History and geography tell us of four Russias: Great Russia (together with Siberia and other territories, now called the Russian Federation); Little Russia (at present called the Ukraine); White Russia (called Belarus); and Carpathian Russia (called Subcarpathian Russia or Carpatho-Russia, spread over the present south-western corner of the Ukraine, north-eastern Slovakia and south-eastern Poland).
Each of these Russias has its own saints, with their own feast-day on the Sunday of the Local Saints, the Sunday after All Saints. The least known of all these saints are those of by far the smallest of the four Russias, Carpatho-Russia, which has never existed as an independent State. The Saints and People of Carpatho-Russia, known as Rusins, besieged from north, south, east and west, have suffered for well over a thousand years. They have confessed Orthodoxy and been martyred for it, successively by Pagans, Papists, Muslims, Uniats, Communists and Nationalists.
The following provisional and outline list was compiled in 2003 by Archpriest Dimitri Sidor, Rector of the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in the Carpatho-Russian capital, Uzhgorod, in Transcarpathia in the Ukraine.
Synaxis of the Holy Martyrs and Confessors of Carpatho-Russia (9th-20th centuries).
VIIIth century: St John the Hermit, Enlightener of the Czechs (glorified by the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia), and the holy confessors martyred and slain by the impiety of the Avars.
The end of the IX-Xth centuries. The holy martyrs and confessors of Carpatho-Russia slain for the love of Christ by the pagan Hungarians.
IX-XIIth centuries. The holy confessors and disciples of Sts Cyril and Methodius, who suffered at the hands of the Latins, persecuted for righteousness’ sake, who gave up their lives in Carpatho-Russia
XIth century. The holy martyr the noble George, who gave up his life defending the holy Prince Boris in 1015. His head is incorrupt and his name is listed in ancient calendars together with his two brothers, St Moses the Hungarian and St Ephraim of Novotorzhok.
The holy martyr the right-believing Prince Antony and those with him, who defended Orthodoxy and were slain by the Latins (1015-1019).
XIIth century. The holy martyrs and confessors who defended ‘the Old Truth’ of the Orthodox Faith and were martyred and slain by the Latins.
XIIIth century. The holy martyrs and confessors martyred and slain by the pagan Tartars for Christ our God.
The holy confessor and elder Gregory, who established a monastery, and the holy martyr the right-believing Prince Voishelg-Litvin, the disciple of the holy elder, blessed by him to undergo the holy feat of martyrdom, who was slain by the Prince of Galicia for struggling for the Orthodox unity of Ancient Rus and Lithuania.
XIVth century. The holy martyrs and confessors, martyred and slain by the Latins for defending the Orthodox Faith and the unity of Holy Rus, together with Petro Petrovich.
XV-XVIIIth centuries. The holy martyrs and confessors martyred and slain for defending the Orthodox Faith by the Mohammedans and the Papists.
1710. The holy confessor Priest Michael (Orosvigovsky), called ‘the Jerusalem priest’, for his love of both the earthly and the heavenly Jerusalem, who wrote the work ‘A Defence for a Faithful Man’, who was separated from his family and gave up his life in Iza.
1734. The holy hieromartyr Dositheus, Bishop of Maramorosh, shackled and martyred by the Uniats in Khust castle for the Orthodox Faith
1885. The priest John (Rakovsky), rector of the church in Khust, a zealot of Orthodoxy and a uniter of the Russian lands, poisoned by the Hungarian Catholics, but given communion by Christ our God. He has miraculously appeared to many at his grave.
1909. The holy confessor Priest Alexis (Tovt) - the spiritual father of Carpatho-Russians in America, glorified in America and by the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
The holy confessors of Orthodoxy of the village of Iza and those with them, who suffered at the first (1903) and second (1914) unjust Maramorosh-Sighet show-trials.
1914. The holy hieromartyr Priest Maxim (Sandovich) of Gorlice. A Carpatho-Russian, he was glorified by the Polish Orthodox Church.
The holy martyr Constantine (Vakarov), taken from his home and family by the Hungarian police one evening and slain for the Orthodox Faith. He lay on the road all night because of a curfew and died early in the morning from his wounds, in front of his kinsmen.
The holy martyr Joachim (Vakarov), slain by Hungarian police in the street in Iza for the Orthodox Faith.
The holy virgin-martyr Maria (Madiar), who died from police beatings for her valiant confession of the Orthodox Faith.
1926. The holy hieromartyr Priest John (Popovich), slain by the Uniats in the village of Upper Vodianoi for converting the village to Orthodoxy.
1944. The holy confessor Archimandrite Amphilochius (Kemin), rector of the church in Iza, burnt to death by the enemies of Christ, after the Uniat false priest was driven out for planning to seize the church.
1945. The holy martyr Abbot Theophan (Sabov), administrator of the Mukachevo-Presov Diocese and a future bishop, who together with his brother, hieromartyr priest Peter, was shot by the Soviet NKVD atheists and ‘liberators’.
The holy confessor, the fool-for-Christ Dimitri (Sabov), who lived in the hills, went barefoot all winter and when still in his teens, swam across the River Tisa at the Nativity to avoid a police cordon. On coming down from the hills, he founded a monastery and himself became a monk with the name of John. He died of persecution and grief after the monastery was forced to close.
Mother Olga (Sabov), who died of grief. In the world she had had five sons, all of whom were slain. Among them was Abbot Theophan and his brother Priest Peter. Having lost all her other children, she entered a convent after their martyrs’ deaths.
1947. The holy martyr Alexis (Kabaliuk), the great spiritual father of the Carpatho-Russian people, who, according to several accounts, was poisoned by the godless Soviets. He was glorified in 2001.
1953. The holy martyr Archimandrite Matthew (Vakarov), first Abbot of St Nicholas Monastery, put forward by St Alexis of Carpatho-Russia. He died of grief when the Monastery was closed by the godless Soviets.
The holy confessor Elder Artemius, spiritual father of the Convent of Chumalev, an elder of holy life, famed as an exorcist of demons.
1967. The holy martyr Schema-Abbess Nina, as a nun Paraskeva (in the world Juliana Prokop), tortured from childhood and for many years thereafter. She was miraculously taught how to read by God Himself at the age of eight, slain, then resurrected by God for the salvation of many nuns’ souls. Foundress and Abbess of the Convent of Lipcha, Abbess of Mukachevo.
1985. The holy confessor Schema-Archimandrite Job (Kundria), a great elder and healer, the Carpatho-Russian St Seraphim of Sarov.
The holy confessor Maxim (Pliska), a great struggler for Orthodoxy.
The holy confessor John (Karabanovets), whose relics were found incorrupt and lie in the Monastery of Dombok, the land for which he bought and donated.
1996. The holy confessor Basil (Samosh), priest of the new Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Uzhgorod, where his holy remains are interred. A great zealot of Orthodoxy, he suffered during the bitter persecutions of the 1930s in Czechoslovakia, in the 1970s (in the Soviet Union) and in the 1990s (in the independent Ukraine), but zealously upheld the spirit of the Orthodox clergy and people.
1997. The holy confessor Schema-Archimandrite Basil (Pronin) - a great elder and healer of human souls.
Also the holy martyrs, military chaplains, of the Great War for Orthodoxy in Carpatho-Russia under the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas; the Orthodox soldiers slain as martyrs at Dukla, whom the Stalinist Bolsheviks would not allow to return home alive,so that they would not speak about the radiant Soviet ‘paradise’; the Carpatho-Russian Lemki who suffered and were slain during the barbaric Operation Vistula in Poland in 1947; the confessors who sowed the abundant seeds of Orthodoxy in Presov Rus after 1955; the holy confessor Blessed Dorotheus, from the village of Nankovo near Khust, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; and all the Carpatho-Russians who were slain and martyred for the Holy Orthodox Faith, Thou, O Lord, knowest their names!
Translated by Priest Andrew Phillips.