Day of remembrance of Blessed Pelagia Ivanovna
February 12, the day when three hierarchs and great fathers of the Church, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom are commemorated, is also a day of remembrance of Blessed Pelagia of Diveyevo’s repose.
“This lad will become a great luminary!” Venerable Seraphim was known to describe future blessed elder Pelagia Ivanovna Serebrennikova. She was born in 1809 to the family of wealthy merchants from Arzamas. Soon after her forced marriage, Pelagia Ivanovna visited Venerable Seraphim in Sarov and had a lengthy conversation with him that determined her future lifestyle and set her on the path towards spiritual endeavors. Soon after her visit, Pelagia Ivanovna chose to act as if she had lost her mind. She dressed in an ungainly manner and acted oddly in public that subjected her to a town talk and vitriol and brought genuine joy to her soul seeking to trample all of the worldly cares. The blessed one lived on the streets, roamed around the town as if gone completely mad, and spent her nights in prayer nestled on the church porch. Her husband and close family members could not perceive the glorious path Pelagia Ivanovna had selected and subjected her to beatings and torture including chaining. The grace of God would reinvigorate her and give her the power to endure the tortures.
In 1837, Pelagia Ivanovna was taken to Diveyevo. She spent forty-six years in the Diveyevo monastery carrying a heavy yoke of her spiritual labor and continually praying for her monastery. Without a doubt, she continues to protect it even now through her intercessory prayer before the Lord.
On the day of remembrance of blessed Pelagia Ivanovna, the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery held the Vigil, Divine Liturgy, and a prayer service at Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral served before her holy relics.