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Igumen Chariton

Igumen CharitonAbbot of Valaam 1933-1947. He led the brothers in the evacuation of the monastery from Russia to Finland in 1940. The monastery resumed its normal life at its present site in Heinvesi later the same year, the brethren being joined there by the monks of Petsamo Monastery. The monks from the monastery of Konevitsa became part of the same community in 1956.

Igumen Chariton

The Art of Prayer

Author/Artist: Igumen Chariton
ISBN: 0571191657
Publisher: Faber and Faber

A collection of texts on prayer, first published in Russian in 1936 and drawn from Greek and Russian sources. The spiritual teaching of the Orthodox Church appears in its classic and traditional form, but expressed in direct and vivid language. This English translation was first published in 1966.

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Gems from the Valaam Monastery
When this anthology by Igumen Chariton (1872-1947) came out in 1936 the catastrophies of the coming War were already 'in the air'. Archbishop Paul of Finland was then a Valaam monk and lived through these difficult times when Finland lost the war and Valaam to the Soviet.

He writes in the Finnish translation of 'The Art of Prayer': "Two years after 1936 when the Art of Prayer was published Igumen Chariton published another book on the same subject with over 500 pages." This book had a subtitle called "Discussions Aroused by the Anthology of the Jesus' Prayer Between and Elder and a Priest Actiing in the World". Most of the publication was destroyed during the Winter War.

Igumen Chariton's book is meant for daily reading. A guide is invaluable, but lack of one is no reason for not starting to practice the Prayer of the Heart; at some stage God will help!

Reijo Elsner, Denmark
added 2003-09-13

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