tv Documentary RT December 8, 2013 2:29am-3:01am EST
the windswept journey to villa can be an act of penance in itself. doesn't all for excitement or adventure give many come here for months at a time some never leave its old they say that the same system. this is one of the holiest sites of the russian orthodox church home to a thriving ministry the lay community that woods with it and groups of volunteers that come and go throughout the year for the face full this is a journey for the soul the pilgrimage.
this is the place that has been consecrated to god for almost a thousand of years. people came here twenty some years ago it's. the master of life on this island. they did that believing that. christ is the only source of true joy and happiness in the life. that understanding penetrated into everything that surrounds us in a monastery and people i suppose feel that feel the love of christ working on. that girls will divide into. groups now so we need about. how many people do you
need seven seven people choose one two three four five. six seven seven people good the rest will split into two one half will go to the farm the other to the op a girl who has already been to the upper garden you know that we're. going to go to the apple garden i'm allergic to any can go to the farm the enemy will go to the farm cows. what comes of it with a group of volunteers men and women of all ages who are here to give something back to god and in this case it means hard work this is the middle of the busy tourist season and there's plenty to do down on the farm. i mean coming into the chicken coop it's like into the lion's den. thank you so much i. like your careful catherine household she doesn't know you. but i this.
that and the you're not on your hand just you'll sit on your hand. of state it's a bit stressful for them. to show on the neck like this because i would. finally like having that wattle straight and this one's gone. far away from there try this. still. wants that likeness on the wall i'm the sanctified on vellum and they're very kind to me to see ok and they are you do do do do do go good go through. a long special eggs. see what the fuss is all about. almost one two three. whether it's the save me atmosphere or something in their
feed that's certainly fantastic layers two gigantic seconds here and then. when. you very much want to and. that's if one two three four five. one set. only another seven hundred seventy five to go. the volunteers come from a huge variety of different backgrounds svetlana is a model for moscow but she's not afraid of getting a hamster well it's probably not normal that a girl like me came here instead of going to turkey or enjoying summer in a beach town where but here i am living with monsoon wedding someone else's garden is the but there are other people that look at themselves and at life in a completely different way and they're not held back really you know we're all here
. little answer for me is a place of strong spiritual power i've wanted to come here for a long time now there is a possibility i can become a volunteer. here to work for the glory of god and how priests or this place. there are common threads that bind many of the people here together and the group also becomes like a surrogate family. mostly these outward next people who came here to find. brotherhood but of course there is some percentage that come here looking for their way in life. than i take them for a walk in the woods. try to know what they were accounts for help them find their answer. many people simply come for the islands outstanding natural beauty. edged by rugged shorelines and covered with lush
greenery this is truly a tranquil get away but there are some visitors to the long term who have no families to return to his trip to the island is a welcome break from a difficult life. leaker's ill as new york runs a camp for children from local orphanages who also have learning difficulties for many it's the first time they've spent nights away from the city. visit the first time we came here with disabled children for many years before we used to take the kids on trips which did that because we understood that nature does children a world of good and that you were decided to try working with children with the help of all arms nature in this place turned out to be totally unique and it's not just the nature here that works. tim you should bear in mind that these children are from a correctional orphanage they are believed to be unable to go to an ordinary school
because of some mental disability and in fact this isn't true they are not mentally retarded whatsoever. that these are the first kids that just sit on the shore of lot agoglia and watch the storms the splashing water and they say thank you for choosing that you beautiful place. it was simply amazing. they feel it they can feel the beauty of the apparently they don't have good feelings in their lives. hardly any. fifteen year old denise is just one of the youngsters reaping the benefits this is his second time on the island and he says it's changed his life but it's. rocky road that's brought him here. i can't say that i had a good childhood. my dad was an alcoholic my mom was too mom ended up in prison that's how i ended up in an orphanage.
it is. this eerie asli. yes it was. some other thing you. did you did you. know i was staying in the volunteers dormitory normally men and women a kept segregates it's the old get together is allowed especially for a meet and greet session. everyone says where they're from what they've come to the law and then name. then all you've got to do is remember them being here yes. you. did you. want to vomit up ok let's have
a good. amount of volunteer you know all go. in saying you know. alexander let the message game out here oh girl you know. you're on a case of homicidal and. saying. i'm mean you said you wouldn't be able to do it you know and sometimes sometimes it works and. sometimes. work at the mall mistreat takes us all around the island along roads that people have traveled here for more than one hundred fifty years. although most of the brothers live in the center of the ministry a small selection choose to isolate themselves from the rest of the community retiring to hermitages where only men are allowed to enter the grounds. the
russians call these places. and they're among the holiest centers of the law. each one is way off the beaten track and for some of the volunteers. the journey to gold has been anything but straightforward to. use to be an atheist and believed in nothing but science logic and facts i was looking for truth everywhere. that people write books and make films about. twenty years of searching to become an orthodox christian off the printing of the coffin of a famous russian saint i discovered that many things have changed because first of all the pain in my leg that i'd suffered for ages had disappeared and last but not least i discovered the ability to read in the old church slavonic even though i'd never learned how to do that. those who. say you have to put the time to understand it fully that living and working here is the only way to really tap into
his energy the joy. but none of the volunteers complain everyone is confident of a spiritual rewards and happy that they're working to reestablish a face that was so persecuted joining the soviet union. is the only branch that has managed to keep the tradition of life changed since the time of the apostles maybe that's why it was preserved the bread of life the jesus christ spoke of the living would that's what russia is experiencing a spiritual right now. with
economic down in the find out they. sang and the breath of life. everything on earth. you have to remember that israel if there were in the cabin the award for best dramatic performance by a country israel would win every year it's real it's a theater. not to know who is the star of the theater so i would serve the few moments ago now we have to distinguish between israel's a rhetorical position and its actual position israel wouldn't be investing billions and billions of dollars into building this wall if it wanted territory beyond the wall if we go back to our lines of you know i made a i had a hard time doing if not days go ahead go ahead go ahead i'm sorry if it's not just
plumes probably didn't join it is it's transfiguration of the savior could feed on the sound of its bells straight tourists pilgrims and volunteers to worship and to work. ok let's work for the glory of god. all the skilled workers cuts how much and replace the volunteers keep supplies coming and clean up the mess it's a massive job the cathedral is seventy six meters high and in some areas they're having to remove more than one hundred twenty years of. them when they came here last year it was seen approximately the same condition. here it's a long process this is serious work and it's very expensive and requires a high degree of professionalism with what i was surprised when they invited
volunteers to work here at best they're a trusted with work like this. is it enough or do we need more you know what i think it's enough. you have to carry it let's go. to his or heavy. on my back you have to move i'll take it. to waste has to go somewhere and. are responsible for getting it off the scaffolding as quickly as possible we need to take the direct route. the buckets i'm probably a transport system but it would. for a career for forty years it had no proper roof it wasn't looked after properly and still it enjoyed all these conditions that any means that the cathedral was made
really very well it was built with a huge margin for safety that was up by cathedral will stand like this for many years to come what right now we're trying to save what's been preserved this work should be done and it should be preserved this is truly part of the national heritage. why. don't. you. move. so. then. and then when you. form. the board.
or the board. leaker into a team of volunteers want their children to leave alone with a new perspective also the what they do here fosters a spirit of cooperation and they can see the efforts developing before their eyes but it's so real here it's hard to explain everything is so natural this is the way people should live i guess. you know what. we wanted to show these children that there is a place where they can ask for help in case something really bad happens to them they had to stand completely that bad things will happen to them in the future. they're perfectly aware of what life has in store for them and they know that there will be a lot of drug dealers and alcohol and then to stand how hard it is to resist those things so it's very important for them to know that there is
a place where they're always welcome that they should know how to find the way to this place. around stepping back into a different age and it's easy to see why so many regard it as a sanctuary away from the real world. it seems to have a physical and emotional energy which the monks say is a manifestation of god's grace. it's had such a profound effect on so many that there's even a syndrome named after it's. the compulsion trip turned to the island again and again it's not just adults who experience it. my mom first brought me here started going to school i liked it very much and it's become my favorite place now is it your favorite place i like and because of its weather because of
the monastery it feels so good in here they've got a farm it's nice to leave people are very kind they're not you know what you want to do when you grow up to be a monk you want to be a monk why it's just what's in my heart i can't explain why i feel this way. and live hit yes i want to live on balaam what he actually wants at this point is not to be a monk but he once he wants purpose here once something pure something which dignifies him. something which speaks of him as a man as a human being people became knights and soldiers for the same reason i would certainly encourage him.
for the use it's journey it's of the brotherhood here was more unusual than most altar tending university in st petersburg he spent fifteen years living in ministering in the us before retiring to follow him he says each monk must earn his place in the ministry. spiritual pastors of the monastery role just say the word or you're prepared to become a novice and you'll become officially a novice on the part of the brotherhood and spend some time that way and the few years or maybe months later if you still decide to embrace this kind of wife and people see your. as a benefit to the community you'll be ta'en sure and perhaps when are they and so the priests from. the monastic community here has been rebuilt in the last twenty years older a period during the soviet union when the area served as
a mental asylum now there are around a hundred brothers living here permanently but before the russian revolution of nine hundred seventeen there were more than a thousand some of them left a legacy down the ages. this quiet scene is called the smolensk skeet and it's famous in particular because of one monk efraim he took it upon himself to pray for the souls of dead soldiers and he took his work so seriously that he dug his own grave and every night he would lie in his own coffin. and ever since then the chapel has been dedicated for the souls of those who died for the faith and for the mother. even if the life of extreme self-sacrifice doesn't appeal it is at least possible to follow in the footsteps of some of these old saints and one of the most popular pilgrimages is to the lomas most famous.
for this is the cave where saint alexander of spear lived. this is the place where alexander of spirit spent hours praying in solitude here he would make a fire these little stones got warm and gave heat back so he could spend winters here can he lead such a righteous life that he was granted a vision of the holy trinity came to him in the form of three angels. and ordered him to go to the river spear and found a monastery there it is still functional. excursions like these opponents of the joy of. this an archipelago of small islands just waiting to be explored and the landscape always provides some great photos. but many of the loam
secrets are only revealed in the churches themselves. bell ringing here is a real and the company ologists train for years to master the difficult rhythms they need to control up to a dozen bells at once and make it look effortless. it's part of the alarm's proud musical tradition displayed in its full glory during the solemn services. doesn't address the board i think we should fill our lives with as many rich and
diverse impressions as possible today i might well up in two months i'll be working somewhere else in such a way your worldview builds up on different things or you can develop yourself and create your personality. hopefully soon this earth is like a hotel that we're only here temporarily. to hell to have on god tests us on that of if you're a me and phone my laws then you'll go to heaven what if if you don't then you'll go to how. we have to move on in those lies here you get some kind of luggage that you will later he take with here into the city that we have to move on and make plans both
families and realizing your family what you've learned here there will. the will over. the moving back to real life is easy if a some fans or others the children from leakers all finished camp have reached the end of this day and it was time to see them off for the docks. but. it's clear to leak air that these are the same kids that arrived on the island just a few weeks ago that at least for a while the lawn is worked its magic and brought a little joy into their lives. to come make this moment any less painful.
perhaps the monks of old settled here because they felt there was something otherworldly about. it it was always a place with special energy by the from nature or from something more divine. for the pilgrims and volunteers who journey here one visit is rarely enough and many will return to the. place with the power to heal the spirits.
a pleasure to have you with us here on t.v. today i'm sure. the olympic torch is on its epic journey to such a. one hundred twenty three days. through two thousand nine hundred towns and cities of russia. relayed by fourteen thousand people or sixty five thousand kilometers. in a record setting trip by land air sea and others face. a limp dick torch relay. on r t r g dot com.
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