“My mouth has been closed for fifteen years but now it is open again to spread God’s words for you…”. These words belong to a genius professor of medicine, an author of numerous research works in purulent surgery and anesthesiology, archbishop Luka, born Voyno-Yasenetsky.
The archbishop’s life is closely connected with Tambov region. During the World War II Valentin Felixovich was saving lives of the wounded both physically and spiritually.
After his exile, in 1943, archbishop Luka was appointed the bishop of Tambov. He arrived to Tambov in winter of 1944. By that time out of 110 churches functioning in the region before the revolution, only two were opened – one in Tambov and one in Michurinsk. Tambov hospitals of the war years used to accommodate a lot of people in need of treatment as much as of faith and spiritual support. His diagnosing skills were always accurate. Many hopeless cases were saved thanks to archbishop Luka.
Luka’s arrival to Tambov caused more popularity to the town as he was awarded with Stalin’s Prize of the 1st degree for his works “Purulent surgery essays” and “Delayed resections in case of infected wounds of the major joints”. That year Tambov was the center of the world community that got very interested in archbishop Luka’s personality. Tambov diocese with archbishop Luka at its head made a noticeable contribution to the victory in the war. Within only three months three functioning churches of the diocese transferred more than 250 000 rubles for the building of the tank column named after Dmitry Donskoy and the air squadron named after Alexander Nevsky. Total 2 million rubles was transferred for almost two years of war. Archbishop Luka donated a part of his Stalin Prize to the children who lost their parents during the war.
Although Luka left Tambov in 1946, his rich spiritual legacy stayed, for example, Tambov Intercession cathedral that was recreated with his help.The monument to this outstanding man is located on the premises of Tambov hospital named in his honor. The opening ceremony took place in autumn, 1994. The sculptor is G. Yusupov. Just nearby, there is Museum of History of Medicine in Tambov region that displays various things that used to belong to the archbishop. The museum staff will tell you about the years of Luka’s work in Tambov and his church service in Tambov land.