Teenage Book Review
The Blessed Surgeon: The Life of Saint Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol
by Archdeacon Vasiliy Marushchak
Published by Divine Ascent Press, Second Edition, 2008
The Blessed Surgeon is a biography of St Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and the Crimea (1877-1961), a Bishop doctor who lived during the harsh Communist regime of the Soviet Union, and who is considered a Holy Unmercenary Saint of the Orthodox Church. Saint Luke was ordained a priest at the age of 44 after his wife passed away, then served as a Bishop, professor, surgeon and father, who faced many struggles with not only balancing these roles, but doing so while facing the severe persecutions against Christians at that time. His life serves as an example to all Christians living in the world.
The Bishop’s deep faith was always present in his life and work; and the book details many his struggles for the Faith. An inspiring example shows St Luke’s courage when he refused to attend his work at the hospital, unless he was permitted to hang an icon of the Mother of God in the operating room. The executives of the hospital, recognising their need of St Luke’s unmatched surgical skills, eventually yielded in their opposition, and the icon was allowed.
Other persecutions were more severe, with St Luke arrested on three occasions (with one leading to imprisonment and interrogation for two years) and exiled three times by the authorities.
As a Bishop, St Luke was truly a pillar of the Church, strengthening his parishes against not only the persecutions of the government, but also from the false teachings of the heretical ‘Living Church’, a denomination propagated by the Communist regime.
St Luke can be credited with many sermons (most of which are preserved in 12 volumes), a Stalin award for contributions to science (and prize money from which he donated to war affected children) and even a textbook titled Essays on Purulent Surgery. He is commemorated by the Church on June 11th.
Source: February-March 2015 Lychnos Edition