St. Petersburg, February 7, 2018
“People receive from St. Ksenia the water of living faith,” Archrpriest Viktor says.
Thousands of St. Petersburg residents made their way to the Smolensk Cemetery yesterday, the day that the Church commemorates St. Ksenia of St. Petersburg, to venerate and show their devotion to this most beloved saint of the northern capital, despite that the city was blanketed by the heaviest snowfall seen yet this winter, reports RIA-Novosti.
“St. Ksenia is greatly beloved in our city; the faithful start going to see her on the eve of her feast, in the evening,” the head of communications for the St. Petersburg Diocese Natalia Rodomanova said.
“We had the same snowfall as in Moscow last night; it snowed constantly, but the people also constantly came to the chapel, lighting candles, bringing flowers—the chapel is just drowning in them today and there’s bouquets standing in every window,” Rodomanova added yesterday.
The snow was continuing to fall as of last night, covering the entire Smolensk Cemetery, but the flow of people coming to venerate the great St. Ksenia had not dried up.
“We are seeing very great love; people are waiting in a huge line to go into the chapel, to sing the akathist, and to venerate the blessed one. Of course, no one is counting, but there’s no doubt that several thousands of people have come,” the head of communications said.
The love of the people reflects the virtues seen in the life of St. Ksenia. Following the festal Divine services, His Eminence Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga said of the great 18th-century saint:
Ksenia said that she had died but that [her husband] Andrei Fedorovich had been embodied in her. This was prompted by her love for her husband. She so cared for the salvation of his soul that she decided to completely break with the world and to live for his sake. And first of all, we should take for ourselves this holy example from her life of love for God and man. If the heart has no love, it is cold and dead. Love begins gradually; first we stop rebuking, condemning, maligning, and getting angry at others. Then we will become patient in regard to others, to speak well of them, and even to exalt them above measure. This is what the labors of the saint call us to.
Speaking of the great help that St. Ksenia brings to all those who faithfully turn to her, Archpriest Viktor Moskovsky, the rector of the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, which is located in Smolensk Cemetery not far from the chapel that holds St. Ksenia’s relics, and which St. Ksenia secretly helped to build from 1794 to 1796, reflected, “The people aren’t going to come to an empty well—people receive from St. Ksenia that water of living faith, which gives them that which they are seeking and waiting for.”