The future Archbishop Averky (Taushev) was born in 1906 in Kazan. Due to the nature of his father’s work, in his youth he travelled all over Russia and grew to love its monasteries, reading deeply. In 1920 the Taushev family fled Russia for the Bulgarian city of Varna. Here, while still at high school, the young man met the exiled Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, who further inspired his love of monastic life. After leaving school the future Archbishop enrolled at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Sofia.
On graduating he accepted a position as assistant secretary in the Carpatho-Russian Diocese in what was then Czechoslovakia. There, in 1931, he was tonsured monk with the name Averky, ordained deacon and in 1932 ordained priest, serving in local parishes. After carrying out various tasks for the diocese, in 1940 Fr Averky was forced to leave Carpatho-Russia. He moved to Belgrade where he taught Pastoral Theology and Homiletics, but in 1945, moving out in front of the advancing Red Army, he arrived in Munich together with the Synod of Bishops of the Church Outside Russia. Here he continued teaching.
In 1951 Fr. Averky was assigned to teaching at Holy Trinity Seminary at Jordanville in New York State. Fr Averky was soon consecrated bishop and in 1960 he was chosen by the monastery to be their Abbot. As Abbot, Archbishop Averky, as he had become, led the curriculum, teaching New Testament and Homilectics, writing and preaching. He also actively participated in publishing the Russian periodical ‘Orthodox Rus’. He reposed in 1976, known for his Orthodox writings and sermons calling to repentance, his saintly life, adherence to the Tradition against ecumenism and extremism, and his conviction that the end of the world was rapidly approaching amid contemporary apostasy.
The mystery that concerns us is why the Archbishop was so convinced that the end was near. After all, forty years on, we are still here. The answer, however, is not complex. Already, over 1950 years ago, the Apostle Paul wrote similarly of the end of the world. Is it possible then that saints can be wrong? In reality, the saints are not wrong. The end of the world has been near on several occasions. Saints and the saintly have intuitions of this and this is precisely why they are sent by God to warn us and to call to repentance. This is what the Apostle Paul did and it is also what Archbishop Averky did. And people did listen to him and others.
In 1981, five years after Archbishop Averky’s repose, the Synod of Bishops canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Thanks to their prayers, persecution ceased in the Russian Lands and there began the process of the Rebaptism of Rus. With this act of repentance for the overthrow of Old Russia and its Orthodox foundations three generations before in 1917, the world changed. God gave an extension to the world and the end that had indeed been near in the 1960s and 1970s, just as the holy Archbishop had said, drew back.
Today, with the world situation on a knife edge, with the Western world gripped by the Satanic urge for global military and economic control and seeking to destroy the last vestiges of spiritual life everywhere, with many Orthodox countries like Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria compromised by Western propaganda, with many of the last strongholds of Orthodox piety, including Serbia, Georgia, Moldova and now the Ukraine, under threat, and with Russia only half-way to repentance, it is clear that the end is approaching once more. Now only the Mother of God can extend history and grant us another period for repentance. Now we should turn again to the prophecies and warnings of Archbishop Averky.