KINOVIA

Monastery, Moscow patriarchate, eparchy of Kaluga region, Russia

The Fire

Posted by kinovia on May 7, 2007

the fire

the fire

May 4th , 2007 our monastery had to overcome a great ordeal : during the evening worship a fire which started all of a sudden, completely destroyed the two-stored building with the nuns’ cells, the kitchen, the refectory, the library, the sewing and icon workshops and the winter garden . It was impossible to find out the reason of the ignition as it started at the upper floor where there was nobody at that time. One of the sisters returning to the building from the cow-shed saw the smoke.
Immediately we called for the firemen. They came in 20 minutes, began to hose the window from which the clouds of smoke were bursting out. No fireman tried to get inside the building to the centre of the fire partly due to the lack of the necessary equipment.  From the first minutes nothing could be seen because of an incredible darkness caused by the black smoke in the building. Fortunately, it was possible to save a few folders with the documents, the passports, money – everything that was within the reach, as well as several cats. Till the last moment the sisters were hoping that the firemen would manage to stop the fire and the building with the library, the chancellery and the waiting-room could be saved.
The water ran out, so the firemen left to fill the tank up, and when they came back in 20 minutes the whole house was steeped with flames. Then they tried to save the boiler premises and the priest’s house and managed to do that. In two hours only a smoking unshaped heap of ruins remained instead of a beautiful comfortable sisters’ house. When our close friends in Kondrovo knew about the fire, they immediately came and brought the most necessary things: food, warm clothes, blankets, mattresses, bed linen, etc.
At 10 pm the sisters gathered in the premise where they used to make unleavened bread as only this room remained more or less suitable place. That night they spent in the palmers’ cells of the old building with 2-3 sisters in one cell (earlier every sister had her own cell); 3 sisters settled in the unfinished hostel outside the fence.
Hardly anyone slept that night watching how the fire was devouring the most   valuable library. It seemed we would hate the smell of the smoke for the rest of our lives. We were mourning over what we had lost: three cats were perished in the fire, as well as water turtles, fishes in two aquariums, cypresses from the Mount Athon, grown up from the seeds, the coffee tree and many other exotic plants in the winter garden, boxes with vegetable and flower seedling, roses; we were crying about the icons, the sanctities from all over the world, gathered in the window-display, the photographs, tracing the monastery’s story… and repeated like Iov: God gave, God took, be the God’s name blessed.
At six o’clock in the morning the bell announced the beginning of a new day. After the morning worship we gathered again and tried to realize what had happened: the flash of our 14 years’ life had passed into nothingness and only time will show if we have spirit. The chronicle of our life ”after the fire” should begin with the words: “ On May 4th, 2007,  we became real nuns: we have nothing”.

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One Response to “The Fire”

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