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In memory of father Viktor Mamontov

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In memory of father Viktor Mamontov

This morning the heart of the father stopped.

This message came from Alla Ivanovna, the permanent novice of Archimandrite Viktor Mamontov.

A real old man has departed to the Lord.

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Church of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk in the village. Karsava (Latvia)

Born about. In 1938, in the Far East, in secular education, he became a literary scholar, graduated from the South Sakhalin Pedagogical Institute and graduate school at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute, where he worked as an associate professor for several years. The monastic path began in the Holy Dormition Pochayev Monastery with the blessing of his confessor Archimandrite Seraphim (Tyapochkin). In the 1980s under Metropolitan Leonid (Polyakov) he was the confessor of the Riga Holy Trinity-Sergius Convent.

Then many years about. Victor served in Karsava, near the Russian-Latvian border. In the 90-2000s, this small place became a place of pilgrimage for many believers from different parts of the former USSR.

It is said that the priest first offered people to live in Karsava without obedience, to come to their senses, to participate in the divine service under a strict monastic charter, in spiritual communion with other pilgrims – and he talked with the visitors.

Guide o. Victor did not assume direct instructions: as the father once put it, God acts at a distance of two freedoms, Divine and human. Therefore, those who waited for direct answers were at first bewildered – but then the answers were found themselves, as if sprouting from conversations with Fr. Victor, their books donated by the priest (some texts of Father Victor himself are on the Tradition).

When the author of these lines for the first time managed to visit Karsava in 2010, Fr. Victor only served, but did not communicate with anyone. Leaving the gate, the father gradually taught his spiritual children to independence. We did not go for communication, but just to be in the presence, to pray together. And in Karsava one could meet a nun from a Greek monastery in Italy, spiritual children who emigrated to New York but did not leave the community, Muscovites, St. Petersburg people, Yekaterinburg residents, people from different parts of Latvia. Concerts of the metropolitan level were organized, poetry evenings, after the divine service — circles on the reading of the Holy Scripture, and if educated laity came, they were given the blessing to preach at the divine service …

And yet the most important thing was happening inside. The first time I came for two weeks. It was a joy. The fuss was leaving, everything was becoming more transparent. During the divine service, everything according to the rules was read, innumerable names were mentioned. Suddenly, he fell ill, and for three days in the heat of time, I remembered everything unconfessed, everything that turns out to be a soul for many years. I wanted to live a prayer, the Presence of God, the Communion. I lost this state two months later, sins accumulated, which I could not refuse. Yes, there was a regular confession, but still there was a feeling that something important had been lost. It was scary to go to Karsav for Christmas – it would be very embarrassing for not having kept the gift of purity received. Father Victor, seeing me in the temple, approached, touched his forehead with his forehead (he was a little foolish lately), and said: “Oh, Vladimir has arrived, beautiful, unforgotten” … And there was something in it that said without words about how the Lord Jesus Christ loves.

After some time, about. Victor stopped serving altogether, was seriously ill (oncology), did not show any more that he would recognize someone. And yet … Once Alla Ivanovna, the assistant of the priest, the pastor from Protestants called, said that he could not find answers to his situation, but I would like to consult with Fr. Victor, because I heard about him. "Batyushka no longer serves, but come, pray." Waited, waited – it's all there. Finally called. It turned out that as soon as he got off the bus and walked to the temple, everything cleared up, and he returned home, rejoicing.

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Church of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk in the village. Karsava (Latvia)

In October of this year, Fr. Victor was hospitalized. With trepidation, those who knew him watched what news came from the hospital. And today he went to the Lord.

The time has passed for the testing of diseases for Fr. Victor. The time of experiencing for those who loved him very much and was committed to his covenants ended. From about. Victor left very few personal items. There remained a wooden temple in which he served. There are books and conversations in which Fr. Victor expresses his understanding of life in the Church. There remained people brought up by the priest, and to a measure continue his work. I hope this also means that another prayer book has appeared, interceding for us before the Throne of God.

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