishop of Rostov. The power of that living body led the people of Rostov to be converted to the Christian faith, and they were all baptised, great and small. The true believer Prince Georgi was extremely joyful about this. He thanked God who had granted him such a valuable treasure. He offered a prayer of thanks and ordered the God-fearing Prince Andrei to travel to the city of Murom to build a church there in honour of the Assumption of Our Lady.

The true believer and great Prince Georgi himself travelled from Rostov to Jaroslavl on the banks of the Volga. He took a boat and travelled down the Volga. In Little Kitezh, on the Volga, he stepped ashore.

(Another version continues from this point)

All the people of that city requested the true believer Prince Georgi to bring to their city the miraculous holy statue, the icon of the Holiest Mother of God of Feodorovsk. Before fulfilling their wish, he sang songs of praise in honour of the Holy Mother of God. When he had finished, he wanted to carry the holy statue into their city, but was unable to move it from its place.

When the true believer Prince Georgi saw this as the will of the Holy mother of God, he ordered a convent to be built in her honour on the spot she had chosen for her image. The true believer Prince Georgi continued his journey not by water, but overland.

He crossed the rivers Uzol, Sandu, Sanogtu, and finally the River Kerschenec, and arrived at a lake called Svetlojar. He observed the beautiful and spiritual area, and at the request of the people he ordered a fortified town by the name of Great Kitezh to be built on the shores of Lake Svetlojar. The setting was magnificent.

On the opposite shore of the lake there was a holy oak forest. On the advice and command of the true believer and great Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich, ditches were dug for the foundations of the city, and a church was built in honour of the establishment of Christ's Cross. (This was on an Orthodox Holy Day.)

Subsequently another church was built (The Assumption of Our Lady), as well as a third church (The Annunciation). In addition, he ordered portraits to be painted of all the saints. The city of Great Kiteth was 100 sazen wide (1 sazen = 2133 m.) and 100 sazen long. As the site was not large enough, Prince Georgi ordered that it should be extended by another 100 sazen. The city was now 200 sazen long and 100 sazen wide. Building commenced on this fortified city of stone in honour of the prophet Jeremiah and his followers in the year 1165 (6683).

Three years later, on 30 September 1168 (6686), it was completed in honour of the holy Martyr, Gregory of Armenia.

Then the true believer Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich travelled to Little

Kitezh and ordered the distance between Little Kitezh and Great Kitezh to be measured. It amounted to 100 poprist (church measurement: 1 poprist = approximately 23.33 km).

When the true believer and great Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich learned this, he offered a prayer of thanks to the Lord and to the Holy Mother of God. Then he ordered a historian to chronicle events. The true believer and great Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich held a Mass and sang songs of praise for the Holy Mother of God of Feodorovsk.

After the Mass, he sailed in his ship to his father's city of Pskov, which was also situated on a river. The people of Kitezh took their leave of him and kissed him farewell with great respect.

When the true believer Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich arrived in Pskov, he passed many days in prayer, fasting, and meditation. He gave many alms to beggars, widows and orphans. About 75 years passed after he had founded all those cities and churches, and it was the year 1239 (6747).

That year it was God's will, and because of our sins, that the dishonourable and godless Khan Batu entered the holy country of Russia. He laid waste and burnt down many cities and churches, slaughtered many people, struck down small children and raped young girls. There was great lamenting.

When the true believer Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich heard this, he wept many tears, prayed to the Lord and the Holy Mother of God, and assembled his warriors.

With his warriors he set out to fight the dishonourable Khan Batu. At the moment that the two armies encountered one another, there was a great battle and much blood was shed.

When the true believer Prince Georgi had only a few warriors left, he fled from the dishonourable Khan Batu. He fled down the Volga to Little Kitezh. There the true believer Prince Georgi stood firm against the dishonourable Khan Batu for a long time, and prevented him from entering the city. At night the true believer Prince Georgi secretly left Little Kitezh and fled to Great Kitezh.

In the morning the dishonourable Khan stormed the city of Little Kitezh he could not find the true believer Prince George he decided to torture someone. When the victim could no longer endure the torture, he betrayed the road to Great Kitezh,

The dishonourable Khan hastened thither. When he arrived at the fortified town, he overran it with his hordes and took Great Kitezh on the shores of the Svetli-Jarr. On the 4th of February the dishonourable Khan Batu murdered the true believer Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich and left the city. This brought-to an end the power of the true believer Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich.

'This is what Batu thought he had achieved, or at least, this is how he saw it.' The city of Little Kitezh on the banks of the Volga died out, and Great Kitezh on the shores of Lake Svetlojar no longer existed.

Similar events also took place in history as recounted in the biographies of the Holy Fathers, and as described in the book 'Monasiki', and in the Book of Hermits, the alphabetical biography, The Book of Jerusalem and in the Book of the Holy Mountain.

These books give corresponding accounts of the lives of the Holy Fathers, though the holy places often differ. For that matter, there were as many monasteries with as many Holy Fathers with different lifestyles as there are stars in the sky. It is no more possible to write down all those names than it is to count the grains of sand on the seashore.

The holy prophet King David, inspired by the Holy Ghost, writes in the Book of Psalms, inspired by God: The just man flowers like a date palm and multiplies like a cedar of Lebanon which was planted in the house and garden of Our Lord'.

Inspired by the Holy Ghost, the holy Apostle Paul wrote in his letters: 'The wolf in sheep or lamb's clothing who lives beneath his dignity is not worthy of the world.'

These words were also uttered by the holy St John in his teachings on the third week of fasting.

(End of this version.)

A similar account was also passed down to us from Mount Sinai by the holy Anastasi. In addition, our respectful father, the great Ilarion, describes the

saints in the same way as the Scriptures mentioned above. All in all, it is clear that there are hidden cities and monasteries. When the Antichrist assumes world dominion, the people in mountains, caves, and subterranean abysses will flee. Then God, who loves man, will not abandon people as they beg for salvation with burning zeal, great emotion and tearfulness, for the Lord will do everything for mankind. According to the divine words of the Saviour in the Holy Gospels, all who wish to be saved will be saved.

Six years after the murder of the honourable true believer and great Prince Georgi Vsevolodovich, and the interment of his sacred mortal remains, Khan Batu penetrated the rest of Russia to wage war. The true believer Prince Michail Chernigovski went to fight against Khan Batu, together with his boyar Fyodor.

When their warriors engaged in battle, a great deal of blood was shed, and the dishonourable Khan Batu killed the true believer Prince Michail Chernigovski, together with the boyar, Fyodor. This took place on the 20th of September of the year 1242 (6750).

In the fifth year after the murder of the true believer Prince Michail Chernigovski, the dishonourable Khan Batu murdered the true believer Prince Mercurii Smolenski on the 24th of November of the year 1247 (6755). In the year 1248 (6756) the principality of Moscow was destroyed, as well as many monasteries in other cities, and that of the city of Great Kitezh. 'At least, this is how it was seen'

(These additional details about the legend of the hidden city of Kitezh were added to the three versions.)

When someone takes a decision to go to Kitezh and starts by praying, tasting, and shedding many tears; when that person also decides to starve rather than ever leave the city, he will certainly arrive there. He will not even leave the city if he has to suffer many insults, for God will save him by ordering the angels to protect him, and record his life in the Book of Life. With this honest decision, a seeker follows the path of salvation as described in the Holy Books about the lives of hermits.

According to one of these books, there was once a devout man who perpetrated the sin of fornication with a girl. The girl went with him to a monastery and died by the entrance. She was saved. In the same way, another girl travelled through the desert with him and died on the way. The angels took her soul and raised it up the ladder of heaven. In this way, every man will be judged as he turns to God at his last hour.

Just as, according to this Holy Book, the girls are liberated from the dark and inhuman Babylonian world, every 'converted' man will be saved from it. In his Book of Revelations, St John Bogoslov described that judgment at the end of the days. He saw how, naked and without shame, the woman World rode a seven-headed dragon. In her hand she holds a dish full of evil; she reaches this stinking dish to people burning with passion. The first to receive it are the patriarchs and kings, princes and generals, and all those who have great power and desire power. However, if someone wishes to be saved, he must renounce the world and its treasures.

Thus John, inspired by the Holy Ghost, describes how the woman and the dragon followed him in his isolation in order to lead him away from the path of righteousness, though he wished to live a humble life of spiritual contemplation.

The dragon of damnation teaches people to take the easiest path. He leads them astray from the right path onto the path of evil, preventing them from following the right path. He tempts them to lead an immoral and dissolute life and taunts those who are on the right path.

When the Lord wishes and aims to save someone who has been misled in this way, he convinces that person and helps him even more with his divine blessing to lead him onto the path of a perfect and humble life.

No one has ever been abandoned by God anywhere. I called to him and he heard me; does he not hear the prayers of those who call for help? Does he not reveal himself to those who seek him? The Lord joyfully accepts all those who come to him and call on him.

Generally even the powers of heaven do not see the face of God. But when a sinner is converted on earth, all these powers suddenly see the face of Christ in his divine glow. All the saints in heaven are filled with great joy for every single sinful soul that is converted.

The heavenly powers, angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim are the beginning and end of all power, dominion and holiness. The prophets, apostles, saints, the just and the martyrs are among them. They all feel joyful about every single sinner who is converted. However, when someone does not wish to be saved, and does not desire salvation, the Lord does not impose it upon him. Yet when someone unceasingly and wholeheartedly desires this salvation, and unhesitatingly pursues this without harbouring any evil thoughts, the Lord will do everything possible for that person. The Lord reveals Himself to such a person, and will lead him to a sheltered place. Our Father strives day and night to hear their prayers. A prayer from their mouth is redolent of frankincense. Such people also pray for 'everyone else' who wholeheartedly seeks salvation, without making any false promises 'just as they do'.

When someone turns to them because he wishes to be led to that protected place, 'just like them', and does not harbour any sly or treacherous thoughts, or have any ulterior motives, they will gladly accept him 'in their ranks'. However, he must guard against dangerous and evil thoughts, as well as against doubt, which will keep him away from the protected place. This person will be led along the path of freedom by the Lord, together with others. In the end he will receive a message from a hidden city or monastery. In every monastery a chronicle is kept of the progress of those who are approaching.

1 will return to the fact that a person who has been called will go astray, and start to doubt and boast. This means the path will remain hidden to him, and it will seem like a forest or a void. He will achieve nothing, and all his efforts will be in vain. Because he has wandered off the path, he reaps resentment and taunts. God allows this to happen to him, and condemns him to the darkness of hell for eternity, because he has desecrated the holy place.

However, at the end of eternity a miracle takes place. The hidden city becomes visible to him again, just as in the past this happened with one of the many hidden monasteries described in the biographies of those saints who travelled far and wide.

The city of Great Kitezh was also hidden and protected by God's hands.

'But now that we look at her from the future, we declare: She was worth the endless search and the shedding of many tears. The Lord also covered this city with his hands, and it was no longer visible.'

However, in the case of this city it was despite the prayers and supplications of those who justifiably despaired. (They were right to despair, as shown by the fact that even before they suffered the pain and troubles of the Antichrist, they were sorrowing for the world day and night.)

Our fathers informed us that their fathers told us that our people had to withdraw from the principality of Moscow because of the tyranny of the Antichrist, his impure and unclean commandments, and the destruction of the city of Kitezh. 'Others say that Kitezh was submerged in the Svetli-Jarr.'

After the disappearance of the city and a hundred years after the rule of the godless and dishonourable Khan Batu, who laid waste to the whole region of Uzol, burning settlements and villages, that region was overgrown with forests, and Kitezh and its monastery could no longer be seen. This chronicle was written in the year 1251 (6759). It was sealed by holding a council and submitted to the Holy Church of God.

(First conclusion)

This Holy Scripture is for the confirmation of all true Christians who wish to hear it or read it, and do not wish to make it into a scandal. However, when someone mocks us or takes us lightly because we have given him this Scripture, he should be aware that he is not blaspheming against us but against God and his Holy Mother, Our Lady, the Virgin Mary. In the Scripture her great name, Mother of God, is praised and exalted, for her name alone protects and saves.

She also covers the holy city of Kitezh with her hands, and prays to her Son for the people. 'Do not despise my request, dear Son, you who have shed your blood for the whole world. Protect and save those who call on my name with unwavering faith and a pure heart.'

For this reason, protect the city of Kitezh with your hand O Lord, for we have written about this city, made the Scripture into an article of faith and submitted it to your Church. Nothing can be added nor taken away from this, our article of faith. Not a comma nor a full stop may be changed in it.

(Second conclusion)

Anyone who adds anything to this or changes it will be damned, according to the traditions of the saints who sealed and passed down this Scripture.

(Third conclusion)

However, if someone does not believe this, he should consult the biographies of the saints who lived in those days, and then he will find for himself how many similar events took place then.

Praise be to God and his Holy Trinity, and to his absolute immaculate mother who safeguards the city of Kitezh and protects all the saints. Amen.

The region around Great and Little Kitezh

The region around Great and Little Kitezh.

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