The John the Baptist hermitage is referred to as the "heart of the Optina monastery". It makes a part of the monastery, but the most secretive, living by a special charter. It was founded in 1821. The beginning of pious hermitage in the place, currently occupied by the Optina skete, was launched by schema monk Ioannikii. Six years after his death, hermits moved there from the Roslavl forests. Among them were Elders Moses and Antony, who were entrusted with arrangement of the hermitage.
People’s love for the elders great. Ordinary people treated them with full confidence, addressed them with all their spiritual and economic needs. That was the reason for an inexhaustible stream of people striving to receive advice and comfort from the gracious Optina elders, and the Optina hermitage gained its fame throughout Holy Russia.
Since 2005, visiting the hermitage territory is prohibited for women and secular men (apart from the hatched area near the pilgrimage hotel). An exception is made on the feasts of the Cathedral of John the Baptist, the Nativity and the Beheading of John the Baptist, as well as on Easter Monday. The St. Ambrose’s cell in the "hovel" has become a memorial and is open to visitors.
The postage stamp features the panorama of the John the Baptist hermitage and the image of Holy Prophet St. John the Baptist, in whose name the main temple of the hermitage was consecrated.
In addition to the issue of the postage stamp, JSC Marka produced First Day Covers and special cancels for Moscow and Kozelsk of the Kaluga Region.
Design Artist: S. Ulyanovsky.
Face value: 60 rubles.
Stamp size: 65×32.5 mm, sheet size: 154×190 mm.
Emission form: a sheet with formatted margins with 9 (2×5) stamps and a coupon.
Quantity: 108 thousand stamps (12 thousand sheets).