Akathist service to St. John the Forerunner held in the house of Blessed Paraskevi of Diveyevo
There is a special place in the Holy Trinity Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery where the grace-filled spirit of old Diveyevo is sensed more than anywhere else. It is a memorial house of Blessed Paraskevi, the only one left of all the hermitages and preserved to this day.
After the monastery was closed in 1927, the hermitage was sold to the “Way Forward” collective farm. At various times, it housed a bank office and an infant feeding station. Finally, in the summer of 2004, the house welcomed in the museum of blessed Paraskevi. It now houses a large exhibit recounting the history of the Diveyevo monastery from the day of its founding by Venerable Seraphim till desolation in 1927.
The house-museum of the blessed saint had its truly modest interior restored as it was during the lifetime of the holy elder. In the old days, the walls of Pasha of Sarov’s cell were covered in icons. Nowadays, a large Crucifixion and a great variety of icons in carved cases remind us that a great ascetic lived here and prayed unceasingly for everyone in the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery and who, with childish simplicity and ease, conversed with those from up high. Only one of the icons that formerly belonged to Blessed Paraskevi was preserved, a darkened old style icon of St. John the Forerunner painted by Diveyevo icon-painters especially for her.
Following an old Diveyevo tradition, the nuns of the monastery restored Psalter readings in the hermitage of Blessed Paraskevi Ivanovna.
On remembrance days, the sisters come here to pray and read an akathist or a canon to a saint commemorated on that day. On the sorrowful holy day of Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, the sisters read the akathist to the Baptist of the Lord.