Venerable Confessor Matrona (Vlasova)

Matrona Vlasova was born in 1889 into the family of peasants from the village of Puzo of Nizhny Novgorod Province. At the age of six, she was orphaned and placed in the care of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. The youngster exhibited an early talent in drawing, so art soon turned into obedience for her. Following a life of obedience and prayer, the nun Matrona stayed in the monastery till its dissolution in 1927.

After the monastery closed, nun Matrona with three other sisters from Diveyevo resided in the village of Kuzyatovo of Ardatov District. Leading a peaceful and serene life, the sisters served at church and made embroidery for living. That was exactly what bothered the local authorities. The sisters were arrested in April of 1933 on charges of carrying out anti-Soviet propaganda. On May 21, 1933, nun Matrona was sentenced to three years at Dimitrov camp in the Moscow Province.

When her term of imprisonment ended, nun Matrona worked as a cantor, guard and sacristan at the village church in Verigino, Gorky Province. On November 10, 1937, she was arrested again, charged with “contra-revolutionary religious-fascist activities” and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment at Karlag where she worked as a janitor. Her superiors praised her for her good work and modesty. After her release, nun Matrona took up residence in the village of Vyezdnoye near Arzamas. Once more, she occupied herself with working for the church.

On October 19, 1949, she was arrested once more. The new charges were based on the previous investigation from 1937. The authorities charged mother Matrona with hostile activities and tried to get her to incriminate a priest from the village of Verigino.  However, the investigators’ efforts had no effect. Her file contains a note that “the case of detainee Vlasova’s M.G. contains no reference to persons incriminated in her testimony.”

Mother Matrona was exiled to village Kamenka of Lugovsky District, Dzhambul Province, Kazakhskaya Soviet Republic. In 1954, her brother filed a petition to pardon his sister. During the last years of her life, nun Matrona lived with her brother in her native village of Puzo. Locals remember her meek and quiet disposition. The major part of her day was spent in prayer. The local church was closed, so the Diveyevo sisters “served” in their homes, despite bans and persecution.

Nun Matrona died peacefully on November 7, 1963. She was buried at the village cemetery to the left of the graves of martyrs Eudoxia, Daria, Daria and Maria.

On October 6, 2001, the Holy Synod Council of the Russian Orthodox Church determined to add the Venerable Martyr Matrona (Vlasova) to the already glorified Synaxis of new martyrs and confessors of Russia of the 20th century.

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