SAINTS OF MY HEART
Saint Martyr of Christ Nun Heruvima Tanasa from
Petru Voda Monastery, Romania (+1998)
„The holy comemoration of the Martyrs sanctifies with the Holy Spirit all those who sanctifies it with Orthodoxy” (Octoich, tone 6, Monday at Matins)
Because I read recently in one of the central newspapers that at the Central University of Europe from Budapesta, founded in 1990, the largest number of students from a single country was of romanians, 145 students from 1990 since now, I have decided to write this material about what I have seen and heard.
In the Petru Voda cemetary rests, since more than 5 years, nun Heruvima, whose name as a laywoman was Svetlana Mihaela Tanasa. Nun Heruvima was born in 1969 and graduated the university of classical languages from Iasi, and received in 1995 a scholarship from Soros Foundation, for a mater in medieval history at CEU, Budapesta. Her thesis for master was the research of a manuscript of the Explanation to the Genesis wrote by St. John Chrysostom, and she proved, in that thesis, that the text printed by the jesuits and assumed by J.P. Migne in Patrologia Graeca has many interpolations and changes from the manuscript used in research, which contained a truly chrysostomic text, full of spirit. The conclusion was that a future critical edition of Explanation of Genesis will find the ballast introduced with bad-will by the Jesuits. (…)
Her teachers appreciated her work and proposed her to do apply for a doctor degree. Her thesis was focused also on Genesis: she was supposed to prove that the Holy Fathers followed in their explanation to Genesis the heretic Origene. Svetlana started to work with trust, not being aware of the fact she was actually asked to do. But, since she was reading from the Holy Fathers in cause, she were realising the blasphemy she was asked to prove. I still have here, from her, the Explanation of the Genesis of Blessed Augustine (in latin), the one of Origene (in greek), the one of Blessed Theodoret of Kir (in greek), and the one of St. Ephraim of Syria (in english), and even the commentary of the jew philosopher Phylon of Alexandria (in greek), works she read in Budapesta, in original. But as much she read, that much she understood that the Holy Fathers didn’t followed the heretic Origene in their works, but one of the reasons for their works was to fight the heretic, and this could be seen from the way they approached to the every single question.
It happend that, being there, she asked herself some questions about her teachers and to find out that their vast majority are jews, and to see their disdain for Orthodoxy and for Tradition, with all the universitary degrees. And when she told them her conclusion from above, concerning the Holy Fathers, they told her: „No, it’s not like this. Think it over. We pay you to prove something, and you must do it.”
It followed several days of arguings and argumentations.
Returning to Romania to get more stuff, she felt ill and go to doctor for an examination. So she find out that she has a skin cancer with a quick evolution, in the area of the left shoulder. The explanation was only one: she was irradiated. The doctor told her she has only a few months to live. She came back to Budapeste to take her luggage. She argued with everyone, who told her: „Why are you leaving? We have cures for your disease. There is nothing serious, we can give you healing. Just be obedient and you’ll stay alive” (It seems they were right, because the doctors confirmed that it is practiced a method of cancer induction which can be cured if it you don’t wait too long, but with very high medical expenses). She refused to abandon the Saints of God, so the Divine grace didn’t abandoned her, which strenghtened her until the end. She took all that she could (although a great part of her books remained there) and she returned here. She came to Father Justin and told him all the story, and the Father told her to remain in our monastery (this was in august 1997).
It followed nearly a year and a half of sufferings. The disease evolved quickly into metastasis. Slowly, slowly, she was melting as it could be seen with the eyes. She accepted to be made a rassophore-nun, and a few weeks before her leaving from us, she was made a nun by Father Justin.
She refused to take morphine, to purify through sufferings all her sins commited in this world. Her passions gave word for what says the Octoich: „Your Saints, O Lord, wearing the shield of faith, and strenghtening themselves with the sign of the Cross, to the labours boldly they run, and the pride and the wile of the devil they crumble”. Her screams of pain announce until today, to the ears of those who heard them, the torments of the hell she’ve been through.
God listened to her last will, that is to live until the feast of the Holy Archangels. After the vigil of the patronage of our monastery, in the night of 7 to 8 november 1998, about 3 hours in the morning, Holy Martyr Heruvima left us with her soul in peace, with a shiny face, to confess before the Holy Trinity the fight of the Orthodox against the rulers of this age and to intercede for the lovers of the Truth. If the world in which we live in it’s, in totality, the face of the Babylon, the great whore, the Saint Heruvima stands for what it is written in the Book of Revelation: „And it was found in her the blood of the Prophets and of the Saints and of all who were sacrificed on earth”.
Coming here, nun Heruvima told us about the fact that from ECU, before her, leaved for the same reason – skin cancer – a student from Bulgaria, a woman-student from Georgia and another one from USA. I am sorry because I can’t give you their names. Maybe someone will find them out, sometime.
The greatest mockery was that after the leaving of nun Heruvima, her former teachers established at CEU Svetlana Tanasa’s Prize, for the best thesis of the year..
The devil wanted to crumble in Gehena this pure soul, but God’s mercy took her out of his claws, for her love for the truth, because the Truth is Christ our God. The Orthodoxy is alive and it flourishes into Truth, and the seed of the faith is the blood of the martyrs. „Soon come to us before we are enslaved by the enemies who blaspheme You and terrifies us, Christ our God. Waste with Your Cross those who fight us, to know how powerful is the faith of the Orthodox, for the prayers of the Holy Martyrs and of Theotokos, You One Lover of people”.