Elder John of Korennaya (Staretz)
I met Elder John shortly before his repose. My wife Yulia told him about her concern of me not being Orthodox yet. He looked at me with a smile and said "Mikhail, Mikhail..." a year after I was baptised with a new name Mikhail. People come to visit his grave side and often you can see them talking to him as if he is alive. Some people take a little sand from his grave and put it on a place where it hurts. They share the sand with their friend and send it to those who live far away. Many prayers are done on his grave and many people being helped...
Jesus on the Cross
A large statue of Jesus on the cross is located in the cemetery. It is for all the graves that were once marked in this location before the war. The cemetery is located east of the main monastery courtyard.
There is a road leading toward the cemetery. There is also another statue of Jesus on the Cross as you enter into the village of Svodoba just past the St. Joakim & St. Anna Church. Also there is a large cemetery for the Svodoba Village next to this beautiful Orthodox Church.
Cemetery with the View of the Valley at the Edge of Orchard
The orchard seems to be used byeveryone as local farmers will graze there goats under the trees as they eat the grass and later in the summer the fallen fruit. You will also see people having their picnic lunches under the shade of the trees. Many people will take the apples from the trees and you will surely see kids climbing in the trees. There are some wonderful valley views from the lower orchard area by the cemetery area. No one seems to take care of the apple trees as far as pruning and spraying. The orchard sits on agreement land for the Historic WWII Museum. I would guess that at some point it will be given back to the Monastery to care and crop the trees as it is a very large orchard. As I understand there are tunnels under the orchard from the WWII Generals Rokossovsky headquarters which was the Battle of Kursk that was the first successful major Soviet diffense of the War.
Local farmers bring their goats to the orchard to graze on the grass and eat the fruit that falls to the ground. I enjoy as do many others just to relax in the orchard. The orchard is directly behind the WWII Museum and the cemetery is located in the very back of the orchard. You can also get to the cemetery by using the side road that runs next to the Museum that is the back entrance into the main Monastery courtyard used as a good way to bring elderly and the disabled people to the Monastery grounds.
Monastery orchard is a beatiful place to relax and be close to nature. You can feel the stillness and prayer filling everything around making you forget the wordly cares and lift your mind to Heaven and God. Bring your prayer rope, find a place under a tree and enjoy this special time away from the temporary world.