Pskov, Russia, October 18, 2017
“Yesterday, at about 10 PM, the abbess Nun Anna died in a car accident. Two sisters—Nuns Theodora and Fiona sustained serious injuries. They are in need of our prayers,” reads a message on a social network page dedicated to the monastery.
Mother Anna had been the abbess since 2011.
The nuns were traveling to celebrate the name’s day of their diocesan hierarch Metropolitan Eusebius (Savin), according to Fr. Raphael of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the village of Bezhanitsy. “They had left late, because, as I have heard, Matushka insistently did want to go, as if she had a premonition of trouble. But, either way, fulfilling the obedience, she got ready and left—such a martyric death,” he said.
The collision of a Nissan Terrano and the minibus taxi reportedly occurred at 10:30 PM on Route 23 in the village of Podborovye in the Pskov region when the driver of the Nissan crossed over into oncoming traffic. Seven people were riding in the taxi.
After the collision, the Nissan, in which there were four people, caught on fire. Three, including Mothers Theodora and Fiona, were able to escape the burning car, although Mother Anna’s exit was blocked, and she died in the flames.
In all, seven people sustained injuries of varying severity, including contusions and abrasions. The driver of the Nissan, a 34-year-old woman is also in critical condition.
Tvorozhkovo Holy Trinity Monastery was founded in the late 19th century by Alexandra Filipovna Shmakova (Nun Angelina in tonsure) following the death of her husband. She had previously dedicated herself to life in the Church after the death of her two-year-old daughter, and agreed with her husband that were he to repose first, she would found a convent, and vice versa.
The monastery had 110 sisters by 1913, 30 years after the death of its founder. The monastery was abandoned and fell into ruin during the godless years of Communism, but it was reborn in the 1990s.
For more information on the history of the monastery, see the article “When Love is Stronger Than Death.”