You are here

J. Eugene Clay

Apocalypticism in the Russian Borderlands: Inochentie Levizor and his Moldovan Followers

In 1908, in the southwestern outskirts of the Russian Empire, the Moldovan monk Inochentie (loan Levizor, 1875-1917) began to preach the imminent end of the world. His following among his fellow Moldovans grew to embrace three provinces of the empire: Podol'sk, Kherson and especially Bessarabia. His monastery, located in the small and insignificant town of Baltă in the southeastern corner of Podol'sk province, attracted over 80,000 pilgrims in late 1910 - over twice the population of Baltă itself. Marked by miraculous visitations of the Holy Spirit, Inochentie's followers held special prayer meetings where they venerated the Moldovan monk's photograph.