Moscow, June 14, 2018
A joyous event uniting the Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches occurred in Moscow yesterday, when the relics of the Venerable-Confessor Schema-Abbess Fomar (Mardzhanova), the founder of the Moscow-region St. Seraphim-Znamenny Skete, were ceremoniously uncovered and transferred, reports the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monasticism of the Russian Orthodox Church.
St. Fomar (Tamara Alexandrovna Mardzhanova [1869-1936]in the world) was canonized by decision of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church on December 21, 2016 as a Venerable-Confessor. On December 28, 2017, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to include her name in the Church’s liturgical calendar, celebrating her on June 10/23, as established by the Georgian Church.
The holy abbess unites the Georgian and Russian Churches as she comes from Georgia and began her monastic life there, later being transferred to Moscow in 1905, where she eventually founded the aforementioned skete.
A commission for uncovering and transferring St. Fomar’s relics was established in late April, headed by His Grace Bishop Peter of Lukhovitsy and including Abbess Innokentiya (Popova) of the St. Seraphim-Znamenny Skete.
The entire commission convened at the Vvedenskoe Cemetery in Moscow yesterday, where St. Fomar was buried. Before beginning the process of uncovering her precious relics, Bp. Peter led a Moleben for the Beginning of Any Good Work. A panikhida for all the Orthodox buried at the cemetery was also served during the process of uncovering St. Fomar’s relics. The services were sung by the sisters’ choir of the St. Seraphim-Znamenny Skete, founded by St. Fomar.
Once her honorable relics were uncovered, they were solemnly transferred to the skete. The procession was met by the nuns at the gates to the holy monastery, which has become their resting place. St. Fomar’s first feast day to be celebrated before her holy relics will be served on June 23 by Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna.
Schema-Abbess Fomar, in the world Princess Tamara Alexandrovna Marzhanishvili (Marjanova), was born on April 1, 1868 in Georgia. After the death of her parents, she took monastic vows at the Monastery of St. Nina in Bodbe with the name of Juvenalia. In 1905, by the decree of the Holy Synod, she was appointed abbess of the Protection Convent in Moscow. In 1910, by her care, the construction of the St. Seraphim-Znamennyy Skete began near Moscow, where in 1915 she was tonsured in the great schema with the name of Fomar.
The monastery was closed in 1924. In 1931, she was arrested and sentenced to exile in the Irkutsk region with two sisters of her monastery. After the end of her exile, already seriously ill with tuberculosis, she returned to Moscow, and on June 23, 1936, she departed to the Lord.
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