Vladivostok, Russia, August 1, 2019
A fire broke out at Sts. Marth and Mary Convent in Vladivostok in far eastern Russia yesterday, burning down the sisters’ residential building, reports RIA-Novosti.
The fire was apparently electrical in nature, caused by a short circuit in the residential building. The sisters “have a place to relocate to, but the building cannot be restored,” a representative of the monastery said.
Firefighters managed to put out the flames, and thank God, no one was harmed, and all the relics were safe in the church, which remained fully intact, as the fire was concentrated only at the residential building.
The monastery has icons with relics of St. Theodosius of Chernigov, Grand Duchess St. Elizabeth, St. Tatiana, the Optina Elders, St. Lawrence of Chernigov, the New Martyrs of Solovki, and many others. There is also a reliquary with a portion of the relics of St. Matrona of Moscow, and a Reigning Icon of the Mother of God, painted especially for the Vladivostok-Moscow cross procession in 2007-2008.
The monastery is located on the site of a unique historical and architectural monument—the bishop’s dependency, from which the Vladivostok Diocese was founded in the 19th century.
Beautiful pictures of the historical churches on the monastery grounds can be found at their website. The architecture bears the striking castle-like features of the Neo-Russian style, which was particularly popular in Moscow and throughout Russia at the end of the 19th century, however the main church was completed in 1901.
Though the churches were ruined and closed during the Soviet period they were later fully restored, and as noted, the churches themselves were unharmed in the fire itself.
This majestic monastery, located in the far east of Russia on the Pacific coast has survived far worse, and with God’s help, the monastery and the sisters will no doubt be able to recover from this very difficult situation.