Second Stavrophor tonsure of Lent

In the evening on March 30, Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas performed the second monastic tonsure of this Lenten season in the “Joy of All Who Sorrow” house church.

At tonsure, the soul weds Christ Himself in the presence of the angels who rejoice at the increase of their host as they testify about the sanctity and indissolubility of this union, whereas the demons are wailing: the place they held before the fall has been taken.

Selecting someone who is ready to lead a different life and to be tonsured is a sacred act of monasticism. The chosen one must say, like the Most Pure Virgin, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). This time, four sisters of Diveyevo, receiving the monastic names of Neonilla, Justina, Elizabeth and Paphnutia, gave their consent to their spiritual marriage with Christ.

Metropolitan Georgiy presented the newly tonsured sisters to Hegumenia Sergia, the abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, as their spiritual mother and addressed them with the words of admonition: “By the grace of God your tonsure has taken place today and you voluntarily made your monastic vows.

In baptism, each man receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit in such fullness and strength that if everyone could protect them, our earthly life would have been akin to paradise. Likewise, at monastic tonsure, you are bestowed with special grace and particular Protection of the Queen of Heaven. Now your job is not to forfeit these gifts.

Protect the vows you have made, and the Lord will send forth strength for you to carry your life’s cross. May your thoughts be pure, while your deeds are made to the glory of the Lord. It is a great virtue for a man to be able to preserve the purity of heart. Remain vigilant in spirit.

By God’s providence you came to live in the Fourth Lot of the Mother of God, but the fact that you came here does not mean yet you found salvation. You have to work very hard spiritually to attain it. May the Lord gives you strength and may you live in peace and obedience.”

A path of a monk is one of labor and illness and spiritual torment, but he who endures it to the end will be crowned with glory by the Lord. And so today we pray that the grace of God will helps the newly tonsured sisters to fulfill the vows they made at their tonsure.