Zhdamirovo, Russia, January 15, 2018
A new convent in honor of the Kaluga Icon of the Mother of God opened yesterday in the suburban village of Zhdamirovo, 60 miles east of Kaluga, reports the official site of the Kaluga Province.
The decision to establish the monastery was accepted at a session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in December, and the solemn opening took place yesterday, the day the holy Church celebrates the Circumcision of the Lord and St. Basil the Great, with the participation of Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk and the provincial Governor Anatoly Artamonov.
Met. Kliment celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God as part of the opening ceremonies, with Bishop Nikita of Kozelsk and Lyudinovo and clergy from throughout the diocese concelebrating, reports the site of the Kaluga Metropolitanate.
After the service, Gov. Artamonov noted that more than 40 monasteries have been revived in the region over the past decade, which is almost two times more than were open before the 1917 revolution.
The building of the Convent of the Kaluga Icon was underway since 2006 with the blessing of Met. Kliment, reports monasterium.ru.
“It speaks of the revival of the spiritual life, of the people’s desire to unite with Orthodox traditions and acquire the true faith,” he added. He also noted that the new monastery “will develop Church life, helping with the churching of the people.”
The decision to found the convent in Zhdamirovo and to appoint Mother Paraskeva (Lyakhova) as the abbess was also made by the Holy Synod in December. She was formally elevated to the rank of abbess before the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
The Monastery of the Kaluga Icon of the Mother of God was created by request of Met. Kliment as a dependency of the St. Nicholas Chernoostrovsky Monastery in the Kaluga Province. The new convent is the ninth monastery in the Kaluga Metropolitanate and the seventh in the Kaluga Diocese.
The Kaluga Icon, in whose memory the convent is named, was discovered near the church where the monastery now stands, and the Theotokos became the patron of the whole of the Kaluga region, saving the land and its citizens from dangers of Napoleon and the deadly epidemics of cholera and the plague.
The church was closed in 1938, being used as a dormitory, bath, and cardboard shop. It was returned to the Kaluga Diocese in 1991, with the first service in the village taking place on Nativity in 1992. Services have been ongoing regularly in the church since 1997. On July 31, 2011, Met. KIiment consecrated the main alter in honor of the Nativity of the Theotokos, and on July 31, 2016, the new Sunday School building was consecrated.