Abbess Thaisia's Convent submerged - but remembered

An online Synaxaristes including martyrologies and hagiographies of the lives of the Orthodox Church's saints.

Moderators: Maria, phpBB2 - Administrators

User avatar
Barbara
Protoposter
Posts: 3317
Joined: Sat 29 September 2012 10:03 pm

Abbess Thaisia's Convent submerged - but remembered

Postby Barbara » Mon 16 January 2017 1:07 am

Today being the repose day in 1915 of a noted Abbess, Taisia [ Solopov ], I thought to give attention to this catastrophe surrounding her hard life's work having been destroyed by the anti-human Soviet system known as Central Planning.
Or - was it the Devil's planning -- with bowing and scraping Communist minions hastily taking down orders ?

At least -- like her great preceptor, St John of Kronstadt -- Abbess Thaisia mercifully did not live to see the Revolution of 1917.
Nor this sacrilege destroying her life's work.

It is almost overwhelming to think of a gigantic region being inundated as the article describes.
I would like to know how deep the water is : could the water be drained whereby this Leushino Convent and the other 55 churches and monasteries which sunk be in the near future 'resurrected' -- like The Invisible City of Kitezh ?

***********************

"On July 9, 2016, the feast of the Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated above one of the monasteries that had been flooded by the Rybinsk Reservoir – the St. Athanasius Convent near Mologa. This convent once kept a venerated Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God, reports the Rybinsk Diocese’s press service.

According to tradition, the icon was brought from the city of Yaroslavl by Mikhail Davidovich, Prince of Mologa, as his father’s blessing. After the Revolution the icon was removed from the convent and taken to the museum of Mologa. During the campaign of confiscation of metal objects from museums initiated by the USSR government the icon disappeared.

The Divine Liturgy on that commemoration day was celebrated by Bishop Benjamin of Rybinsk and Danilov with Archpriest Vasily Denisov, Priest John Perevezentsev and clergy of the Diocese of Rybinsk concelebrating. The service was performed on a ship over the site where the convent was located.

The tradition of serving Liturgies above the flooded holy sites of Mologa and its surroundings is quite new. The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in 2012.

The now flooded town of Mologa was situated thirty-two kilometers (about twenty miles) from Rybinsk and 120 kilometers (around seventy-four and a half miles) from Yaroslavl—at the confluence of the Mologa river with the Volga river. On September 14, 1935, the Council of People’s Commissars of USSR and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) decreed that building of the Rybinsk and Uglich water-engineering systems commence. The residents were resettled, and by 1947 the territory of the town was completely flooded. The St. Athanasius Convent (whose main relic was the wonderworking Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God) as well as four churches were submerged.

In total around 800 villages and larger rural settlements were destroyed and flooded as a result of the building of the Rybinsk and Uglich hydrosystems and the filling of the reservoir with water. More than fifty churches and six monasteries were submerged to create the Rybinsk Reservoir; among them were: the St. Doropheus Monastery on the Yuga river, halfway between Mologa and Rybinsk; the large complex of the St. Athanasius Convent in Mologa founded in the fourteenth century; the Convent of St. John the Baptist at Leushino which stood between the towns of Cherepovets and Rybinsk near the Sheksna river;

Image
Convent directed by Abbess Thaisia to fame all over Russia late 1800s- early 1900s. Looking at the height of the buildings, one can barely imagine them being completely submerged under water. A diabolical act !

Image
Closeup of St John the Baptist Convent, built painstakingly with tiny contributions from pious individuals

....and the Monastery of St. Paisius and the Protection of the Mother of God which stood on the Volga river close to the town of Uglich."

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/95281.htm

****************************

User avatar
Barbara
Protoposter
Posts: 3317
Joined: Sat 29 September 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Abbess Thaisia's Convent submerged - but remembered

Postby Barbara » Mon 16 January 2017 2:20 am

Abbess Thaisia was remarkable for having written the Akathist to Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver, which was approved by the Synod at that time. Rare amongst Russian nuns, she wrote her memoirs, which include many spiritually instructive experiences.

The intrepid Abbess was related to the poet Alexander Pushkin on her mother's side but the details are obscure. On her father's side, she was descended from Novgorod region hereditary nobles.

Abbess Thaisia revived the famous Ferapontov Monastery, where the great Patriarch Nikon was unjustly imprisoned in the later 1660s before being transferred to neighboring Kirillov - the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. At least one other champion of the superiority of Church over state was exiled here as well.

Due to the activity of this native of the Russian North, the famous frescoes by the painter Dionisy [ + c. 1520 ] -- the only ones still surviving anywhere in Russia -- were saved from destruction due to neglect.

Today Ferapontov is "considered one of the purest examples of Russian medieval art, a reason given by UNESCO for its inscription on the World Heritage List.

The monastery was founded by Saint Ferapont in 1398 in the inhospitable Russian North, to the east from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, named after his fellow monk, Saint Kirill of Beloozero. The fame of the monastery started to spread under Kirill's disciple, Saint Martinian, who was to become a father superior of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra in 1447.

Even after Martinian's death, his monastery was protected and favoured by members of Ivan III's family. The most ancient structure, the Cathedral of Nativity of the Virgin (1490), was built in brick by the masters of Rostov. This edifice is the best preserved of three sister cathedrals erected in the 1490s in the Russian North. All the interior walls are covered with invaluable frescoes by the great medieval painter Dionisius. This is the last surviving Russian medieval church with fully painted walls."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferapontov_Monastery

About Dionisy, about whom many have not heard have they not traveled to this area, he was " the outstanding representative of the Moscow icon painting school of the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. The wall-painting consists of 300 compositions and occupies 600 sq m [eters] " in the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God at Ferapontov.

http://www.dionisy.com/eng/dionisy/1015/index.shtml

**********
In 1904, Abbess Thaisia turned the former monastery of Ferapontov into a Convent which survived until the Bolshevik persecutions. These claimed the Abbess, Seraphima, and some of the nuns, locals of the area recall.

Abbess Thaisia also contributed to the establishment of a number of convents and podvories throughout the northern regions.
According to one estimate, she directed 700 nuns scattered throughout the North, presumably by the end of her life on January 2/15, 1915.

User avatar
Barbara
Protoposter
Posts: 3317
Joined: Sat 29 September 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Abbess Thaisia's Convent submerged - but remembered

Postby Barbara » Wed 18 January 2017 4:19 am

Abbess Thaisia's immediate family does not appear to have been well-to-do. However, a General Vassilevsky, who she describes as her mother's 'guardian' [ some unhappy domestic events had evidently transpired somewhere along the way for her maternal parent ] left Maria, Thaisia's name in the world, his entire fortune, including real estate and promissory notes. Her mother hoped that telling her daughter of the great boon would entice Maria away from her path to the convent, but Maria showed indifference.
Over the years, she did not in fact receive much of this inheritance, since her mother was the trustee and controlled the money tightly. There were also complications in recovering money from the promissory notes.

This shows how bent Maria was on entering monasticism. She found it to be a Herculean struggle to wrestle her mother's tepid assent to her entry into the Tikhvin Convent of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. After all that, Novice Arcadia, as she was renamed, found convent life to be oppressive and painful. Even then, she did not give up. She changed convents 3 times over her 'career', each move under obedience. The first change occurred when, after 14 years spent struggling in the Tikhvin convent, Ryassaphore Nun Arcadia was summoned to Novgorod see about the nagging problem of the promissory notes. She was urged by her spiritual father to remain there at one of the city's 4 convents, whichever appealed.

Things arranged themselves so that Nun Arcadia remained in the Zverin-Protection Convent in the famous northern city, once part of the Hanseatic League. Here, a hieromonk came during Great Lent from the Yuriev [ St George ] Monastery to give confession to all the nuns. This is the very Yuriev into which Countess Anna Orlova-Chesmenskaya [ see thread here viewtopic.php?f=14&t=11089 ] had poured a fortune to rebuild starting in the 1820s. From this snippet of information, we can see that the venerable Yuriev monastery -- said to be Russia's oldest -- was still fully functioning 50 years later.

It was at that Zverin Convent that Nun Arcadia wrote the Akathist to St Symeon.

After 6 years, in 1878, Arcadia was transferred to the Zvansk Convent of the Mother of God of the Sign.

In 1879 she was tonsured and given the name Thaisia as approved by the Metropolitan Isidore of St Petersburg, who thought highly of the resilient nun. So capable did the powerful Metropolitan deem her that he selected Thaisia to save a floundering start-up convent, the St John the Forerunner Convent near Leushino, a tiny village. Fraught with malicious intrigues aimed at the 2 previous Abbesses, who had fled in despair, the case looked dire. If Thaisia didn't succeed, the Metropolitan said, he would close the small community.


Return to “Synaxarion Orthodoxia”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests