Patronal feast at the side chapel to Blessed Pelagia, Paraskevi, and Maria of Diveyevo in the Kazan Cathedral
The Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery celebrated the 17th anniversary of the uncovering of the relics of holy blessed women Pelagia, Paraskevi, and Maria of Diveyevo.
On the eve of the memorable day, a Vigil was served at Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral’s side chapel dedicated in their honor. On the feast day, Very Rev. Fr. Oleg Struchkov of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery celebrated the water blessing prayer service with paraklesis, the Divine Liturgy, and the prayer service before the relics of blessed Pelagia, Paraskevi, and Maria.
The Diveyevo monastery has always been and will always remain, like Venerable Seraphim of Sarov has prophesied, a place of spiritual struggle of the spiritual elders – the blessed saints and Fools for Christ. Batiushka Seraphim sent the first blessed elder Pelagia Ivanovna Serebrennikova to Diveyevo himself. Six years before her death, it was Paraskevi Ivanovna’s turn to settle in Diveyevo. When Paraskevi Ivanovna died, Maria Ivanovna took her place.
The blessed saints have to endure the path of utmost denial of their will. By acting mad, refusing to accept the norms and rules of behavior, the comforts of life, these false fools spoke unflattering truth and unmasked deception, brought those who perished back on the path of truth and good deeds, disclosed the innermost depths of a human heart, healed physical and spiritual ailments, prophesied about the events that has to do not only with the lives of the people but also countries and even the world as a whole.
For their absolute selflessness and fulfillment of the commandments of Christ, as well as the special cross of their service to people the Fools for Christ are rewarded with the abundance of grace-filled gifts of the Holy Spirit: humility, prayer, contemplation, advice, clairvoyance, and above all – love.
The Lord entrusted the blessed elders Pelagia, Paraskevi, and Maria of Diveyevo with a heavy cross of living as fools for Christ while Venerable Seraphim, by the command of the Mother of God, directed them to keep a prayerful vigil over the monastery. That was the vineyard where three blessed women labored as ascetics taking turns for as long as a hundred years.
During the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Venerable Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov in the summer of 2004, the blessed women of Diveyevo were glorified as local saints of the Nizhny Novgorod Diocese. The issue of their universal glorification was raised before the Bishop Council held in Moscow on October 3-8, 2004. Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna said in his report as the Chairman of the Synodal Commission on the Canonization of Saints: “The ascetic deeds of fools for Christ is one of the most challenging of all other deeds in a life of a Christian. In the “Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery” compiled by the holy Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov) the author spoke about the service of the blessed women of Diveyevo: “The role of the blessed women in the monastery was to save the souls of the monastics from the attacks of the enemy of mankind, and from temptations and passions they could observe because of their clairvoyance.”
In 2004, on the eve of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the relics of the blessed women of Diveyevo were uncovered at Bolshoye Cherevatoye village cemetery and next to the altar of the Trinity Cathedral in the Diveyevo monastery.