Christianity is well known to have almost “countless” number of known and unknown Christian martyrs. Martyrdom has been considered of a high esteem especially in the dawn of Christianity. Short after the martyrdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, many faithful to his teaching (including many of the holy apostles) endured martyrdom similar to the Lord’s crucifix on Golgotha.
We’re almost living in a peaceful age with no official persecution of Church the if compared to many of the previous centuries. Nomatter faithful Christian still shed their blood for Christ. Probably in Christian missions, all around the world even in the moment of writting this article some faithful Christ servent is suffering martyrdom. In this post I will devote to one modern day Russian martyr saints of our Orthodox Christian faith – Father Danail Sysoev. He is most recent martyr saint I know of. Fr. Sysoev is still not officially canonized in the Russian Orthodox Chuch because according to Church canons, to proclaim someone officially a saint – 50 years or so has to pass since the saints earthly death.
Fr Danail Sysoev was a faithful God servent who has who lead a lot of people to the Lord Jesus Christ, by writting books, radio and TV talks, preaches and spiritual governing. I heard of him by Vsevolod a Russian brother in Christ from Moscow, I met just few days ago. Vsevolod shared with me that he is a spiritual child of father Danail Sysoev, because it was through him he was lead to Christ ….
Father Danail Sysoev was a fervent missionary for Christ and turned probably tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people to faith in Christ in the only fully thruthful Orthodox Christian faith.
The Father was threaten numerous times over phone to stop preaching Christ or else he would be killed. But the continuing threats did not frightened him at all but on the contrary he even more fervently continued preaching the Gospel following the instructions of the Lord himself who said himself:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spiritteaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
- Mathew 28:19-29
The father has done a great work for the heavenly kingdom, writting in his short 35 years of eartly living – 28 books ! ! !, besides that he was leading holy liturgies, doing missionary work, was a confessor of many and was taking care for his family ! ! !
The new-martyr saint works are explaining in good detail the Orthodox Christian faith and how by following and understanding correctly our faith we can reach paradise (The Heavenly Jerusalem) our Lord Jesus Christ promised us.
The Hierarch inspired hundred of thousands Christians all around the world to do a missionary work and live a life for Christ and is a well known and probaly the most bright nowadays primer of a person who worked hard for bring Christ kingdom on earth – just like our Church holy fathers.
Danail Sysoev was “dreaming” (desiring) for martyrdom. He even explained in his works that Martyrdom is one of the best glorious ending a Christian can have for his faith (this is also in concurrence with holy fathers writtings and our Church 2011 years tradition.
The Father was famous among Muslims in Russia for leading open debates with Muslims, questioning validity of Islam? Showing with multiple sources that Christ is the only “door” and God through which one can enter heaven.
Because of that and because of his truthful life like Christ said he was persecuted, blasphemed and killed for Christ’s name.
The missionary work Fr. Sysoev is one of the biggest missionary present works done within the Russian Orthodox Church.
Whole Russian nation was in shock in 20th of November 2009, when an unknown masked man entered the Church where the father was serving, the killed called out Father Sysoev’s name and shot him twice – once in forehead and once in chest …
The whole brutal scene occured in Moscow Church building which the father built himself collecting money in his lifetime….
Below is a short TV report of the brutal murder of the new-martyr, as well as the last preach of the father translated to English:
By the fr. last preach it is easy to determine the great spiritual experience and spiritual heights the martyr reached prior to his martyrdom.
There is also a full length documentary in Russian about Father Daniil Sysoev life but unfortunately I couldn’t find it with english subtitles, however it will be worthy for Christians speaking any Slavic language. You can check – (Я иду домой (Памяти отца Даниила Сысоева) on url – http://youtu.be/sqk0EambOQw