Feast day of Abbess Arsenia (Sebryakova) celebrated for first time

Serafimovich, August 7, 2017

Photo: prihoper34.ru Photo: prihoper34.ru

The first Church celebration of the recently-canonized Abbess Arsenia (Sebryakova) was held in the Ust-Medveditsky Holy Transfiguration Monastery on Thursday. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated on August 3 in the monastery’s Kazan Cathedral by Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe, Bishop Elisha of Uryupinsk and Novoanninsky and Bishop Anthony of Akhtubinsk and Enotaevsk, and clergy of the Volgograd Archdiocese, reports the diocesan website.

A celebration in honor of the inclusion of Venerable Arsenia into the ranks of locally-venerated saints was held in the Ust-Medveditsky Holy Transfiguration Monastery on November 12 and 13 last year, with around 5,000 people participating.

The celebrations began the night before with the All-Night Vigil, celebrated by about 50 priests from Volgograd and various other cities and dioceses throughout Russia. The services were also attended by neighboring monastic communities and about 1,500 believers from all over the local region and beyond. The service was also attended by representatives of the Volgograd regional Duma and of the administrations of all districts of the Volgograd region.

The magnification to St. Arsenia, abbess of Ust-Medveditsky, was sung before her icon at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

“The glorification of Abbess Mother Arsenia happened not last year, and not 10 years ago, but very long ago, probably, already during the life of our mother abbess, when representatives of the hierarchy would come here, and, seeing this monastery, were amazed by its arrangement—not only externally but internally,” said Bp. Elisha in his address to all those gathered. “Abbess Arsenia always strove for the sisters to bear a true monastic image of life, although she was very condescending to their weaknesses. We know, for example, when a sister was suffering from a severe illness, her love helped to practically heal her of it. For all of us standing here, it is a true, great example,” the bishop added.

Photo: урюпинская-епархия.рф Photo: урюпинская-епархия.рф
Abbess Arsenia (1833-1905) came from the notable family of the Lieutenant-Captain and treasurer of the Don Cossacks Michael Vasilievich Sebryakov. At the age of seventeen, Anna Michailova entered the Ust-Medveditsky Monastery of her own accord. The monastery reached its highest peak in the 40 years of her abbacy, from 1864 until her repose on August 3, 1905.

Besides her educational and charitable activities, the main fruits of Venerable Arsenia’s labors were the Kazan Cathedral, which was erected from 1785 to 1885, and the famous caves, dug in the image of the Kiev Caves. Today the monastery’s main shrine is there—the miraculous stone slab with hand and knee imprints of people kneeling in prayer, where the faithful come to beseech St. Arsenia for healings, the good arrangement of worldly affairs, and prosperous family lives.


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