A Testament of Memory. The Autobiography of the Missionary of the Altay Spiritual Mission Priest M.V. Chevalkov


In the early 19th century, the Russian Orthodox Church expanded its missionary efforts in the area east of Lake Baikal, where it established several missions. One of these was the Altay (Altai) Spiritual Mission, which was founded in 1830 by Makarii (born Mikhail Yakovlevich Glukharyov, 1792‒1847), a noted linguist and scholar. One of Makarii’s first disciples was Mikhail Vasilievich Chevalkov (1817‒1901), a native of the Altai, who converted to Christianity and himself became a priest. Pamiatnoe zaveshchanie (A testament of memory) is an autobiography by Chevalkov, in which he writes about his own conversion and the work of the missionaries to proselytize the many pagan tribes of the region. Chevalkov describes in detail the way of life of the people of the Altai and the natural beauty of the region. The book also includes some of Chevalkov’s poems. The book, which was first published in the magazine Pravoslavnogo blagovestnika (Orthodox evangelist), is preserved in the collections of the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg. It was digitized for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project in the early 2000s.

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Title in Original Language

Памятное завещание. Автобиография миссионера Алтайской духовной миссии Священника М.В. Чевалкова

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94 pages ; 24 x 17 centimeters


  • Published in the magazine “Orthodox Evangelist,” issue 10

Last updated: January 10, 2018