Why did Ksenia of Petersburg become a holy fool?
Every day the Orthodox Church honors the memory of some saints. But among them are those who have gained national popularity, whose life is outlined by interesting facts. Ksenia of Petersburg, one of the days of her memory falls on June 6, is on the list of such folk favorites.
From the death of a husband to the feat of foolishness
Blessed Xenia was born in the first quarter of the 18th century. About our parents, the information has not reached our time, except that the name of her father, Gregory, is known. After some time, the girl married the choir of the court - Andrei Feodorovich Petrov.
There is also no information about their married life. Therefore, the saint's life actually begins with the death of her husband. It is believed that Andrew died suddenly and, accordingly, without repentance, so his 26-year-old widow decided to devote the rest of her life to begging for her husband.
As a gift of her love, she brought everything — even abandoned her mind and renounced her own name.In the Church, this special kind of service to God — the rejection of one’s identity — is called the feat of foolishness.
Even at her husband’s funeral, the widow had changed into his jacket, caftan, pants, and put a cap on her head. She began to assure all her friends that Ksenia died, and Andrei Feodorovich remained to live. All subsequent life, she responded only to the name Andrew.
But on this obvious for many Xenia of Petersburg, the eccentricities were just beginning. She wanted to get rid of all the property. Relatives thought that she was distraught with grief from grief and asked the authorities of the deceased Andrei Feodorovich to prevent the woman’s intention to distribute everything.
But a special survey only confirmed that the widow with her mind, and consciously went to such a feat. Therefore, she has the right to dispose of her property as she wants.
After that, the woman said goodbye to everything except Andrei Feodorovich's clothes.
She handed out the property to the needy, gave the money to the church (for the rest of God's Xenia's slave), and rewrote the house to Paraskeva Antonova, a woman who in her time rented one room from her.
Night prayer and the construction of the temple
In a man's suit, with a stick in his hands, without shelter and food, Xenia went to travel through the streets of St. Petersburg. Boys mocked her, adults thought they were insane and began to get used to her eccentricities.
The field on which she came every night to put bows to all directions of the world and to communicate with God in prayer became the blood for her.
Over time, her clothes wore out, but the saint did not accept beautiful and practical things from people. As you can see on the icon of Blessed Xenia of Petersburg, she began to wear a white scarf, a red skirt and a green caftan, or vice versa. Why precisely such colors? Surely this coloring had the shape of her husband.
Despite the cold and cold (and the peculiarities of the St. Petersburg climate are known to everyone), the saint always dressed in the same way and did not stay with anyone at night.
There was a period when she spent the nights not in the field, but near the church under construction in the Smolensk cemetery. The church was already quite high, so the builders had to first raise the brick, and only then do the laying. But while the workers were resting, the blissful woman raised the building material.
The builders, in perplexity, decided to spy on who works for nothing at a time when everyone is sleeping.And they saw the blessed, which they knew throughout the county.
Ksenia of Petersburg: how the eccentric began to honor the holy
And not only these workers, but also many residents of St. Petersburg noticed that Xenia is not just a crazy vagabond and a beggar. She refused shelter, took money only from good people. And then - only a small penny, which immediately gave to other beggars.
Sometimes I went to a house for lunch, talked to people, very subtly indicated their problems. Over time, people began to notice: if the blessed one takes a handout from someone, then the person’s family will be fortunate and happy; if he asks for something, it means he warns of danger and bad luck.
Therefore, among the people, Ksenia of Petersburg began to be honored as a saint, a man of God. Everyone wanted the blessed one to take a penny or a meal from his hands, mothers come with their babies so that the woman would only touch the head of the child. It was believed that then grace would descend upon the child.
Gift of perspicacity: reward for foolishness
For spiritual exploits, God rewarded Xenia with insight. She predicted the demise of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna and the merchant Krapivnina, a certain girl predicted marriage, and the other revealed the secret of her fiance.It turns out that it was an impostor convict who pretended to be the colonel he had killed.
Among those confronted with the help of a saint in family needs was Paraskeva Antonova. This is the same woman, to whom blessed Ksenia of Petersburg presented her home. One day, the old lady came to the house of Paraskeva Antonova and said that God gave this woman a son. To find the boy, Paraskeva Antonova must go to the Smolensk cemetery.
As it turned out, a pregnant woman who had been knocked down in a city by a cab driver died. But before her death, the woman managed to give birth to a boy. Who this deceased was, who her parents and husband were, was not known. But Paraskeva Antonova immediately understood the meaning of the words of the saint and took the child to raise him as her own son.
From national love to official glorification
Many wonderful stories associated with the life of the blessed, almost 45 years dedicated to the achievement of the feat of foolishness. But even after her death at the age of 71, Ksenia of Petersburg does not cease to help all who turn to her with prayer. For almost two centuries, while the Church had not yet canonized the blessed, crowds of people came to her grave in the Smolensk cemetery. Here they prayed, served a requiem, tearfully asked the old woman for help.
Only in 1978 began the official glorification of the blessed. At first, it was canonized by the Church Abroad, and after 10 years, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Two days a year are devoted to the memory of the saint:
- February 6 is the day of death;
- June 6th is the date of worship.
But people from all over the world constantly turn to prayers to the saint.
Amazing help of Blessed Xenia of Petersburg
Particularly noteworthy is the case of Theodore G. Gyune. By nationality he was Russian, but he lived in the Canadian city of Edmont. He was far from Orthodoxy, as he professed Lutheranism. In 1952, he had internal bleeding due to a stomach ulcer.
His wife, formally Orthodox, understood that help can only be expected from above. From a friend, she received a bottle of oil from the lamp at the graveyard of Ksenia of Petersburg. A fleece with butter had to be put on the husband’s chest. This same friend, Barbara Gillovich, advised to serve a memorial service for the blessed.
Theodore's wife came to the church, did everything the way her friend advised, but additionally asked the prayer service of the Kursk Icon of the Mother of God to serve.
Half an hour later, the husband came to himself and asked for "oil." After that, he began to recover.
Then Theodore said that he was in a kind of darkness, from which he could not get out. When there was no hope, he was helped by some old woman. She looked very strange: she was dressed in a man's suit, she was dragged along by a sleigh, on which lay some blue icon of the Virgin Mary. Then a strange woman approached the temple under construction. She began to bring a brick to him. Refused to help, they say, should do it myself.
It is surprising that Theodore did not know anything about the life of Blessed Xenia of Petersburg, which at that time had not yet been canonized, and in general was far from the Church. Only after a while he read the life of the saint, became Orthodox, and after a certain time he saw the original Kursk icon of the Virgin Mary. It was the same "blue" icon, which was carried on the sleigh "strange woman."
This is one example of holy help. But in fact they would be enough for more than one book.
What pray blessed Ksenia of Petersburg?
Particularly often, the saint is treated with family problems: girls - to get married, women - to have children. And this is not surprising, because even during her lifetime the saint helped people in such difficult situations.Since the blessed dedicated her life to begging her husband, then she is often turned to with prayers by married couples.
Many testimonies confirm the help of a saint in everyday needs. Through the prayers of the blessed believers received housing, found work, solved financial issues. Even during her earthly life, the righteous woman helped all in need, distributing all her property.
But this is not a complete list of those questions that people turn to their beloved “Ksenyushka”. After all, the saints do not really have “specialization”. They simply see our needs and answer sincere prayers.
You will learn more about the life of the blessed from this film: