St. Petersburg, February 7, 2018
Bells rung out loudly yesterday on Pakhtinskaya Street in St. Petersburg to mark the feast day of one of the city’s, and all of Russia’s, most beloved saints. Construction of a church in honor of St. Ksenia of St. Petersburg has been underway on the street, on the spot where her home once stood, for eight years already, and is now nearing completion, reports RIA-Novosti.
Only the trimmings and adornments remain to be finished.
The temple is being painted under the supervision of and with the participation of artists of the St. Petersburg Academy of the Arts and iconographers of the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra. The building of the church was initiated by a society for disabled people in the St. Petersburg region.
“The church will be unique not only in its decoration, but also in the fact that it will be fully equipped for the handicapped. Everything will be thought out here so that people with special needs, with limited mobility, will be able to feel calm and joyful in the church in honor of a saint who always responded to every need of the sick,” commented Natalia Rodomanova, the head of communications for the St. Petersburg Diocese.
The church will consist of three floors, the first being for storage and utilities. The second floor will be a museum-chapel dedicated to St. Ksenia, and the third will be the main church. The building will include ramps and elevators for the disabled, according to the “Mercy” Orthodox charitable foundation.
The society for disabled people originated at the Optina Podvoriye in St. Petersburg, and today includes 2,500 people, ranging from ages 7 to 100, with various disabilities, including blindness, deafness, and mental illness. 80% of the members are elderly.
To build a church in honor of St. Ksenia has long been the society’s biggest dream, and by God’s grace, it was blessed to acquire property on the very spot where her house once stood, and will soon be worshiping in the church.