Schema-abbot Luke (1880-1965)
Hospitality on Valaam was upheld as a
great virtue. Usually very sensitive and strong personalities were chosen for this
obedience. At the turn of the century thousands of pilgrims visited Valaam and all
had to be met with love and a perception of being able to find what each individual
pilgrim came for. The monastery had room for a thousand pilgrims. One such host was
Fr. Luke. He labored all his life as guestmaster, full of compassion and warmth.
Once he said, "What wonder! The Lord entrusted the keys to the Heavenly Kingdom
not to the pure Apostle John the Theologian, but to Peter who denied Him thrice,
for he would know the fallen state from experience and would be kinder to sinners."
Luke was a firm defender of the original Church Calendar. He left for Valamo, the
"New Valaam" in Finland during World War II. Luke was promised that he
would be able to return to Old Valaam but he never saw Valaam again and died in Pskov
Caves Monastery in 1965 as a righteous elder confessor. The monk in whose arms Fr.
Luke reposed testified that Fr. Luke had achieved the blessed state and the Kingdom
of Christ as a result of his conscientious reading of the works of St. Isaac the
Text from Valaam Patericon Book of Days
of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina California)