Holy Items within the Temple
St. pious Theodore of Tomsk
There is a holy image with a little piece of relics of the great Siberian saint – pious Theodore of Tomsk in our church. About two years ago one young man named Sergey was carrying an icon of pious from Tomsk. He had to go through Irkutsk. Here, in the Saviour Church the icon was gladly received and it was decided to order the similar image from Tomsk to make the icon with a little piece of relics of great holy man available for the religious from Irkutsk. Plentiful healings are made by this saint’s prayers. It is believed that it’s especially beneficially to pray and kiss the icon with a special capsule of relics of the painted saint on it. Such is the image of the holy Theodore of Tomsk in our church.
Personality of the holy is still covered with mystery. No wonder he is considered as one of the most mysterious holies of the recent times. There is still no precise evidence who was a righteous old man till the Siberian period of his life. But exactly this period showed the world the sanctity of this man. After the death of the elder many pilgrims visited his grave and his cell. It is known that in 1891 the future Emperor-Martyr Nikolai Alexandrovich also visited the grave of the elder during his stay in Tomsk. It is another (albeit indirect) confirmation of the fact that many Orthodox inhabitants of Tomsk believe - the elder Theodore Kuzmich is nobody else as former Russian Tsar Alexander I the Blessed who was the winner of Napoleon.
The first reliable information of the elder Theodore’s life relates to the history of his settlement in Siberia. In early autumn 1863 near the city Krasnoufimsk of Perm province an unknown man driving horse harnessed to a cart was arrested. He had no documents and an old man called himself a wanderer. In September 1839 he was deported to Tomsk province. During this long deportment on Siberian roads Theodore Kuzmich by his behaviour, active caring for the weak and sick convicts, warm and comforting talks won the favour not only of all batch of exiled but also of convoy soldiers and officers who also treated him with respect, protected him from troubles and nasty people, gave him a special room for the night. For the first time the old man had been living at distillery in Krasnochensk but then he began to wonder to different villages in search of secluded place for prayers and away from human glory. Only last six years the saint pious Theodore lived in Tomsk. There he led rough life full of spontaneous asperities. His home was a small cell with narrow windows and small hallway. The old man was sleeping at the bare board which was then upholstered with sackcloth at his instance. The hewn wooden block served as a pillow. There were also a table and some benches for visitors in the cell. In the front corner there were icons, pictures with views of holy places which were presents of many admirers hung at the walls. The old man’s clothes were quite simple as well as the cell. In summer he wore long white shirt made of village linen. He had only two shirts, belted with a thin strap or rope, and he also wore wide trousers made of linen. In winter he put on a long dark-blue robe over the shirt or if he went out in the cold he put on the old faded Siberian fur-coat. There were corns on the knees of the old man because of endless prayers on bended knees. The St. pious Theodore was very abstemious in food. His lunch usually consisted of black bread or dried crusts soaked in plain water. For that reason there was always a little vessel made of birch bark and a wooden spoon in his cell. Even during his life the old man had a gift of healing. People from different parts of the province came to him with various problems. And nowadays the saint of God doesn’t leave those who prayerfully call for his help. Especially evident is the help from the saint elder’s relicts which are kept in the Virgin-Alekseevsky monastery in Tomsk. In the cloister there is a special copy-book for keeping records of miraculous healings from the relics of the righteous Theodore of Tomsk. How much faith and hope for help of the saint elder is in them! And God through prayers of the righteous Theodore sends people healing from sufferings and illnesses showing a miracle of mercy to us sinners in our hard and troubled time.
The priest of Kemerovo eparchy Evgeny Shumov writes: “A case of healing from the oil sanctified at the shrine of the righteous Theodore of Tomsk happened to me. This year (December 10, 1998) I was suffering from severe pain in the small of the back. Without knowing how to ease the pain I decided to apply prayerfully to the saint righteous Theodore of Tomsk and anointed myself with the sanctified oil. Feeling terrible pain I went to bed and in the morning I woke up without any pain and I don’t feel it any longer. I thank God for everything and all Saints who have gift to cure people. Our pious Father Theodore of Tomsk, pray God for us.”
Tomsk resident Liliya Anatolyevna Korobeynikova: “My child was born healthy, but about two weeks later tumor appeared at the parietal region of the head. When he was 9 months we went to the hospital where the puncture was taken from this tumor and doctors diagnosed encephalocele. The operation wasn’t performed as the child had a temperature and we were discharged from hospital. Once I came across the book “The Life of the holy and righteous elder Theodore of Tomsk”. Cures for different diseases were described there. In 2004 during fast of St. Peter and St. Paul the child was placed against the relics of saints Theodore of Tomsk. After that we made brain examination. Roentgenograms showed no pathology. The child was cured by prayers of saint pious and no operation was needed. Thank God!”
«I’m a servant of God Nadezhda had been suffering severe pains in the left hand for a long time. They started in summer 2001, - says one more evidence. In autumn 2001 I visited the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in settlement Mogochino where I got advice to apply to prayerful petition of St. righteous Theodore. Until then I had no special favor to the elder Theodore. However, on the 1 st of February 2002 I came to the Virgin-Alexius monastery for all-night vigil – celebrating the memory of the righteous saint Theodore. After applying to his relics and being anointed with oil, I returned home. The pain in my hand became so strong that it was impossible to touch. In this state I fell asleep. On waking up in the morning I didn’t feel any symptoms of the disease which I had been suffering for so long time. I’m sure it happened because of prayers of the elder Theodore.»
There are a lot of such evidences of God’s help through the saint elder Theodore. People are trying to keep records of miraculous cases of their healing, to share this miracle with others. But there are also people who keep this joy in their hearts, prayerfully thanking God for everything. Therefore, all cases of prayerful help of the saint elder Theodore can’t be taken into account. But it’s very important for all of us to remember that service thanks to which the elder Theodore pleased God. The feat which the righteous elder bore in the Siberian period of his life is known as wandering – the full estrangement from the world. May God bless us, each according to his forces go that way of a man’s transfiguration, a great example of which was shown by our Siberian wanderer - holy righteous Theodore of Tomsk.
Prepared by Anastasiya Vorobyova