Leonid Feodorov

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Leonid Ivanovich Feodorov (Russian: Леонидъ Ивановичъ Фёдоровъ) (18791935) was a bishop and Exarch for the Russian Catholic Church, in addition to being a survivor of the GULAG. After painstaking investigation, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 27, 2001.


  • When I feel overwhelmed by misfortune, the greatest joy that the Lord can give me is to go to the altar, to put my forehead against it (as on the day of my ordination to the priesthood), and to feel the presence of the only reality. Not only does calm return, but my body seems to be annihilated; the only true life begins, the life of that which is intangible."
    • Fr. Paul Mailleux, S.J., "Exarch Leonid Feodorov, Bridgebuilder Between Rome and Moscow," page 166.
  • I am not a Jacob wrestling with God, but a Job lying on his dung-hill. I have assimilated Western thought and its clarity, but, in fact, I am solidly rooted in the passive Eastern nature and remain rebellious to any action. The book, the cell, the presence at the altar and at lengthy church ceremonies, and above all the solitude and withdrawal from the world -- this is the atmosphere which suits me; it is there that I feel like a fish in the water. I cannot lead an active and contemplative life at the same time. You know how much I love the Jesuits, but their ideal (to unite contemplation with action) is not within my means.
    • Fr. Paul Mailleux, "Exarch Leonid Feodorov," page 181.
      • In a letter to Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky.
  • If the Soviet Government orders me to act against my conscience, I do not obey. As for teaching the Catechism, the Catholic Church holds that children must be taught their religion, no matter what the law says. Conscience is above the law. No law which is against the conscience can bind.
    • Captain Francis McCullagh, "The Bolshevik Persecution of Christianity," Dutton and Company, 1924, page 192.
      • Adressing the court during his political show trial in 1923.
  • My whole life has been based on two principles: the love of the Church to which I am united, and the love of my country, which I adore. If I do not care whether I am sentenced to ten years imprisonment or to be shot, it is not because I am a fanatic... Since I joined the Catholic Church my sole object has been to reconcile my country to that Church which I believe to be the One True Church.
    • Captain Francis McCullagh, "The Bolshevik Persecution of Christianity," page 238.
      • Addressing the court shortly before being sentenced to ten years in the GULAG.
  • The true messianism of the Russian Church is not what the Slavophiles have imagined, but it is the example of suffering. It is in this way that she shows that she is the continuation of Christ in this world.
    • Fr. Paul Maileux, "Exarch Leonid Feodorov," page 204.
      • Addressing a friend and confidant who was imprisoned with him at Solovki prison camp.

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