Church People Clergy and Monastics Deacon Andrei Psarev Jordanville

Hierodeacon Varlaam (Nachay)

Fr. Varlaam is the second on the right from the viewer at the train station in Mohawk, NY with a group of monks that arrived from St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Munich to Holy Trinity Monastery (1949)

“A Quiet Angel Has Flown Past Quietly”

Hierodeacon Varlaam (Nachay-document spelling of Nakhai) of Holy Trinity Monastery passed away on this day in 1958.

Historians and philosophers often speak different “languages.” When I was looking for information to write this report, I found an account on Fr. Varlaam by Archimandrite Constantine (Zaitseff), “A Quiet Angel Has Flown Past,” which only mentioned that he was born in Belarus. His sudden death was a shock for the brotherhood and especially for the 14-year-old Victor Lochmatow, who was close to Fr. Varlaam. Here, I am using an account about him written by my deceased friend Dmirty P. Anashkin (d. 2018), borrowing it from his paper on the residents of St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Obermenzing (Munich), who moved to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

Vasilii Nahai was born in Belarus. During the Second World War, he found himself in occupied territory, took part in military action (General Vlasov’s Army?), and was wounded. Finding himself in Munich, he entered the Monastery of St. Job, where he was under Father Gelasii’s obedience. Later, Vasilii went to the United States, where he joined the Brotherhood of Holy Trinity Monastery and received monastic tonsure. Also, in Jordanville, he graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary (Class 1955). His constant obedience was work in the printing press. In addition, he was the monastery driver and boiler man, maintaining the furnace in the old residential house. With his good bass voice he sang in the choir. He was attentive, diligent, and kind. Those who knew him note such qualities as simplicity, humility, soft facial features, a voice with gentle nuances, and, at the same time, enormous physical strength. Children and teenagers who visited the monastery, including our current protodeacon, Father Victor Lokhmatov, loved Father Varlaam and obeyed him without question. His basic feature was kindness. In the words of Father Constantin (Zaitseff) he would melt down with kindness when dealing with people, ready to give of himself and everything he had to each person, and to be a brother to each one. He was diligent and conscientious in fulfilling the obediences that were laid upon him. And it was while fulfilling an obedience that he perished tragically in the winter of 1958, when a beam fell on him as he was plowing snow on a tractor around the monastery. Father Varlaam’s burial was the first one in the brotherhood cemetery behind the altar of Holy Trinity Church. After his death, the decision was made at an emergency spiritual council to devote this area behind the church to members of the monastic brotherhood.



Nun Raphaila (Kovtun), Sinodik Syondal’ny [Commemoration Book of the Russian Church Abroad].

Archimnadrite Constanine (Zaitsev), “Tikho Angel Proletel,” [An Angel Has Flown Past Queitly], Pravoslavnaia Rusʹ. 2 (1958).

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