May 5 - One of Stalin's Many Victims: St. Dmitry Vlassenkov

The authorities were displeased that even after closing the church, and arresting the priest, the church life still continued in the village. At last, they decided to arrest Dmitry Vlassenkov . . .

St. Dmitry Vlassenkov the Martyr

The martyr Dmitry was born to a peasant family in the year 1880, in the town of Rossasna, in a county of the Mogilev province. His father was the foreman of the district council. 

Having graduated from the parish school, Dmitry worked the farm like his father and brothers. He served his time in the army, got married, and the Lord gave him a big family. 

Having been raised in faith and piety, he diligently attended the services in his native village. He sang in the choir from childhood, and spent some time as an altar server.

During the persecutions, in 1931, he was appointed to the church council, and remained a member until 1934 when the church was closed. Dmitry Emelianovich was not arrested. 

Every year life became harder. The peasants, suffering from the absence of services, began to beg Dmitry Emelianovich, as a man who knew the services, and as a former altar server, to at least read the psalms for the dead. He never refused those who asked him. 

The authorities were displeased that even after closing the church, and arresting the priest, the church life still continued in the village. At last, they decided to arrest Dmitry Vlassenkov. In 1940 they pressured some witnesses to give false testimony about him, as if he had conducted anti-Soviet agitation while reading prayers.

Dmitry Emelianovich defended himself as much as he could, refuting the witnesses. But all the same, he was sentenced to five years in the Karaganda prison camp. While serving his sentence, the convicted altar server became gravely ill, and he died in the camp hospital on May 5th, 1942. Dmitry Emelianovich was buried in an unknown grave. 

The fifth of May is the feast day of Martyr Dmitry Vlassenkov.

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