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Archimandrite Lazarus (Abashidze).
Our ever-memorable spiritual father and mentor, Archimandrite Lazarus (born Michael Petrovich Abashidze-Desimon), was born on July 23, 1959, in the town of Gagra in Abkhazia, one of the most beautiful corners of the Caucasus. He graduated from the Russian school of Gagra and studied architecture at one of Moscow institutes. According to the future archimandrite, he had a vague feeling of dissatisfaction from his childhood.
Student - Institute - Education - Moscow - Michael
As a student of an institute of higher education in Moscow, Michael Abashidze became distrustful of both the existing regime and the general atmosphere of falsehood and hypocrisy in the world, which stirred up his protest. Since his family was not religious, Michael was still not baptized. His inner dissatisfaction and protest caused him to join the hippie youth movement.
Several years later he found a copy of the Bible and the Orthodox Catechism in his friend’s house. It left an indelible impression on him, the chapter from the Book of Isaiah about the Passion of Christ in particular. From that moment he took a profound interest in Orthodoxy and wanted to comprehend its essence.
March - Feast - Triumph - Orthodoxy - Result
On March 11, 1984, the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, as a result of a conscious decision and after a thorough preparation, he was baptized at the age of twenty-four at the Church of the Holy Prophet Elias in Obidenny Lane in Moscow. The priest who baptized Michael asked him about his plans, and the newly-baptized young man said that he intended to stay at a monastery for a while. “A monastery is a good idea,” the priest answered.
Before his Baptism, Michael had been interested in the hermits who lived in Sukhumi near Lake Amtkell. Earlier he used to visit this lake where he saw a handful of empty cells. Shortly before his Baptism the future ascetic had learned about...
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"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8