12 September 2023 года

Birthday of Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova)

Today is the birthday of Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova), first abbess of Diveevo. She was born two hundred and five years ago in Tula Province into a noble family. Growing up, she dreamed only of marriage as was customary in her world at the time. An unexpected transition of her senses took place following the reading with the spiritual works of the Holy Hierarch Tikhon of Zadonsk and the biography of the Sarov elder Seraphim.

 Her meekness, patience and faithfulness to the commandments of batiushka Seraphim, the organizer of the Diveyevo monastery, helped her to withstand the challenges of trial times in Diveyevo. Four decades of her rule as abbess became the years of prosperity of the monastery. Under her guidance, the Diveyevo community became a monastery, and Venerable Seraphim of Sarov, whose holiness she firmly believed at all times, was glorified among the saints. Under her rulership, the monastery built the most of its structures and more than a thousand sisters became its residents.

 Immediately following her death in 1904, the sisters built a chapel at her grave and prayed for the righteous matushka hegumenia. In our days, panikhida and litya are obligatory for serving at the grave of the monastery’s first Abbess on her remembrance days. Beginning from September of 1993, an additional service is held every week on Saturday after the early-morning liturgy. The sisters constantly receive help from her by way of quiet grace that arranges all and soothes the souls.