The story of a miracle by Blessed Liubushka of Susanino

This miracle of Blessed Liubushka of Susanino took place exactly thirty years ago, during the snowy winter of 1993.

About Blessed Liubushka

Blessed Liubushka Susaninskaya Blessed Liubushka Susaninskaya Here is the brief information about the life of the Blessed Liubushka of Susanino.

She was born in 1912 in Smolensk Province to a large peasant family. Her full name was Liubov Ivanovna Lazareva. Her mother died very early and her father died during the years of Soviet repression, which made orphans of their many children. Liubushka was brought up by a relative, and when she turned eighteen, she came to Leningrad to live with her older brother. At first, she worked at a factory, but later decided to set out on the path of a homeless wanderer. St. Seraphim of Vyritsa was her spiritual father.

Liubushka traveled as a pilgrim to holy places, monasteries and churches. But she would always return to Vyritsa. Finally, in the 1970s, she remained there, settling down in the house of a pious woman, Lukia Mironova. A few years later, they moved together to Susanino. That’s where Liubushka began to receive the suffering and afflicted in a house located next to the Kazan church. Her name became widely known, and Orthodox people flocked to see her about their sorrows and needs. Liubushka met everyone meekly, and her intercessory prayers performed all kinds of miracles. She prayed rather unconventionally, by placing a finger on her palm and quietly whispering her intercessory prayers. And the Lord heeded these humble petitions and fulfilled them.

Blessed Liubushka's favorite icon was the Kazan Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God and she prayed often before it in her cell, holding conversations with the Mother of God. According to eyewitnesses, Liubushka almost never slept—she often spent nights in prayer, only allowing a little nap while sitting on the sofa. She wasn’t talkative and kept quiet.

Just before her death, Liubushka settled in the convent dedicated to the Kazan Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God in Vishny Volochok, which was being restored. This is where she ended her earthly sojourn. She reposed blessedly in the Lord on September 11, 1997. The eldress was buried in the chapel by the altar of the majestic Kazan Cathedral. Her favorite cell icon of the Kazan Mother of God was placed at the tomb of the blessed eldress.

Many faithful who turn to Liubushka in prayer receive help and consolation.

Miracle with my sister Svetlana

Blessed Liubushka Susaninskaya at church Blessed Liubushka Susaninskaya at church I will tell you about a miracle of the blessed eldress to which I was a witness. I saw Liubushka only once in the winter of 1993. But I will cherish the memory of this meeting all my life, as it illuminated it with a gentle heavenly light.

Our meeting was preceded by sorrowful events. My younger sister Svetlana lived in Irkutsk at the time with her husband, who worked the nightshift in a military unit.

One evening, when her husband posted for night duty, his relative stopped by for a visit. Svetlana said that her husband was on the nightshift. The guest was about to leave, but then (already standing in the hallway) he asked for a hammer (supposedly to fix his shoes). Svetlana, thinking no evil, handed the hammer to him. But he snatched the moment and attacked her, utterly defenseless, hitting her on her head with the hammer. Svetlana fell down. The bandit continued his attack, trying to strangle her, when she wheezed and lost consciousness. Thinking that he had killed her, he began to search the apartment to rob them. As for Svetlana, she regained consciousness and ran out of the apartment. Drenched in blood, she was running along the snowy street in deep sub-zero temperatures of Siberian winter barefoot, wearing only a housecoat. The bandit ran out after her. She managed to get to a community police office—as, luckily, in the 1990s, 24-hour law enforcement offices were located all over the cities. Thus, she was saved from a brutal death.

But that was only the beginning... Svetlana was seriously wounded and was in a state of shock. She was taken to a trauma center, given medical care and had her wounds dressed. Later examination revealed that not only was her skull injured, but the brain as well. My sister was admitted to the hospital. The doctors made only two prognoses for her: she will either die or will go mad, provided that she survives.

Her doctors predicted two outcomes: either death or insanity, provided that she survives

This happened in December of 1993. I was told about this tragedy by a relative who flew from Irkutsk to Moscow. He also told me that my sister needed cerebrolysin, a special brain medicine not available in Irkutsk.

Surprisingly, on the eve of this meeting, a friend of mine offered that we go visit blessed Liubushka in Susanino, saying that she was a true ascetic. We packed our bags and decided to depart to Petersburg just during those days. It was as if someone had planned this wondrous trip in advance for such an occasion.

Having sobbed enough, I decided that I go first to the blessed eldress and ask her to pray for my sister. So off we went—first by train to St. Petersburg and then by train to Susanino.

It was a bright snowy Sunday afternoon. The trees were wrapped in fluffy hoarfrost and the day was frosty and fairy-tale-like. Somehow it made me feel better.

There were many people in a church, and the Divine Liturgy was still in process. I wondered about the blessed eldress: Where is she? How will I recognize her? Everyone stood soberly in prayer and only a certain old woman with a child-like face was walking back and forth in the church as if she didn’t hear the chants. She looked odd, this old woman. She wore a white kerchief pulled over her forehead, while her long pink chintz blouse had two large pockets that bulged out with all sorts of tasty snacks, such as cookies, candies, and mandarins, peeking cheerfully from her pockets. I got used to the orderly behavior at the divine service in our Moscow church, so I wasn’t very happy to see such unceremonious behavior at Liturgy...

When the service was over, we learned that we could go see the blessed eldress right there in the church annex where a queue had already formed. After waiting, I entered the cell with trepidation and was met by two nimble women helpers. They pointed to where I should go, and I saw that same old woman in the pink blouse. She was standing there, calmly looking at me...

Liubushka silently turned away from me, came up to the window and stared up into the sky through the open window

The gentle gaze of her heavenly eyes touched me so much that I went down on my knees in front of her and began to tearfully tell her what had happened to my little sister. I begged her to help my sister. Liubushka silently turned away from me, came to the window and stared into the sky through the open vent window. She kept staring there for quite some time, or so it seemed to me, as I was on my knees all the time she stood there and stared out of the window. Since she remained silent, I assumed that the blessed woman didn’t want to speak to me because of my sinfulness, and so I was about to leave. I looked quizzically at the women helpers and in a whisper asked if I am supposed to leave. They immediately began to say hush implying that Liubushka was praying for us. No, she was pleading God for us.

And indeed, Lubushka finally turned to me and said in a quiet little voice that everything will be fine with my sister. And that’s all. Then she asked where I was from and what I was doing. I answered that I was studying at the icon painting school in Moscow. She offered her admonition to me and predicted my icon-painting future. Everything she was saying was brief, laconic, just a few concise words, but also so voluminous and weighty like the words of the Gospel that transform your whole life...

Everything happened exactly according to Liubushka’s words.

I left her a completely transformed person—renewed, inspired, and serene. My soul had been transformed.

When I reached Moscow, I immediately started looking for cerebrolysin. Despite having difficulties, I was able to get this medicine and went to the airport. As soon as I entered the airport terminal, I saw a huge priest in black vestments—he was standing opposite the entrance with the collection box seeking donations for the restoration of a church. I approached him and asked for his blessing and prayers for the flight. He blessed me. At that time, it was a true wonder—seeing a priest at the airport...

You had to stand through a long line at the ticket office. There were no tickets. I got discouraged, but suddenly my eyes fell on two other windows on the side—they had no queues, no one stood there at all, and they had a huge sign “RESERVED TICKETS” (or something else of this kind) above them. I rushed there and started begging to help me fly to Irkutsk. To my surprise, the girl accommodated my request and—lo and behold!—she found an airplane ticket! After my visit to Liubushka, everything went marvelously well. I flew. Despite the fact that this was a challenging time to fly (a blizzard, awful turbulence, and as a result, the Irkutsk airport didn’t accept our flight and the airplane left in the other direction landing at some distant airfield), but I was still able to reach Irkutsk.

I was going home with shudder—what will my parents say about my sister? Is she alive? Is she conscious?...

I rang the doorbell. A radiant little sister with a wide smile opens the door for me! I stood there mute, never expecting such an obvious, enormous, and true miracle... All I could do was to utter , “Why aren't you in the hospital...?”

Svetlana said she had been discharged the day before. All the doctors were shocked that she suddenly regained consciousness and stood up. They could find no explanation, as they had never seen such a case in medical practice before, when a practically dead person suddenly comes to life and is up and about! They didn’t find any brain damage, but for order’s sake, they put her under observation for a year.

A year has passed and no deviations from her usual, full life were observed. Svetlana was crossed off the register. She fully recovered without any consequences... Only the cerebrolysin, left unused by my sister, served for many years as a reminder of this story...

Liubushka saved my sister’s life—a beautiful person who was not yet baptized. She kept putting it off and refusing. But this time everything was different. I brought three crosses from Moscow for use at the Baptism. Without resisting, my sister chose a cross for herself and received the Sacrament of Baptism! Her soul was born into eternal Life.

And this is the merit of our dear eldress Liubushka!

Nun Ioanna (Rodnina)
Translation by Liubov Ambrose


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