While freshening up the description of Alexandra’s apartment near Metro Alexeyevskaya available for rent from June to August 2013, possibly longer or even indefinitely I remembered a church nearby that houses an icon of the Prophet Nahum. This icon is said to make those who light a candle in front of it smarter. I’ve personally tested this claim with the all the scientific vigour I still manage to retain from the days of reason and rationality as a biology student in London, Ontario. In summer 2010, when over 100F heat for weeks and smoke from burning bogs and forests around Moscow made being here worse than unbearable, I appealed to the Prophet Nahum instead of downing a couple of cold ones as my habit was. It worked! My head got considerably more clear than after No.9 Baltica. Q.E.D. Seriously, it is a vibrant old church, with a Sunday school and a group that visits the elderly and all the rest a proper institution of this sort is supposed to have. So I’m putting the Church of the Holy Virgin of Tikhvin in Village of Alexeyevskoye, as it is officially called, on my list of “recommended” religious establishments.
And that’s the Prophet whose icon. In the Russian Orthodox tradition it is prayed to before beginning basic learning. Saints are in effect mini-gods, each having a specialization, and this one has a particular responsible for earlier stages of schooling. Russian “ум”(um), meaning “knowledge”, is part of his name.
Mini Russian Lesson
“У” grew out of “OU” that fused. Think of “U” with a little tail. Russian “У” is related to English “Y” and “V”. If you are aware that in Latin “V” also signified sound “U”, and if you see “У” in “V”, then “У” should no longer appear totally foreign.
Whether we like, approve, accept etc. religion, it is what defines a nation or a country. I’m sharing info on the religious scene for the benefit of those who want to get under the surface.