Biography of Tamara Sapozhnikova, OPL

Born into a lower middle class family in Podolsk in 1886. Received a post-secondary education. Became a Catholic and later joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. She entered the Abrikosov community, where she served as treasurer. November 26, 1923 – arrested in Moscow in a case against Russian Catholics. She was kept in solitary confinement and as Anatolia Nowicka, OPL, later recalled, “by means of uninterrupted interrogations and pressure the investigation tried to drive her to insanity.” May 19, 1924 – sentenced under Articles 61 and 66 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in prison [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp; at first she was on Kond Island, then in the summer of 1925 she was transferred to the central island; and later to Anzer Island where, in 1932, she was drawn into the investigation of a group of Catholic clergy. At her interrogation she stated: “I am a staunch Catholic. To whom did I go to confession? I categorically refuse to answer that question and no amount of persecution on your part will force me to do so.” Fate thereafter unknown. During the search of her apartment at the time of her arrest, November 26, 1923, the following documents were found: 1. A brochure in French, titled “Directive to the Priests of the Paris Eparchy.” The brochure put forward the suggestion that Eastern Rite Catholicism should become a symbol and a banner around which people should closely adhere. An excerpt: “The majority of Russian people value the preservation of their ritual and their religious ways so much that they consider them a constituent part of their national patrimony.” 2. A stenographic letter in Italian, “Pope’s Speech in the Consistory,” devoted entirely to Soviet Russia in connection with the trial of Bishop Cieplak and Msgr. Budkiewicz, where Soviet Russia is portrayed as a “dark cloud that has appeared on the horizon, obscuring with darkness the population of entire countries, bringing on unfailing harm not only to holy religion, but to the whole population and culture….”3. A letter to Archbishop Anastasius, printed in Constantinople and signed by thirty Russian Catholics. The letter discusses the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church, by its weakness and lack of unity, played no small role in the sorrowful fate of Russia, and puts forward Eastern Rite Catholicism as a force powerful enough to save Russia from this disasterous situation. Sources: GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 10, l. 244-245; d. 37, l. 406; d. 75, l. 10; d. 111, l. 224; Nowicki, p. 3; Osipova (1996), p. 197; Osipova (1999), p. 338; Abrikosova et al. (1924); Sokolovskyi, pp. 182-183
Variant Names:
Sapozhnikova, Tamara; Nowicka, Anatolia, OPL; Sapozhnikova, Tamara Arkad'evna
Polatsk (Belarus); Moscow (Russia); Solovetski Islands (Russia)
female; clergy and religious; fate unknown