Friday, February 11, 2011

our lady of kazan

our lady of kazan is a russian orthodox monastery in the barelas neighborhood of albuquerque.  en un de los barrios mas hispanicos in town, across from a giant pink 50's relic store sign that reads "drugs," it's one of a handful of russian orthodox monasteries all across new mexico.  

our lady of kazan was founded thirty years ago by his eminence symeon carmona, the titular bishop of cyzicus.  father carmona and father barsanuphius deane painted the murals on the monastery's outer walls in 2001. father barsanuphius has been at the monastery for sixteen years and teaches iconography.

father carmona is included in the mural as a holy being among the saints.  carmona's halo is square, to indicate he is living, and he holds his pet chihuahua, chopo, in his hand.  incidentally, father carmona is, in addition to being a father in the russian orthodox church, a crypto-jew.

his eminence, metropolitan symeon carmona and chopo

mary of egypt, a promiscuous girl in 6th century alexandria who, among other sins, seduced boys on a spiritual pilgrimage to jerusalem.  when the sexy pilgrims got to the church where jesus was resurrected, a mysterious force prevented her from entering.  she felt so sad about it that she ran off into the desert and lived as a clairvoyant ascetic for 47 years.  when she died, she was buried by a lion. 
saint barsanuphius of optina.  he was born in samara, russia and served as a colonel in the army before becoming a monk at the age of 45.  he, too, was clairvoyant. 

archangel gabriel

schemanun macaria, a russian nun who passed away in 1993.  severely injured at the age of three, she is a patron saint of the maimed and crippled. 

saint john maximovitch the wonderworker, archbishop of shanghai and later archbishop of san francisco.  he was  clairvoyant and walked barefoot in the cold.  he was sainted in 1994.

our lady of kazan monastery & holy royal martyrs russian orthodox church
324 hazeldine sw
albuquerque, nm


  1. Thank you, Sam. My wish is to be buried by a lion too.

  2. my pleasure, of course. thanks for reading.

  3. This summer I just happened up 4th street, wandering around Albq, and passed this monastery shortly after this fascinating mural had been vandalized. It is just incomprehensible how anyone can do such a mean and pagan thing. I visited with a lovely woman and watched the padres restore, repair, reinvigorate the mural. The next day I drove by again wishing I had made a contribution to a couple of gallons of acrylic but it was fresh and new and no one was on site. May it remain so. I was delighted to find this on line as I review and expand my trip notes, looking out over the Pacific Ocean and feeling so blessed. Thank You.

  4. Interesting that I saw this mural on an episode of Breaking Bad. I had to search it out! Thanks for posting about it in such a kind and respectful way. The saints serve as an inspiration to all. They live among us.