Hieromartyr Amphilius of Yenisei (Krasnoyarsk)

I had planned on translating a more thorough life of St. Amphilius to post on his feast day but work got in the way of that. So you’ll get a little picture of his life through this short autobiography which he wrote while in prison. If I have enough requests maybe I’ll translate more from his life someday. St. Amphilius’ feast days are September 18/ October 1 and January 29.

In the archive of the FSB of the Krasnoyarsk region is preserved case P-15541 (05842). It contains documents witnessing to the destruction of Anzhulsk Monastery in the Tashtyp district in April of 1931. In the arrest order it is written that the monks, “are guilty of crimes against statute 58-10 of the criminal legislation of the Russian Soviet Republic. Having organized an illegal monastery, carried out anti-Soviet agitation against collective farms, logging, and other enterprises of the Soviet power…” (Nikolai Abdin. The Banishment of Faith. “The Khakasia,” Abakan. 10-30-2002)

In charge of the monastery was Bishop Amphilius (Alexander Yakovlevich Skvortsov). In his autobiography, included in the case, he wrote:

“I’m the son of a psalmist Yakov Vasilivich Skvortsov from the village of Porvam, Kazan region. I was born February 17, 1885. Education: Theological School in Cheboksari then Theological Seminary and Academy in Kazan. In 19102 (sic.) I finished the Academy. For two years I was preparing for the professorship in the field of “The denunciation of Lamaism.” In 1907, while in the Kazan Academy, I was tonsured into monasticism. From 1912 to 1918 I was acting as an associate professor at the Academy. From March 1918 to February [1919] I was at Dormition Men’s Monastery in Krasnoyarsk. In February 1919, along with four other people, I went to the Minusinsk district, Imissk region where we lived for two years on Lake Tiberkul. From February 1921 I was a parish priest at the village of Belyi Yar, Kuraginsk district, Minusinsk region. In June of 1922, by decree of the Krasnoyarsk bishop, I was released from my duties as a parish priest and was left without work. Renovationist bishop Alexander Sidorovskii offered for me to serve under him but I refused according to my convictions.

In November of 1922 I moved to Matur (presently Tashyipsk region) to a women’s monastery. Due to the renovationists’ persecution, I along with Vasilly Zakharovich Berestov, Peter Stepanovich (I don’t remember his last name), and four nuns moved into the taiga 20 versts from any inhabited area. We lived there for five months until we were arrested.

In the fall of 1923 we were arrested and taken to Minusinsk. Due to the lack of evidence of crime we were freed. In Minusinsk I was assigned as parish priest of the cemetery church of the Tikhonites. I was again arrested and was imprisoned from June 6 to November 20, 1924. I was invited to Moscow and on February 23, 1925, was consecrated as the bishop of Krasnoyarsk. On July 13, 1926, I was again arrested by personnel of the Unified State Political Department and sentenced to three years imprisonment at Solovki Monastery. In 1928 I was freed from labor camp and was sent under parole to the Minusinsk region without the right to return to Krasnoyarsk… I decided to go to Khakasia. In June 1928 I was in the village of Anzhul in the Tashtyp district where I lived until I was arrested. I belong to the Tikhonite Church and had to submit to Metropolitan Sergei as the one in charge of the Tikhonite Church. Although I’m of different opinion than him on his organization of Church management, there has never been a formal break.

Signed Bishop Amphilius (Skvortsov) May 2, 1931″

In 1934 Bishop Amphilius was again arrested and was shot in 1937.

Translated from:Martyrs of Solovki


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