What can be more extreme than an attempt to live as a real monk in a real monastery, to follow all its rules?
Right now you are going to see the photo report of one Russian blogger who decided to do this and went to Russkiy Island of the Russian Far East where St. Seraphim of Sarov monastery is located.
Approaching the island.
Here it is, St. Seraphim of Sarov monastery.
St. Seraphim of Sarov monastery.
Simple rules for pilgrims and guests of the monastery.
The monastic cell is in the attic of the temple. The entrance is rather small so one has to bend down to get inside.
There are nine bed inside the cell. There are a lot of icons and crosses on the walls. Every monk has a bedside table and a lamp.
The first task was set in the morning – to clean the floor from wax drops.
Photos of the monastery reconstruction.
They always pray before eating and can choose any food they like in the monastery canteen. They eat in silence till the ring bells. After eating they thank God for food again.
Now our blogger has to clean the aquarium thoroughly.
What you start to miss first is Interenet and mobile connection.
Another service starts at 4:30.
The water in the monastery is pure, from the well. The aquarium fish like it.
Time flows very slow, no noise at all.
They read such holy names in the temple filled with different aromas. Soon you start wanting to breathe fresh air.
By 8 p.m. all services are over and monks can do what they wish. Washing is allowed only on Fridays. Everyone who is going to live in the monastery is taken his passport and cellphone away, but some monks manage to hide their laptops and other gadgets to play games or listen to rap music… Like in a kindergarten, you know. But the atmosphere is very friendly.
At 6 am everyone is awaked to and line up at the wash-basin.
The toilet is outside, about 50 meters away from the temple.
The first service of the day starts at 6:30. It is dark in the temple, they pray by candlelight.
The service is over at 8:20.
Pea soup and tea for breakfast.
Works of penance for everyone are written on this board.
Coming to the cell for warm clothes.
These bricks have to be moved from one place to another.
When the work is done you start feeling boring.
This is a hotel for pilgrims.
And this is a farm.
The church itself, cells, canteen, icon shop and library.
At 1 p.m. the bell rings again – it means the lunch time.
This man works in the icon shop.
One of the monastery workers who repairs the car.
Maxim is working at the farm.
In the cell of the farm-keeper.
Here they make cottage cheese, thresh oats and keep cows.
Manure is often bought by locals in spring for fertilization.
It used to be a pasture but is abandoned now, they have no enough workers.
In early 2000s there were much more monks and monastery workers here but today there is a serious shortage of hands.
The shovel work is very hard, soon blisters appear on the hands.
Washing capacities for milk products.
Another task is to sweep here, in the yard.
Another task, some rest and another service…
Notebooks with names.
The monastery workers is reading a book.
This man is already 84, he’s been at the monastery for ten years.
More fathers of the monastery.
Life of a monk is very hard, it means labor every day.
Cars of the monastery.