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Рэспубліка Беларусь


Republic of Belarus


  on 18 October 2012 view of Dormition Cathedral across the Western Dvina River and fishermen  
  Рака Заходняя Дзвіна – Daugava or Western Dvina River, and on the opposite bank, the left bank is the late Baroque-style Успенскі Сабор Віцебск – Cathedral of the Assumption (Dormition), built 1715- 1743. Transferred to the Orthodox on the orders of Tsar Pavel, the Cathedral was build on the site of an earlier Greek Catholic Church. As so very often in Russia, the architect was a brother from another corner of European Christendom, in this case the Italian Catholic, Іосіф Фантана – Joseph Fontana. The Godless, militant atheist Communists destroyed the Church, which was rebuilt in the same style in recent decades. The much narrower river branching off the far side, the left bank, of the Dvina is the Vićba – Рака Віцьба.  



  Sursum Corda  
  Sursum Corda – Падніміце вашы Сэрцы – Lift up your hearts  




  in Grodna late in the day on 22 October 2012  
  It was after five on 22 October 2012  




  Bison bonasus – Зубр еўрапейскі – Żubr europejski – European Bison  
  Bison bonasus – Зубр еўрапейскі – Żubr europejski – European Bison  
  Белавежская пушча – Białowieża Forest – Puszcza Białowieska, the microscopic remnant of the primeval forest which once spanned Europe, covers about 1,420 km². (Together, Poland and Belarus cover 520,274 km² : 312,679 km² for Poland + 207,595 km² for Belarus.) Yes, we are lucky to have it. It is better than nothing. And there is talk of expanding slightly this tiny dot on the map of Europe. Presently about two thirds of the total land area lies in Belarus, but it is difficult to say exactly, as it is unclear how much of the forest is actually protected, especially on the Polish side, and, unbelievably, the Poles are still logging there, perhaps to the tune of 140,000 cubic meters of timber per year. Not to be outdone – in lowness that is – the authorities in Belarus are still allowing, actually encouraging, the shooting some of the few remaining bison. (Just the old ones.) Europe's largest animals, Białowieża Forest is home to about 800 of these majestic, herbivorous creatures. There may be more like 4500 Europe-wide, that is also world-wide. So in Europe, there are about 750,000,000 of us and about 4,500 of these bison, but this circumstance has not stopped some brave hunters from Germany, America and Russia from coming round and paying someone in Belarus for permission to shoot these animals. After all, it takes a real hero to apply 2 kilograms of pressure to a trigger and shoot a fenced-in, plant-eating animal. Clearly these men are kindred souls to George H.W. Bush and the rest of the intrepid gang over at Safari Club International.  



    Брэст – Берестя – Brest – Brześć – Брест
    Брэст – Берестя – Brest – Brześć – Брест



Saint Simeon Cathedral    
Свята-Сімяонаўскі Сабор у Брэсце – Saint Simeon Cathedral, the only active Church in Brest during Soviet times, so after whom could the street on which she is situated possibly be named (still in October of 2012) other than Karl Marx? The present structure dates to the middle of the XIX century. Συμεὼν ὁ στυλίτης – Святой Сымон Слупнік – Saint Simeon (or Symeon) the Stylite (the elder of that name) (* c. 388 – 2 September 459 †), lived his faith in the only God, the Triune God, in a way which is comprehensible to us (or at least to the present writer) only as an abstraction. He spent 36 years in extreme asceticism on a tiny platform, perhaps one meter square, atop several pillars near Aleppo in Syria, the last of which, where he spent about 30 years and finally reposed in the Lord, was about 15 meters high. In this extreme austerity, Saint Simeon was far from isolated. His fame spread throughout Christendom, and large numbers of people converged on his pillar in the desert, seeking his advice and prayers, including by climbing up a latter to his platform home. He preached to the assembled crowds. He wrote letters, including one to Emperor Leo (r. 457 to 474; himself an Orthodox saint, with a feast day on 20 January) in support of the Council of Chalcedon, some of which letters survive. In subsequent centuries he had imitators. An extraordinary witness to the Gospel of Jesus.    




    Беларусь - Аб'яднанае Еўрапейскае Хрысціянства
    Belarus - United European Christendom