The Orthodox Church Process of Canonization/Glorification, and the Life of Blessed Archbishop Arseny

Introduction

The legacy of Blessed Arseny (Chahovtsov or Chagovstov) is very impressive. Fr. Matthew Francis, an OCA Priest who has done a great deal of research on him stated, “wherever he went things came to life, and the Church just came alive wherever he was.”1 As there is some controversy regarding his possible glorification, this paper starts by trying to clarify the rather indefinable process of glorification in the Orthodox Church. Hopefully, this essay will shed light on some undocumented aspects of Archbishop Arseny’s life and work. This paper by no means represents a finished product, as human holiness and saintliness is just too complex and varied to be defined in a neat package. I hope that this paper can perhaps help kindle a bit of renewed research and interest into the life of Blessed Archbishop Arseny, as there is still much that should be done and much more information that should be catalogued and/or translated if his life is to be understood and shared properly, especially as we consider his possible official glorification as saint and a proper inclusion in the Orthodox Church calendar. My gratitude is due to many people who allowed me to record their thoughts on Blessed Archbishop Arseny, and who clarified some aspects in the process of glorification in the Orthodox Church. Summaries of these interviews will be published under a separate cover.

Complete paper presented in Winnepeg