Father Gapon can
also be described as having been a
young socialist who sent mixed messages
regarding his revolutionary alliances. It almost
looks like he was ready and confident enough to
blaze his own trail through the mess of the
It is for this
reason that some
critics questioned his motives and saw his
social acts of goodness simply as a way to create a following.
It is also for
this reason that Gapon ended up dead in 1906. He
put himself on the fence and equally alienated
both sides, the czarist regime and the
Georgy Gapon's Family
Gapon was married
to Vera and had two
After four years of marriage his wife suddenly fell ill and died,
leaving Gapon gravely devastated.
born in Beliki, or Beliaki, a small village in Ukraine,
on February 5, 1870. His
parents were peasants and devout.
Gapon went through
primary school, then graduated from the Lower
Ecclesiastical School in Poltava, and attended
the Poltava seminary after that. He briefly
worked as a statistician for the local
order to finance his studies. Gapon went on to
serve as priest in a cemetery chapel.
From 1898 until
1903, Gapon studied at the Theological Academy
in St Petersburg, after which he was employed as
a prison chaplain.
student years in St
Petersburg, Gapon kept extending the helping hand
for people in distress. Soon, the
Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna
heard of his good deeds and recommended him to
Starting in 1902, Gapon accepted 100 rubles per month from
who paid this handsome sum in his capacity as chief of the czar's
secret police, also called the
What was Gapon paid for? The objective was to boost
popularity among the masses.
To this effect, Gapon founded the
Assembly of the Russian Factory and Mill Workers
of the City of St. Petersburg. The
assembly organized social events and the like,
all in order to smooth out socialist ambitions
and to keep revolutionary activities in check.
Unbeknown to his employers, Gapon also had a political agenda
of his own.
the Bloody Sunday of 1905
timeline events that led up to the massacre on
January 22, 1905.
Monday, January 16,
1905 (January 3, 1905 -
Workers at a plant in Putilov, Ukraine, went on strike. Gapon
supported the employees. The
strike quickly spread to other factories.
Wednesday, January 18,
1905 (January 5, 1905 -
Gapon met with the city governor and outlined
his plans of a peaceful march in
that would end in front of the Czar's residence
and present him with a petition.
Saturday, January 21,
1905 (January 8, 1905 -
In the evening, Josif
Vladimirovich Gessen, a prominent
lawyer and political adviser, visited
Sergey Yulyevich Witte,
chairman of the Council of Ministers aka Prime
Gessen pointed out
that the general spirit of the citizens was
rather agitated and that it would be prudent not
to let the army interfere with tomorrow's march.
Also that evening
the Ministry of Internal Affairs received a
letter from Gapon, written in a polite tone,
asking to let him present his petition to the
Czar tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Bloody Sunday, January 22, 1905
(January 9, 1905 -
Fact 1 - Troops had been shipped in to support
the local units.
Fact 2 - Gapon was
not granted an appointment to present his
Czar Nicholas. In fact, the Czar was out of town.
The events unfold
- The demonstrators marched direction city
center. The police ordered the crowd to
disperse. The marchers didn't disperse. The troops were
told to open fire. Several hundred
people were wounded, Gapon being one of them.
About 130 people were killed.
See more under the
Russian Revolution of 1905.
Gapon after Bloody
bloodbath, Gapon fled the country and met with
other Russian revolutionary émigrés. He was very
outspoken against the czarist regime and joined the
Socialist Revolutionary Party.
Gapon returned to
Russia, contacted the authorities and officially regretted his role in the
events that led up and included Bloody Sunday.
His revolutionary comrades were confused.
turned eye opener when Gapon decided to
collaborate once more with the Czar's secret police. This
time his assigned goal was to dissolve the anti-imperialistic movement he had
been a part of.
Prime Minister Witte
didn't trust Gapon and arranged to have him
escorted out of the country via Verzhbolovo,
which is in today's Lithuania. Gapon left Russia
and promised to stay gone.
November 1905, Gapon came back. Again he agreed
to assist homeland security in their fight
This time the