The Holy Elder Ambrose of Optina

Troparion Tone 5
We run to the O Ambrose our Father,
as to a healing spring.
For thou dost truly instruct us on the path of salvation,
preserving us from misfortune and calamity by thy prayers,
consoling us in sorrows of body and soul,
teaching above all by humilty, patience and love.
Pray to Christ, the Lover of mankind, and to our Fervent Intercessor
that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion Tone 3
Having fulfilled the precepts of the Shepherd of shepherds,
thou didst inherit the grace of eldership,
having pity for all who run to thee with faith.
Therefore we, thy children, cry out to thee with love:
Holy Father Ambrose, pray to Christ our God that He would save our souls.

An account of his life:

On October 23rd (the 10th, old style) the Church commemorates the assembly of the holy Optina elders, and among them the holy elder Ambrose, who died on precisely that day in 1891.

The venerable Ambrose of Optina was born Alexander Grenkov in 1812, in the family of church sacristan Mikhail Grenkov. In his youth, while studying at the Tambov Theological Seminary, Alexander became terribly ill and gave a vow, if he regained his health, to enter a monastery. But becoming well, the lively and sociable youth did not hurry to fulfill his vow. However, new health problems reminded him of his promise, and in 1839 he entered the Optina Hermitage in the Kaluga province, becoming a disciple of the famous elder Leo. From him the young novice gained the experience of the great saints of antiquity in acquiring grace. In 1845 he fell prey to a new and severe illness, which because monk Ambrose�s cross to the end of his life. Soon he began to help the elder Macarius as a confessor, began to see people, to participate in the hermitage�s publishing efforts. After the repose of the elder, hieroschemamonk Macarius, in 1860, St. Ambrose became the brothers� spiritual advisor.

Thousands of believers from all corners of Russia came to the clairvoyant elder for advice. He was visited and engaged in spiritual discussions by the writers Dostoyevsky, Solovyev, Leontyev, Aleksey Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy� The venerable elder never allowed himself to say a vain or wrathful word, but spoke only for the purpose of correction or spiritual guidance. From the Lord he received the gifts of healing and clairvoyance. Never refusing to help those in need, the holy elder could appear to people who entreated him at a distance, in dreams and face-to-face. He became a great intercessor for the Russian people, having transformed thousands of human destinies by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Saint Ambrose reposed on October 10, 1891 in the Shamordino convent which he had founded. His relics remain at the Optina Hermitage.

A more detailed life can be found here.

Another life can be found here.

A prophecy of Elder Ambrose can be found here.

A selections of letters of Elder Ambrose can be found here.

The book Elder Ambrose of Optina, can be obtained from St. Herman Press.

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