The Monk Martyr Danakt (Kalashnikov)
Martyr Danakt (Kalashnikov)
The commemoration date is December 2/15,
Was included in the Cathedral of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian
and in the Cathedral of the Butovo New Martyrs
Martyr Danakt (Dometian Iannuariyevich Kalashnikov) was born on January 10, 1882 in the family of peasants from the village Nuggets of the Tashlitsky volost of the Cherkassk County of the Kiev province.
On April 6, 1904 he arrived to Athos and was admitted to the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery where was made a robe-bearer on April 6, 1905 with a name Dometian, and on March 21, 1908 was put in a cloak with a name Danakt . He took the first obedience on Krumitsa at monastery vineyards. Then has been sent to Preobrazhenskiy hospital of the monastery where he carried out obedience of the hospital attendant and assistant to the paramedic.
Metokha Krumits at the time of father Danakt
In 1914, shortly before World War I, father Danakt was sent for obedience to a compound in Moscow. After the beginning of military operations he couldn't come back to Athos any more. At first he lived on the Athos compound in Moscow, and since 1923 – in Pokrovskiy Convent in Moscow which existed in the form of the church community.
The authorities were going to close finally the convent for a long time, they were trying to disperse believers. However, the neighboring inhabitants, that were visiting the monastery for years, came to defend the lovely monastery. At the very beginning of the revolution the number of constant parishioners was 1200 people (due to the report). In 1923 806 people participated in a community meeting, and nearly 1000 questionnaires were completed by members "the orthodox group of believers united at the temple of Pokrovskiy Convent ". Among them there were a brotherhood of the Convent, including father Danakt. The authorities gave up for a while , and the Convent existed for 6 more years. Though, in 1926 the bell tower was destroyed, because the authorities had considered that «it only encumbers the yard of possession of Bukharinsky Tram Park and it would be rational to break it down" especially as "the bricks were necessary for Red Tramvayshchik cooperative for working housing construction".
On blessing of abbot Misail, on June 29, 1928 father Danakt was imposed in the hierodeacon on the Athos farmstead.
Meanwhile, the Convent already verged to a close.
Hierodeakon Danakt, 1928.
Brotherhood of the Pokrovskiy Convent. 1928. The martyr Danakt (Kalashnikov) the fourth one standing from the left side
At the beginning of 1929 the plunder of the convent cemetery begun. Marauders plundered gravestone monuments, broke and took away metal fencings. The hierodeacon Danakt tried to stop plunderers, but it hadn't brought to any result. The windows where father Danakt lived overlooked the cemetery. Every time the hierodeacon saw the thieves, he called for the watchman, Grigory Khokhlov about the occurring robbery. Nevertheless, it only made the thieves angrier and they began to think how to get rid of the monk. August 14, 1929 – the first day of the Dormition Fast – was the last one for father Danakt in this monastery. The monk left the temple after evening service, he met the parishioner. The parishioner told him that he wants to sell the house in order to pay the tax. Father Danakt agreed that it is necessary to sell the house and pay a tax. Right after that as he said goodbye to the parishioner, a stranger came to him and asked, what they had talked about with the parishioner. The hierodeacon told him everything. The stranger said that the whole conversation has been directed against the Soviet power. Father Danakt rejected these conjectures. Then the stranger demanded the hierodeacon to follow him to the police station. All events were eyewitnessed by three young people, and the stranger who had detained father Danakt, was the one who had been engaged in plunder of the cemetery. He threatened father Danakt that if the hierodeacon refused that the conversation was anti-Soviet, then he would call three witnesses.
The hierodeacon and the stranger went to police station. The stranger said the following:
"Today at eight o'clock in the evening, I was at the Semenovsky cemetery. At the cemetery, I have seen the unknown citizen who talked with the priest. The priest told something to him. I heard that the priest gave the citizen advice, taught him how to live; he said to him that he should not pay taxes that he should oppose the policy of the Soviet power. When I came closer, they got up and tried to escape from me. I followed them again, but all the time they avoided me and, at last, tried to hide from me the church. I followed them, the unknown citizen disappeared among praying people. The priest wanted to leave through the other church exit, but I stopped him and asked to go with me to the police station. On the way to police station, he insisted on releasing him. Nevertheless, I finally brought him to the police station".
So the series of arrests, interrogations and references have begun for father Danakt . What did the prior, the archimandrite Veniamin, and remained brotherhood of the convent felt that day?. Some of them had already passed through prisons and knew what methods the Soviet justice applied and that not everyone comes back from there…
Next day the investigator of the police interrogated father Danakt. The hierodeacon told: "I do not plead guilty. Yesterday evening about 8 p.m. I left the church after the service, I went to the yard and I met the man whom I had known for eight years, Sergey Alekseyevich Azhayev. Azhayev, the former vegetables dealer in the Marsh market, had to pay the taxes. I asked him whether he had paid a debt. He answered that he did not. Then I told him that it was necessary to pay a tax, at least he needed to sale the house and pay the debt. I did not agitate him and did not advise him to escape taxes. I did not oppose the Soviet power. The persons who had brought me to the police station, lied to you. I see how he steals lead from a window of my house, and I report about it to the watchman".
On August, 16, father Danakt was transferred to prison of OGPU, and the case opened on him was sent to the 6th office of confidential department to Tuchkov, who transported it to the representative of the 6th office of confidential department Freyberg.
On August 20 Freyberg interrogated the hierodeacon who told: "I had known Sergey Alekseyevich Azhayev for eight years, he lived behind the Danilovsky outpost in his own house. In a conversation with me he told me that he hadn't paid a tax yet and he was going to sell his house. I told nothing about actions of the Soviet power and concerning tax policy, I didn't recommend him not to pay a tax."
A month later Azhayev was interrogated as the witness: "The Moscow finance department sold my house for shortages. I came to hierodeacon Danakt to consult concerning the sale of the house. I suggested to sell the house through Moscow Financial Department, I had an intention to sell the rooms to the monks, but they, and in particular hierodeacon Danakt, had refused to buy, and the house had been sold by Mosfindep".
On October 10 Freyberg interrogated the hierodeacon Danakt, but this time was interested not in one father's advice concerning payment of taxes. Freyberg wanted to know whom and how did the hierodeacon Danakt commemorated during the services. The hierodeacon listened to the investigator's questions answered: «As the deacon I say the names of murdered and grounded people before the service. I never carried on propagandas against the Soviet power. With the citizen Azhayev I spoke only about sale of the house, I didn't recommend him not to pay a tax, as I can remember".
The Resurretion Cathedral, 1890
The investigation had been completed, and the investigator concluded: "In church of Pokrovskiy Convent , during services, hierodeacon Danakt commemorated the names of people killed and imprisoned by the Soviet power – clergy and laymen. He advised the former large merchant Azhayev not to pay tax debt and to oppose the Soviet power".
Hierodeacon Danakt. Moscow. Prison of OGPU. 1929.
On October 14, 1929 (on the Cover of Blessed Virgin – a patronal feast day of the convent) the Special Meeting at Board of OGPU sentenced the hierodeacon Danakt to three years of imprisonment in a camp on the Solovki, and he was sent to the city of Kem.
On the same day the archimandrite Veniamin wrote down in the diary: This year the metropolitan of Tashkent Nikandr served in our church the service on the occasion of the Day of the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady. I had a bad feeling about changes in my own fate, or in monastic life". In 2 weeks he had been arrested, and the church community at Pokrovskiy convent stopped the existence.
However the Holly Lady didn't leave the monks. Both the father Veniamin, and the father Danakt had been sentenced to three years in the camp in the Solovki– the most terrible one, where the great number of bishops, priests, monks had died. Both of them have reached Popov islands: 8 days in narrowness, lying on a back on three-storied plank beds, without water…
Father Veniamin Solovki had been sentenced to three years in the camp on the continent, and father Danakt had been banished to the Komi area for the same term. Of course, the conditions were awful in the camp on the continent too. Nevertheless, there was nothing more terrible than the camp in the island Solovki.
By the end of term, on July 23, 1932, the guide of OGPU of Komi area had made the recommendations concerning the future of father Danakt: "Being in exile in Komi area, Kalashnikov did not behave well. He communicated only with reactionary and monarchic anti-Soviet clergy, he has the uncomplying attitude to the religious beliefs, he expressed the negative point of views toward the actions of the Soviet power, and he agitates his anti-Soviet point of view. After his discretionary release, free accommodation in 12 points of the USSR should be announced in the order OGPU No. 19/10 of 11/1 1930".
December, 16, The special Meeting at Board of OGPU decided to deprive hierodeacon Danakt of the right of accommodation in twelve points and in the Ural region with attachment to a certain residence for a period of three years.
He returned from the exile in 1933, he stayed in Vladimir. Here he ordained to be a hieromonch in the Rozhdestvenskaya Church. In 1935 hieromonch Danakt was directed to serve in Mikhailo-Arkhangelsky temple of the village Arkhangelsk Shakhovsky district of the Moscow region.
In November, 1937 the chairman of the Village Council upon the demand of the staff of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs made the characteristic on hieromonch Danakt. He wrote that he "is hostile, carries on active propaganda for faith in God both among adults, and among ".
The chairman of the Village Council was interrogated on November 25, 1937. He informed the authorities that the hieromonch lives on worshipers’ private apartments, later they built a small house for him. The local newspaper wrote that hieromonch Danakt exploited parish people. The chairman said that the priest conducted active work with believers, brought together them at his house where talked on religious subjects and urged to pray to God more. Besides, among believers he carried on counterrevolutionary propaganda against the Soviet power. Therefore, at the beginning of November, 1937 he said, "The Soviet power had clamped us in a vice and wanted to take the religion away from us, it impose taxes upon the church and mere people". On the eve of the church holidays Kalashnikov went on houses and reminded believers that tomorrow will be the holiday, asked them to go to church. Among children, he carried on propaganda for faith in God. Often Kalashnikov talked about God to people in the village Arkhangelsky. He met the farmers near by the water well and told them: "Please, come to church tomorrow, tomorrow there will be a holiday and there will be an interesting service". So he spoke on November 5, on the eve of a Saturday of Souls.
hieromonch Danakt. Moscow. Prison of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs. 1937
On November 28, 1937 the staff of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs arrested hieromonch Danakt, he was imprisoned in Volokolamsk. Interrogations began.
- The investigation has mentioned that you in October, 1937 carried on counterrevolutionary propaganda against the state obligations. Give evidences on this matter! – the investigator has demanded.
- I didn't carry on any counterrevolutionary propaganda against the state obligations, - the priest has answered. – I fulfill all obligations.
- And what for were you fined two hundred rubles?
- I was fined for the fact that I presented the financial declaration not in time, and actually, I have sent it by mail on time.
- The investigation has information that you carried on counterrevolutionary propaganda against tax policy of the Soviet power concerning church, give evidences on this matter.
- I said that I pay heavy taxes, but my words had no counterrevolutionary character.
- The investigation insists that you do the counterrevolutionary activity!
- I was not connected with counterrevolutionary activity and did not carry on propaganda against the existing system.
- Do you plead guilty to the charge brought to you?
- I don't plead guilty to the charge brought to me - the priest has answered.
The investigation was completed. On December 3, 1937 the three of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs sentenced father Danakt to execution. Hieromonch Danakt (Kalashnikov) was shot on December 2/15, 1937 and buried in an unknown common grave on the Butovo ground near Moscow.
On Hierarchal Cathedral of 2000 celibate priest Danakt was included in the Cathedral of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian and in the Cathedral of the Butovo New Martyrs
The MonkMartyr Danakt (Kalashnikov) commemorated on December 2/15, at the Cathedral of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and at the Cathedral of Butovo New Martyrs
Martur Danakt-the 4th one from left in top row/The Cathedral of new martyrs of Butovo.