Blessed Ekaterina of Pukhtitsa

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St. Ekaterina (Malkov-Panina) was born on May 15, 1889 in Finland in a family with six children. The future saint was distinguished by kindness and tenderness from an early age, and she loved to visit their local monastery.

The family later moved to Gatchina, and in 1914, Ekatarina entered the courses of the Sisters of Mercy and began to work in free hospitals. She was later part of a detachment that gave assistance to wounded soldiers.

She moved to Estonia in 1919 with her family and on July 5, 1922 was accepted as a nun of Pukhtitsa Monastery. From her first days in the monastery, she began to behave strangely, as a Fool-for-Christ. She was soon transferred to the Gethsemane Skete 18.5 miles away. She returned to the monastery at the beginning of World War II when the skete was closed.

In 1942 she relocated to Tallinn to care for her elderly parents. Her mother reposed in 1942, and her father in 1947, and she returned to the monastery, now openly behaving as a Fool-for-Christ.

The nuns remember that St. Ekaterina often took a special fast upon herself, saying she was preparing either to be tonsured, or to die, and it would turn out that another nun of the convent would soon be tonsured or die. She was widely revered as having the gift of foresight and healing, and many flocked to her for advice and prayers.

She was tonsured as a nun of the monastery in 1966. In her last years, she rarely left her home, but when she was seen around the monastery, the nuns understood that something important was about to happen. She was constantly in pain but did not show her suffering outwardly.

On May 5, 1968, on the Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearers, Mother Ekaterina peacefully reposed in the Lord. There are numerous known cases of miracles and healings by her prayers, both during and after hear earthly life.

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