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Fr. Potapy Emelianov

Peter Andreevich Emelianov was born in 1884 in Ufa Province, to a family of Old Believer peasants who later became Orthodox. As a young man he was tonsured as a monk, taking the name Potapy. He was ordained a priest in 1914. From March of 1917 he was parish priest in the village of Nizhnaya Bogdanovka in the Lugansk area of Ukraine. In 1918, together with the members of his parish he entered the Catholic Church. He underwent persecution many times from various governments following one upon the other: he was beaten several times, he was confined to prison, and he hardly escaped death. He was arrested by the Bolsheviks and condemned on a false charge to ten years in the camps. He served the sentence at the Solovki camp. On the fourth of August 1936 he was liberated from the camp. He died on August 14 of the same year at the station Nadvojtsy in Karelia. The site of his grave is unknown.

Fr. Potapy was a confessor of the Catholic Faith, firmly and manfully under all circumstances. In 1932 at one of his interrogations he said: "The time which I have spent in captivity has not shaken my religious convictions, I have rather become an even more convinced Catholic. In the time to come no one will be able to sway me from this." During the time of his imprisonment in the camp he always showed charity to others, and helped them in difficulties. The memory of this has been kept by them.

The martyrdom of Fr. Potapy has been kept among a several communities of the faithful in Russia. In Russia and in other countries as well there have been a few articles published about him. The opinion exists among several communities of Russian Catholics of the Eastern Rite that he is a saint. Prayers are offered for his intercession, and the faithful make efforts to disseminate information about him and about private devotions to him.



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