Moscow, February 7, 2017
Thousands of faithful came yesterday, Monday, February 6 to pay their respects to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg on the day of her commemoration in the Church, the press service of the St. Petersburg Diocese reported to RIA-Novosti.
The faithful waited for hours in a line that stretched throughout the Smolensk Cemetery where her relics are located in a small chapel.
“Today, February 6, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of one of the most revered saints, known far beyond the bounds of Russia—Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg… Many citizens of the northern capital and a huge number of pilgrims from other cities traditionally come to the Smolensk Cemetery in St. Petersburg on this day,” said Natalia Rodomanova, head of communications for the diocese.
She also noted that although St. Xenia was canonized only in 1988, her place of burial has been a place of pilgrimage since the nineteenth century. The faithful often carry away rocks and dirt from around her tomb.
Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God Church in the cemetery, which St. Xenia had helped to build, working secretly at night. The faithful streamed in from early morning until late in the evening to light candles and venerate the relics of their beloved saint.
Her headstone bears the inscription: “Who knew me, remember my soul for the salvation of your soul.” A small chapel was erected over her grave in the early twentieth century.