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Preface

Who are “saints,” who are “holy ones”?  For many people, the term “saint” refers to some special kind of being, most importantly, someone infinitely removed from us, someone whose makeup contemporary man does not even find entirely comprehensible.  In ordinary usage, we tend to call “saints” those who think of others rather than themselves, or who devote their lives to serving some lofty ideal.  To some extent, that is so.  However, there are far more important, far more profound teachings about holiness to be found in the Bible.  The Gospels reveal to us that each and every person is not only called to holiness, but also is holy – inasmuch as he is God’s creation, made in God’s Image.  In light of the teachings in the Gospels, the purpose of man’s life lies in overcoming everything that renders him not holy, everything that removes him from the perfection of God’s holiness.  Viewing holiness in that way, we can see that to be a saint, to be holy, is not the  province of only a small number of chosen ones: to join and become part of the Church is already an act of being chosen, of being dedicated to a new life «in spirit and truth,» decidedly different from that of people who have not come to know God, people who live merely according to the dictates of limited earthly existence.

 

A saint is someone who with his whole being bears witness to the truth of Divine revelation and in so doing enlightens both himself and the world around him.

 

All of the foregoing applies in full measure to Holy Righteous Matushka Alipiya.  One need only spend a few minutes in prayerful contemplation near her grave in the Goloseyev Monastery crypt in order to clearly sense in one’s heart that Matushka loves us, and that invisibly, quietly, and imperceptively, she helps us to come to her, that we might not lose faith, and that we might also be saved, and become like her.

 

“To become like her”  means to fully restore in ourselves the Image of God that had been instilled in us at the very beginning of creation.  We fell, we shattered that Image, we lost our unity, and each person found himself estranged.  In our alienation, we concocted the idea that death was the end.  That is why we harbor doubt, why we agonize: we do not perceive the Image of God either in ourselves or in others.

 

Holy Righteous Matushka Alipiya!  Help us to follow your good example of love for God and our neighbor, and  to obey at least to some extent the Gospel challenge to «be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.»

Archpriest Victor Potapov 

Washington (USA)

 

In the Orthodox Church there are ascetic strugglers who are particularly loved by the people, strugglers dear to, and understood by, everyone.  One person for whom the people have such love is Nun Alipiya (Avdeyeva), a spiritual struggler of our times.  A constant stream of people seek her out — people distressed over life’s misfortunes, the impoverished and those in despair, the sick, the indigent, and orphans — and all of them receive from her attention, concern, love, kindness, and consolation.  This all resonates in the heart of the people, and they respond to the blessed Eldress’ love.  Matushka reposed in the Lord onOctober 30, 1988. Over 20 years have passed since Matushka’s death, but her name  has not been forgotten.

Books have been written about her life, and an enormous amount of information about miracles she has worked has been collected.  However, those tomes are insufficient to record every instance of help rendered by the Eldress.  Thousands of such accounts are treasured not in the pages of books, but in the hearts of the recipients of her blessed kindness.    Their sheer number makes it impossible to relate them all.  However, by God’s will, God-loving readers are learning of some of them.

In life, Matushka Alipiya did not enjoy the renown which the blessed one has gained since her repose.  Her life was quiet,  inglorious, and severe. All of her life, the Eldress avoided fame, and was a stranger to praise. Quite often, she sought refuge in that most difficult of ascetic struggles, that of being a Fool for Christ.  For much of her life, she had no haven; she avoided rest, and made her life more arduous through ascetic struggles which she hid from human sight.

The fact that she was a chosen one was made manifest in her childhood; as a child, she was already being visited with revelations from God, was clairvoyant, and could read others’ thoughts.

Nun Alipiya, baptized Agafia, was born into the family of a pious Mordvinian peasant named Tikhon Sergeevitch Avdeyev, in the village of Vyshelei, Gorodischensky Uyezd, Penzensk Oblast’, Russia.  We have learned the Eldress’ exact date of birth from a birth registry, recently discovered by descendants of the Avdeyev family, from the Church of the Holy Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul.  According to the register,  Agafia Tikhonovna Avdeyeva was born onMarch 3, 1905(March 17 according to the new civil [Gregorian] calendar), to Vassa Pavlovna.  She was baptized on March 4/17, and her sponsors [God-parents] were Timofei Gulyayev and Anna Danilova.  At Holy Baptism, the future Eldress was named in honor of Holy Martyr St. Agafia, whom she greatly revered throughout her life.  Matushka Agafiya revealed but few details of her life to others.  From the bits and pieces that have become known to us, it is possible to form a basic impression of the Saint’s childhood.

Matushka’s early years were spent in the ordinary course of peasant life in pre-RevolutionaryRussia- going to church and pursuing classroom studies (although which school she attended is something we cannot say with any certainty).  The strict observance of Church rubrics, fasting, and prayer demonstrated by the Eldress’ parents set an example that  instilled in her a pious  aspiration toward, and love for, everything Church-related and God-pleasing.  The family had a particular reverence for the Holy Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul, patron saints of their village church, and to the end of her days, the ascetic continued to hold them in especially fervent regard.

During lenten periods, Tikhon, Matushka’s father, would eat only dry toast and broth made from straw.  Through the efforts of Vassa, Matushka’s mother, the family observed the pious tradition of distributing alms and presents throughout the village.  Vassa would give her daughter a basket to take around to needy villagers.  What could be more instructive and edifying than the pious example set by one’s parents? The Eldress inherited her parents’ virtues in full measure.

Whenever the parents were away, leaving the little girl alone, they would give her chores that a child could do: feeding the poultry and animals.  However, the child’s soul was opened up to God, and the Lord granted her to see what others could not.  When she looked at the peasants, the state of each soul was revealed to her, and she could see who was going to church, and who to the bazaar.

The little girl was quiet and contemplative, and prayed a great deal.  Quite literate, she devoted all of her free time to reading religious books.  Her favorite was always the Psalter.  As a young lady, she continued to carry the Psalter with her wherever she went, and when visiting others, would open the book of the Holy Psalms and would pray, in an effort to keep from filling her mind with vanities and idle talk.

A serene childhood spent interacting with her own family was that spiritual foundation upon which the Eldress’ subsequent asceticism was built.  It was for a reason that Matushka would say in later years, «A peasant woman who works in the fields, who labors, and who glorifies God, will be saved.» Thus did she greatly value the peasant’s hard work which, in combination with prayer and sincere praise to God can bring forth great fruits, and can evoke mercy from the Lord. Used to working assiduously, Matushka Alipiya engaged in ascetic struggle all of her life; she would work to physical exhaustion in struggling to care for her neighbor, to take in the stranger and the indigent, and in the ascetic labors of fasting, maintaining the vigil, and praying.

At the time of the Revolution, whenRussia’s collapse came to pass, Matushka was still only a child of 12.  Disaster struck like a mighty hurricane, sweeping away the bright years of childhood.  This trial had to come so as to spiritually temper and strengthen Christ’s chosen ones.  In the1970s, matushka revealed that the Revolution had a spiritual purpose.  She would say that, in a sense, the Lord had allowed to happen events «that treated and healed the priests» and all of the faithful whose piety had become weak.  It had been necessary for such cleansing suffering to come.

From certain sources, it was learned that Tikhon and Vassa, the Eldress’ parents, had perished during the Civil War.  They were executed by a Red Army firing squad while their child was not with them.  Saved by chance, Agafia went to live with an uncle who put the child and her belongings into a cart and took her to his home.  The accounts also relate that the child was briefly held by the forces of S.M. Budyonniy, who was touched by the child’s tears, and who ordered that she be released.

It is known that several times, Agafiya would go wandering off after saying goodbye to her relatives in thevillageofVyshelei.  To this day, descendants of the Avdeyev family recall how Matushka would come talk with her relatives.  They knew that their relative was especially devout, that she prayed a great deal, and that she was of a monastic cast of mind.  Several times, she would say that she was going to visit holy places.  The Eldress wandered from monastery to monastery, going to all of the holy places that had escaped utter destruction.  She also lived inPenza, and would visit the Church of the Holy Myrrh-bearers.  InPenza, a certain pious family would take her in. Matushka was no stranger to hard labor: she worked as a day laborer, helped build and whitewash houses, and did everything without complaint and with thanks to God. In those difficult years, the Lord protected her and spiritually strengthened her to undertake new and remarkable ascetic labors.  It was in such difficult trials that Matushka spent her youth.  However, those trials did not break her or embitter her; on the contrary, they made her even more sensitive and sympathetic.  She was ready to share and talk with anyone, she knew the meaning of labor, she understood the power of prayer, the value of a kind word, a good deed, and even of a little bit of charity.  She set forth on the path of spiritual action, where one had to defeat not a visible, but the invisible foe, where the battle was with one’s own passions, where victory brought not earthly freedom, but freedom from sin.  As a result, Matushka Alipiya was in the process of acquiring enormous grace from the Holy Spirit.

Outwardly Matushka was no different from other people inRussia.  Like everyone else, she struggled to endure years of revolution and civil war, years in which the Church was under attack, years in which people battled with themselves and with their fellow citizens.  Yet, unnoticed by those around her, Matushka was engaging in spiritual struggles.    God alone knows the secrets of her heart, her prayers and tears, here pleas and cares. She revealed them to no one.  However, what was observable could not remain hidden from others’ eyes.

Seeing suffering, destruction, and human tragedy everywhere, Matushka Alypiya first and foremost strove to show great love towards others.  That gift is a great one, a gift the Lord imparted to her along with other spiritual gifts. It was a gift that caused her to make sacrifices of herself for the sake of her neighbors’ salvation.

The civil war years ended, and after a short and shaky peace, a spiritual war, an attack against the Church and against God, began.  It was a war waged by «militant atheism.»  Waves of persecution aimed at clergy and the faithful laity coursed throughout the land.  Until her very death, Matushka Alipiya stood among the ranks of Christ’s, warriors for the Faith in Christ.  Where she was incarcerated is unknown.  In those days, justice was swift; just being called a Christian meant that the sentence had already been decided: it was death.  Of the trials — including ridicule and interrogations – attendant to incarceration, anticipation of death was the most difficult.

In prison, Agafiya struggled along with everyone else.  It is known that Matushka Alipiya issued letter appeals from prison: she called for people to stand firm in the Orthodox Faith, and to love God.  We do not know how long she was in prison.  There are eyewitness accounts by people who visited her in prison.  Even then, at such a young age, Matushka Alipiya already possessed the gift of clairvoyance and effectual prayer of the heart.   However, she asked nothing for herself.

Matushka found herself in a holding cell from which every night people would be taken out to be shot.  As she later related, with her in that cell was a priest and his son; the priest served a Panikhida [requiem] for the prisoners, but foretold that she would be released.

Thanks to the divine assistance of the Holy Apostle St. Peter, Matushka Alipya was unexpectedly released.  She found herself on a craggy shore, and had to spend the next 12 days crossing the hills in search of some kind of settlement.  On her body, she bore a multitude of  scars as a permanent reminder of that ordeal.

The life of a fugitive was not easy.  She had no papers, no means of support, and no place to live; receiving a housing permit was out of the question. However, the Lord  arranged her life so that she would not be noticed by the persecutors.  She was released in about 1939.

Soon the Great Patriotic War [World War II] broke out. Based on some of Matushka’s stories, for a time she was in a concentration camp, in which she did not alter her spiritual way of life; she continued to help and pray for the suffering.  Thanks to her clairvoyance and other spiritual gifts, she was able to facilitate the escape of many of her fellow prisoners.   Soon, the Lord arranged for her escape as well.  She made her way through occupied territory and across the front lines, and lived for some time with a family with many children, in thevillageofKapitanovkaalong theZhitomirroad, nearKiev.

We also know of an incident that took place when Matushka Alipiya stopped for the night in a certain village.  All night, she did not even lie down on the bed prepared for her.  Rather, faithful to her unchanging prayer rule, she knelt in prayer until morning.

Matushka also told of her travels to venerate the relics of Holy Hierarch Theodossy of Chernigov, which had been returned to the Holy Trinity Cathedral inChernigovduring the War.  Matushka went on foot, and did not stop at any settlement; instead she spent the  nights in the woods and fields. After venerating the relics of the Holy Hierarch she so revered, Matushka asked to spend the night in the church warden’s home.  He refused, but Matushka, prompted by the Holy Spirit, followed him, knowing that the Lord had sent her to this house for a reason.

Along the way, the warden encountered his wife, who was crying and wailing. In despair, she told the warden that their daughter had died in a stove fire.  The father, followed by Matushka Alipiya, ran into the house.  The devastated parents no longer tried to keep her from entering the house.  They did not even notice her take out a flask of holy water, which she also called «living» water; she sprinkled the girl, and poured water into her mouth.  The child came back to life, and the Eldress disappeared without a trace.

Another incident took place in post-warBelarus.  At a market in a certain town, Matushka Alipiya saw a crowd of people surrounding a weeping family. During this time of famine, they had brought a domestic animal, a pig, to be sold.  It was their sole means of survival.  However, the animal was so weak that it seemed that it would drop dead at any minute.  Just at that moment, while the animal was already turning blue, Matushka Alipiya made her way through the crowd, and responded enthusiastically to the people’s sorrow.  After secretly praying to God, she gave the pig some ordinary tar. The pig immediately came to life, and in amazement, the people looked for her.  Where is the person who had saved the pig? She had disappeared into the crowd.  When  they caught up to her and started asking her about the medicine she had given, she told them that they were mistaken.

During the War, the Kiev Caves Lavra was reopened, and Matushka Alipiya went to it in search of a spiritual home for a Christian soul in search of the Lord.  At that time, a flood of people from all over the land, especially fromRussia, came to the Lavra. The clergy of the Lavra were distinguished by great spirituality; these were priests who had endured trials in camps and exile.  At that time, there were clairvoyant Elders who had become wise in spiritual life living there: Venerable St. Kuksha ofOdessa, whose homilies Matushka Alipiya had occasion to hear.  Likewise, the prior of the Lavra, Archimandrite Kronid, a person of great spirituality, an experienced teacher and spiritual director, became Agafiya’s spiritual father, and tonsured her a nun with the name Alipiya (in honor of Venerable St. Alipiy of the Caves.  Matushka occupied herself constantly with a number of obediences at the church: she washed and cleaned, and attended all of the services.  We know that during this period, she pursued ascetic struggle in the hollow of an old linden tree not far from the well of  St. Theodossy of the Caves.  Archimandrite Kronid blessed her to pursue that struggle, which she did in secret, by night.  By day, Matushka continued to work at the church.  In spite of her engaging in all of this ascetic activity, her attire was always neat and clean, and she did not appear in any way different from the other laborers.  The tree in whose confines matushka Alipiya prayed has not survived.  Matushka engaged in these ascetics labors at a relatively early age — when she was between 42 and 46 years of age.

During the reign of the atheist powers, it was difficult to find a place in the Monastery, as militant atheist authorities would not grant the necessary permits.  Women who came to the Lavra would often be sent to other women’s monasteries that could accept those who wanted to move there.  Matushka Alipiya never asked to go elsewhere, and she stayed at the Lavra.  She dressed like everyone else, and did not put on monastic attire.  At the time, secret tonsure was a very common practice. Many monasteries had been shut down, it was difficult to get a place in one of the remaining open monasteries, and even if one were to find such a place, he would be watched by the authorities.  Many monastics had to remain in the secular world.  Surrounded by such great elders at the Lavra, Matushka Alipiya absorbed their example and teachings with all her heart.  Thus, Venerable St. Kuksha would teach tonsured monastics to do nothing for show, to do nothing openly, but to pray without ceasing and in secret.  He taught them to endure anything, to humble themselves, and to dress just like anyone else in the secular world.  This was a school whose lessons Matushka Alipiya remembered to the end of their days.  The path to sanctity is thorny, and only those who follow it in profound humility will receive the Lord’s peace and will be glorified.

After Archimandrite Kronid’s death, Matushka Alipiya was provided spiritual nourishment by another Lavra elder, Schema-monk Damian, a man endowed with many spiritual gifts.  He blessed her to undertake a different obedience, one that Matushka Alipiya performed for some time — to live in the corridor of a building housing the Lavra elders’ cells.  This was a school of humility, patience, vigil, and prayer, one which spiritually strengthened Matushka Alipiya for unseen warfare with the spirits of evil in the world.

Following the closing of the Kiev Caves Lavra, the Eldress once again spent years living as a hermit, this time in even more severe ascetic labors.  People took her in, but the blessed one did not seek out a comfortable life, but rather would stay cold and hungry, in rat-infested cellars.   To one who had spent years enduring trials and engaging in unheard of ascetic labors, these new trials ever more strengthened her resolve to voluntarily carry the Cross of monasticism.

Accustomed to constant spiritual activity and hard labor, matushka Alipiya worked a great deal, as a day laborer and in construction. She remained faithful to her rule: she never slept at night, spending it instead in fervent and unceasing prayer to God.  Her much-laboring body knew no rest, either by day or by night.  She never slept in a bed, either in relatively young years, or in old age.  During the times the eldress was severely ill and had to lie down, she did not stray from ascetic labor: she would sleep on bare boards.  Every night was a time of battle for her, a battle against both human physical exhaustion  and the spirits of evil which arrayed themselves against her with unbelievable force.

After the closure of the Lavra in 1961, Matushka Alipiya became a parishioner of the Church of the Ascension on Demievka.  The neighborhood was known as Stalinka during the Soviet years.  There were very few functioning churches inKiev, and the Church of the Ascension was widely known inKiev.  Many monastics were parishioners of that church.  Matushka Alipiya was distinguished from other parishioners, both by the daring with which she addressed God, and by her spiritual cast of mind.  Of course, Matushka’s unusual clairvoyance could not remain hidden.  By that time, Matushka Alipiya would often turn to another unusual and difficult spiritual struggle, that of being a Fool for Christ.  This is the most difficult of ascetic struggles, for in it one offers up to God his entire being, including his reason, and in so doing, evokes ridicule and disparagement from those around him. The actions of such a Fool for Christ, while seemingly provocative  or ridiculous, in fact have a profound significance which is revealed only later.  With clairvoyant eyes, the fool for Christ sees spiritual mysteries, and adorns them in symbols and signs.

Parishioners of theAscensionChurchwould always see Matushka Alipiya in church, either during or after services.  Sometimes, she would pray for several hours before icons in the church, or while kneeling before the solea, or in the church yard behind the Altar.

It was at this time that the Lord sent her a temporary refuge.  This was a house, onGoloseyev Street, from which the residents had been evicted, as it was to be demolished.  Matushka Alipiya moved into this house, and people began to come visit her.  After church services, many people would seek out Matushka for advice.

By this time, the Eldress was known throughoutKievand beyond.  It was God’s will that, from this point, Matushka Alipiya should serve Him through another great ascetic labor, that of eldership, one manifested in serving one’s neighbor through advice, prayer, and care for his salvation and  edification.

The Eldress continued to perform this difficult service to the end of her days, receiving visitors at her cell on Goloseyeva Street, and later at No. 7 Zatevakhin Street.   This was one half of a house near the ruins of Goloseyev Hermitage, a men’s monastery established in the 17th Century. At the time the Eldress settled down at this holy site, the monastery was in ruins.  However, people would gather at the grave of Goloseyev Elder Alexey (Shepelyov) in the cemetery behind the demolished church of the «Life-giving Spring» Icon of the Mother of God. From that time on, matushka Alipiya became the extension of the prayerful ascetic struggle of the Goloseyev Elders, lighting there the spiritual candle of faith and piety.

Gradually, the houses in the area of the Goloseyev Hermitage were demolished.  The residents moved away, and Matushka Alipiya remained alone in the house, which miraculously escaped demolition.   The portion of the structure abutting the Eldress’ little cottage was soon torn down, and later the Eldress’ spiritual children installed brick facing on her dwelling.  One side of the house faced a deep ravine in which the Eldress loved to pray.  Below, beyond the cemetery, there were several lakes amid little wooded hills.  It was as if nature, with its unearthly beauty and calm, filled in the gaps left by the inhuman evil that had come crashing down upon the holy place.  More and more, Matushka Alipiya’s solitude and prayer were accompanied by visits from people seeking spiritual support.  And the Eldress would open her doors to everyone with love and unusual care and concern.  She would await them as cherished guests, having already prepared a repast for them, one that was simple but very tasty, as it was imbued with her ceaseless prayer and blessing.  She would always give people simple, modest gifts, such as bread; in saying goodbye to her visitors, she would sign them with the sign of the Cross, and would fervently pray.  How many tortured souls would calm down in her cell!  People would come to her from all over the formerSoviet Union.  They included highly placed public officials, military officers, and ordinary people, young and old, monastics and lay people.  Who could recount all of the examples of clairvoyance and healing demonstrated by Matushka! Every day, from morning to night, her cell doors remained open.  The Eldress had to exert so much effort to warm, to feed, to pray for all of her visitors, to so turn her heart and soul that she might console one who was suffering, might turn away from him all of the evil of the enemy of mankind, might heal him of his ills.  It was here that, with labor upon labor, she pursued her ascetic tasks.

For one with compassion, the pain he feels at a neighbor’s suffering is even greater than it is for the one who is suffering.  For the Eldress, to whom the Lord had revealed thoughts and actions, the past and the future, it was painful to see God’s creation perishing, and to know what machination of the enemy lay in wait for everyone. She was sick at heart for everyone.  What God ordered her to reveal, she would reveal, at the same time, being careful to show concern for her hearers’ salvation.

The Eldress strove to hide in every way possible the spiritual gifts which the Lord had so richly endowed the blessed one; sometimes she even resorted to apparent madness, speaking  allegorically. To bring a person to repentance, she would attribute to herself sins which had been committed by those with whom she was speaking.  In speaking Matushka would always replace words of the feminine gender with the masculine forms.  She said a lot in the Mordovian language so that the people with whom she was speaking would not understand what she was saying in prayer.

Amazingly, she never took affront at anyone as long as the insult was directed at her.  Because of our sinfulness, it is typical of us ordinary humans to become affronted, to defend our positions, to try to prove that we are in the right and that one speaking against us is in the wrong, to brag, to engage in self-justification, and to look to gain some kind of benefit, some advantage.  We are like the blind, from whom everything going on around us is hidden.  Matushka Alipiya did not at all display such qualities.  Her behavior and the manner of her mentation were profoundly outstanding. She saw the spiritual essence of events that are otherwise hidden from human sight, and in accordance with the Savior’s commandment, prayed, «they know not what they do.» Accordingly, she encountered not the person standing before her, but with that spiritual being who was guilty of what had happened to the person.  She did not utter words of reproach, saying, lo, you are not right, you are doing wrong, or why did you not listen to me! She was able to speak loudly and emotionally only with the enemy of mankind, whom she reproached for bringing harm upon man and God.  That was true clairvoyance! In difficult situations she did not seek out help from people by using either her spiritual authority, or some earthly means.  She always appealed directly to God as Father, and would receive from Him an answer and assistance.  «Father» is how she addressed her prayers, and the Lord immediately responded to her daring requests.

At this time, matushka Alipiya increased her ascetic struggles even more, by wearing chains.  One of the chains consisted of a multitude of large keys, also expressing an important symbolic meaning.  She would pray [for release from bonds] of the souls of those entrusted to her by God, and for each one, would put on a new large key.  Likewise, s on her shoulders, she wore chains consisting of an icon of the Holy Martyr Agafiya, her heavenly patron prior to her monastic tonsure, or a wooden beam. This caused her to appear somewhat hunch-backed.  Sometimes, Matushka was able to carry a bucket of sand a great distance, or would bring to church large amounts of foodstuffs to be distributed to the poor after a Panikhida [requiem service for the reposed], sometimes exceeding 10 to 15 kgs in weight.  The Eldress would suspend this great burden from a pole that lay across her shoulders.

The Eldress would give all of the alms she received to God.  She would light large candles in all of the candlestands at church, would put money in the collection  boxes or under the napkins lying on the icons, would feed her many visitors, or, as a token of thanks, would give money to people who had done work in her cell.  Her little house was furnished very modestly: a stove, a bed covered with little bags, a table, and chairs, and nothing more.  When a certain nun thought to herself in Matushka’s cell that it might be a good idea to make some repairs, she immediately asked the nun, «Why do need this trash, dear?»

Early in the morning, about 3:00 or 4:00 AM, after her nightly kneeling vigil, the Eldress would begin her labors: she prepared food for her visitors (always knowing beforehand how many would come), went five kilometers on foot — with a heavy load on her shoulders – to catch the trolley to church.  It was only after the late Liturgy that she would eat, and would feed those who were already waiting for her after church.   Her visitors knew what she blessed them to do:  They would first visit the grave of Ven. St. Alexey (Shepelyov) and then would come to see her.  The visitors all prayed together, and sat down to eat together.  The Eldress would eat but once a day, and at that, very little, but she would offer her guests food in abundance.  Unbeknownst to them, the food they consumed would heal them of diseases, strengthen them spiritually, and impart the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the food had been imbued with the Eldress’ prayer and blessing.

The food Matushka prepared had another quality: it would miraculously multiply in quantity:  eyewitnesses attest to the fact that she put more foodstuffs into a single pot than it should have been able to contain, and that a far greater number of visitors were fed from that single pot than its volume should have permitted. There was enough food for everyone, and while Matushka herself did not eat much food, she would bless everyone to eat enormous bowls of borscht and kasha, and would also give each person an enormous piece of bread.  This was of profound significance, but its meaning was known only to God and Matushka; after eating her food, people suffering from incurable illnesses would find themselves healed.  Quite often, the healing was immediate, happening right there in her cell.  On returning home, her visitors would forget about their illnesses, as if they had never been.   Matushka did everything quietly and imperceptibly.  She did not like to play the role of some exalted eldress who would openly «pontificate,» dispensing teachings and instructions, and openly performing healings.  The healings would happen in  inconspicuous, ordinary ways, through food, and through ointment that Matushka prepared from ordinary plants without any inherent healing properties, and that she would give to the sick. Matushka used the idea of «ointment» because people found greater assurance in using familiar, ordinary, materials. With the help of such ointment, she intentionally defined her activity as healing treatment; she hid her gift of miracle-working, and  shunned the very title «miracle-worker.»  By her blessing, simple tar, or water, or ordinary plants  were endowed with grace, and imparted enlightenment and healing.

On every Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, matushka Alipiya would neither eat, nor drink water.  Only once did the Eldress admit to her cell-attendant, «How I am burning up inside!  How it burns! I want a drink of water so much!»  When offered a drink of water, Matushka immediately refused.  During the first week of Great Lent, and during Passion Week, she likewise did not eat or drink.

Sometimes, Matushka would maintain a strict fast during times of drought.  During several episodes of severe drought, she would not eat or drink for two weeks at a time, and when the Lord answered her prayers and sent the rains, she would display for Him her childlike joy by playing in the rain.

Likewise, when there was a thunderstorm looming, she would delay it until her the spiritual children and visitors in her yard had eaten.  «Well, let the people eat!  We are praying and eating quickly; I am not pleading for a long [delay].»  After the people had thanked God following their meal, the rain would pour down.

On Pascha, a certain visitor did not heed the Eldress, and at the meal in the Eldress’ cell, gave out cognac to everyone.  On account of that sin, Matushka Alipiya continued to fast for an entire year, finally breaking her fast on the next Pascha,

It was always quiet and prayerful in the Eldress’ cell.  She did not permit idle talk,   empty rhetoric, or gossip.  As soon as anyone started to engage in such idle conversation,  she would cut it short in her typical way, saying «All right, no twisting verbiage!»  Often, Matushka would spend several hours alone in prayer in the solitude of the forest or in a ravine.  By day, she would also be in church.  Once, nuns entering the church to pray saw that there were many lighted candles in the candlestands.  At first surprised, they soon understood the reason for such festivity.  Before the ambo, Matushka Alipiya was kneeling in fervent prayer.  On another occasion, while one of Matushka’s spiritual children was in mortal danger, the Eldress knelt for several hours with her arms upraised in prayer, and by her payers, the woman was spared from death. There were times when people would come to Matushka in sorrow, and she would immediately go with them or by herself to church for a Panikhida, so that these people’s deceased relatives might pray for them, and so that the Lord might grant them consolation and mercy.  In this way, Matushka Alipiya also set an example of fervent prayer for the reposed, something that was also a distinguishing feature of her piety.  Throughout her life, the Eldress fervently prayed for her relatives, for her parents Tikhon and Vassa, for her grandparents Sergei, Domna, Pavel and Evfimia.  In church, she always offered full Panikhidas for  the repose of their souls, and asked all of her acquaintances and all those who held her in spiritual esteem to pray for them.

Matushka always knew who was coming to see her, and would call into her cell those who were still on their way to see her.  For example, Raissa was coming to see her, and was bringing her a fish.  In her cell, Matushka called out, «Raya, bring the fish.»  Raissa came in, with the fish.  Or she would call out, «Come over; I am waiting for you,» and soon, the person she was calling would arrive.

Her visitors relate that she was quite capable of addressing one or another of her children in a loud voice, asking them to come to their senses, or giving them advice.  By her prayers, everything was set right.  When someone with whom she had been speaking in spirit arrived, the circumstances of what had transpired would become clear.

For example, there was an argument in a certain family to which she was close.  In her cell, Matushka asked them to make peace with one another.  By the Eldress’ prayers, the conflict died down, and the very next day, they decided to go see Matushka.  Upon their arrival, they learned what the Eldress had been saying during their argument, and they were amazed by her clairvoyance.

When the electricity to her cell was cut off, she would loudly call the woman who had installed the electrical wiring, «Vera, give me light!» and immediately, there would be light.

Likewise, after listening to people’s woes, Matushka would sternly address those who had offended them.  For example, she asked that an apartment be returned to the people from whom it had been taken: «Just how much can you torture people?  Give back the apartment! Give it back!»  Afterwards, the guilty party himself went to the organization that handled housing assignments, and renounced his claim to the apartment.

Here is another example of the Eldress’ clairvoyance.  She happened to tell her cell attendant to come over, as an elder fromMt.Athoswould be arriving.  The next day, it turned out that she had had no visitors other than a single priest.  That priest later went to live onMt.Athos, and now is spiritual director of a monastery on theHolyMountain.

Another of the Eldress’ features was her great feeling of thankfulness, both to God, Whom she always thanked for everything, and to anyone who ever did her the slightest kindness.  You might not even take notice of it, but Matushka always saw everything, and would say, «Thank you! May God save you! I bow down to the ground before you.»   On one occasion, when she was drenched with rain and chilled to the bone, a man who previously had not wanted to let her into his house, called her to come in and get warm. This was at a time when the Eldress had not yet found a place to live.  He heated the stove, and allowed her to spend the night.  A few days later, his wife encountered Matushka at church, and the Eldress said to her, «Did you know that your husband’s name has been recorded by God?  Do you know what he did for me?!»

If any of the people who came to see the Eldress helped with the domestic chores or in the garden, she would always give him a little money.  Of course, no one wanted to take it, but it was impossible to turn down the Eldress’ insistent requests.

Matushka blessed those about to enter her cell to first read the Symbol of Faith [i.e. the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed]; in that way, one who entered attested to his belonging to the Orthodox Faith. For Matushka, the truth of the Orthodox Faith was indisputable. After her death, just as she did in life, Matushka has continued to guide people to Orthodoxy and to bear witness to the fact that salvation can be found only in the canonical Orthodox Church. A certain youth, who had started visiting the Pentecostals, but had not told Matushka of it, often heard her make veiled warnings not go to them.  When it came down to his final decision, she directly pronounced a ban:  «Save yourself here! The Truth is here!» In response to his complaint that in Orthodoxy, he did not understand anything, Matushka foretold that he would soon meet a priest who instruct him on everything.  That came to pass. Later, that youth became a priest.  Also, there was a certain man who came to see the Eldress, and who, before Baptism, had espoused Judaism.  He did not tell Matushka about that fact, but the Eldress praised him for doing right by coming to Christ.

Those who revered Matushka Alipya were especially confused and troubled by her attitude to then Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev.  More than once, she foretold that he would take away churches, and that there would be a schism; she also cut the eyes out of his photograph in the calendar.    When «Metropolitan» Philaret would serve in theAscensionChurch, Matushka Alipiya would loudly criticize him before all of the people:  You are renowned and famous, but you will die as just a man.  She told a certain nun to tell all of her acquaintances that there would be a schism, and that the true Church would be subjected to insults, but that there was «salvation only in the canonical Orthodox Church.»  When «Metropolitan» Philaret, now the defrocked and excommunicated Michael Denisenko, created a schism and organized a self-styled church, and in so doing trampled all of the canons of the Orthodox Church, the truth of Matushka’s words was revealed for everyone to see.

The catastrophe inChernobylwas a particular source of pain for Matushka Alipiya.  Over the course of one year prior to the tragedy, it troubled her soul and prompted her to pray ever more fervently.  On several occasions, she said that the land, water, and air would be poisoned, that it would take place during Passion Week, and that it would happen in the region of Polessk. She would speak of the «atom coming towardKiev.» She prayed with all her heart that the Lord might weaken this  punishment, and spare the children.  However, it was all to come to pass. When the catastrophe occurred, Matushka said, «I live with the pains of others.»  In those difficult days, the Lord sent Matushka Alipiya to stop the panic among the people, to comfort people and to save them from spiritual death.  Matushka did not bless people to move away; she sought to persuade them to turn to God, to make the sign of the Cross over their food, and, fearing nothing and trusting in the Lord, to eat everything.

People, but by no means the devil, can have doubts about whether a given spiritual struggler is truly pious.  It is not through hearsay that the devil knows of the grace of the Holy Spirit given by the Lord to his faithful servants. Aware of the power of Matushka Alipiya’s prayers and of her miracle-working, he attacked her with awful hatred.  Once a young girl saw Matushka Alipiya fighting in a ravine with some awful man.  Matushka’s cell attendant, who was standing right next to her, could see only Matushka, apparently struggling with someone, but someone who was invisible.  On another occasion, when the cell attendant came to see Matushka, she found her severely bruised.  When she asked what had happened, the Eldress replied that the enemy had appeared to her and had beaten her against a rock.  By night, he would appear in the guise of people knocking on the doors, and after the Eldress would make the sign of the Cross over the doors, there would be an awful knocking, whistling, and roaring.

Not having the strength to wage invisible battle with the Eldress, the enemy would do battle with her through visible means, through people.  The authorities knew of Matushka’s activities, and that groups of people would meet with her.  Often, a district militiaman would come to her and say, «People gather together here at your home; we will demolish your house.» People in her cell would come to her defense, saying «this is our Matushka, and no one…» But the Eldress would jump in with a laugh, and say «No one will bother me.  The man in charge will not allow me to be disturbed.»  And the militiaman would leave.  Several times, a tractor came to demolish the house, but through the blessed one’s prayers, it was unsuccessful.  It once happened that as the tractor began the work of demolition, the Eldress began to pray, looking up to the Heavens.  Tears poured from her eyes, but she saw no one and heard nothing.  She implored God, and He heard her: touched by her tears and prayers, the workers stopped their evil work.  Quite often, ambulances would come to the Eldress’ house to take her away to a psychiatric hospital.  At those times, Matushka would give the blessing for everyone in her cell to read the 90th Psalm, «He that dwells in the shadow of the Most-high…» Then she would go out to the doctors and say, «The commander in chief of the militia has not ordered me to go with you.»  And the ambulance would go away.  On one such occasion, Matushka amazed a doctor who by demonstrating her clairvoyance: she amazed the physician by describing the disease afflicting her, and the doctor left, shocked and reflective.

There was a worker, whom Matushka called “Anka,” at a sawmill not far from the Eldress’ cell, and who took a particular dislike to her.  He strove in every way possible to  annoy Matushka, but she humbly endured all of his unpleasantness.

Some of the Eldress’ visitors, not understanding the meaning of eldership, sanctity, and asceticism, were under the misapprehension that she was a fortune-teller who would tell  their fortunes, etc.  The Eldress would put an immediate stop to such thoughts.  «What am I then, a fortune-teller?» repeating aloud what they had been secretly thinking.  «I am not a sorceress or a fortune-teller, and I am not about to tell you about your men or your education.»  That is how she criticized a young maiden who did not understand the difference between an Orthodox ascetic and an old women who told fortunes.

It once happened that a certain man came to her and said «Old woman! Look, I have three very expensive dachas [country cottages].  I will sell them and give you every penny, if you will only tell me how you heal people and how you pray to God. What is it?  Do you pray to God untilmidnight, and then summon «him»? He had in mind the spirit of evil.  Matushka said nothing, and resting her head on her hands, lapsed into silence.  Her appearance was distant and contemplative.  She remained silent for a long time.  The man waited, waited, and then started to prod her, «Our conversation isn’t finished.»  Matushka solemnly replied, «Why would I need your pennies?  I have bread, I have potatoes, and I do not need anything else.»

Likewise, here is how Matushka responded to a woman’s insistent plea that, in the vocabulary of various healers and fortune-telling women, she «pass on» some [information] to her.  She replied, «And what should I pass on to you?  What should I pass on to you?»  She pointed to her old skirt, as if to say that that was all she owned.

The subject of making a change in the calendar held a special place in Matushka’s life.  Such a trend already exists in the Orthodox world, fulfilling what the Eldress had foretold.   Before her death, Matushka shifted her calendar to show that Lent had begun before it was yet Lent, or that it was already Pascha when everyone else was still in Lent.  Things done by a Fool for Christ, though seemingly inadequate or impious, are always intended to make people think, to make them see from another perspective that they are going astray, and to think better of their convictions.  To some, her actions were a source of temptation,  but the Eldress, who was acting in obedience to God’s directions, paid them no mind, and endured their condemnations.  After a while, Matushka once again began to observe the Fast with everyone else.

People came to Matushka from all over theSoviet Unionwith a wide variety of problems.  Some had family problems, some had problems with work or housing, some asked for healing from disease, for a blessing to enter a monastery, or a blessing to marry.  It would be impossible to recount them all.  One did not have to tell Matushka his problems, for they were already known to her before any question had been asked.  Those who from experience were already aware of her clairvoyance would even converse with her mentally, posing their questions to her in their thoughts. The Eldress would immediately  reply.  If such a conversation was going on in the presence of several or more visitors, the Eldress would give an allegorical answer that, while seeming to be about  herself or some outside party, was in fact relevant to the person affected by the given subject.  All of this was done so as not to be a source of embarrassment or a source of idle curiosity on the part of those whom it did not concern.

As someone schooled and experienced in spiritual warfare, someone capable of sober analysis, Matushka Alipiya would always warn those seeking after spiritual direction and advice on how to be pleasing to God, to beware of apparent asceticism.  Two youths who happened to come to see her wanted to become solitaries, living in the caves of the Caucusus, to emulate the ascetics of old.  They could not manage to ask her about it, as there were a great number of people present, and they did not want to talk in front of everybody.  However, Matushka anticipated their questions.  In front of everyone, she said, «Here are people who want to live in the mountains, like the ascetics of old.» With a smile, she continued, «Now is not the time.  That is not your path.»  To another man who also wanted to go off to become a bee-keeper in the mountains, she said, without him having to ask, «Buy honey at the bazaar, do not abandon your wife, or you will be lost.»

For a young man who was preparing to enter a monastery, Matushka prepared a test of obedience.  She asked him to stack some cans in an arrangement that was  not quite convenient or correct.  The young man of course arranged them as he thought best.  Matushka said to him, «He wants to become a monk, but does everything in his own way.»

Two girls were coming to see the Eldress for the first time, and were talking  as they walked.  One of them said that she dreamt of doing good works – selling her possessions and giving the proceeds to the poor.  They encountered an old woman who said with a bit of sarcasm, «And just what is it that you are selling?»  In a moment, Matushka Alipiya had brought the girl, who was lost in romantic ideas, back down to earth.

People wanting to marry would ask the Eldress’ blessing.  A future priest asked her advice about marriage.  For a long time, Matushka stood, her arms upraised, and looking to the Heavens.  Then she said, «There, they are saying to marry, but I do not know.» In this way, she would submit herself to God’s will, and not ascribe any authority to herself. A young seminarian was going through the courtyard of theAscensionChurch, and heard «Anna, Anna, Anna!» He walked a bit farther, and Matushka Alipya approached him,  adding,  «You can, you can marry!»  His bride was called Anna.  To a certain young lady, the Eldress once happened to say,  «You are going to marry Valery.  He is short in stature, lives with Evdokiya, and wears a cap.»  She had described the girl’s future husband.  This disconcerted the young lady, but soon it all came to pass.

If the Eldress forbade someone from marrying, and they nonetheless did marry, they suffered for it all their lives.

Families that were suffering from demonically-provoked quarreling would be fortified by Matushka’s efforts.  The wife of a priest fromMoscowhad decided to leave her husband and enter a monastery.  In furtherance of that decision, she went to visitKiev’s holy sites.  She also wanted to visit Goloseyevo and its Eldress, Matushka Alipiya.  She was on her way back after first bowing down at the grave of Elder Alexey (Shepelyov) of Goloseyevo.   However, on her way back, she saw that the road was blocked by a simple barrier, near which some old woman was stirring about, constructing a fence out of old boards, and murmuring, «To block the road!»  This turned out to be Matushka Alipya, and the woman realized that the way to the monastery was not for her.

The wife of aMoscowgeneral came to ask the Eldress to pray for her atheist husband.    The woman was forced to go to church in secret, keeping it from her husband.  But the Eldress revealed to her the husband’s secret:  «You should thank the Mother of God, and God as well!  He has been a believer since childhood, but was afraid to tell you.  Now don’t be afraid of anything.  Go straight to your husband, tell him everything, and live with God!»  A week later, the general himself came to thank her.

The blessed one would welcome monastics with particular love, calling them  «usual kin», or people «from our village». Many monastics had entered the monastery after receiving her blessing.  That is a difficult path, strewn with many sorrows and temptations.  With her advice, and first and foremost, with her prayers, Matushka Alipiya helped them overcome the difficulties and worthily carry their life-long Cross.

She spoke a great deal about patience, encouraging people to be patient, no matter what sorrows they might encounter in life.  She counseled the nuns, «Be quiet, say ‘I ask your forgiveness,’ and you will not die.» Or she would say, «Endure!  Oh, how hard it will be — endure everything.»  It was by such faith that Matushka Alipiya lived.

More than once, Matushka Alipiya prophesied the revival of the Goloseyevo Hermitage, although at the time, that possibility seemed entirely unrealistic.  The atheist regime’s attitude toward the Church remained unchanged, and the monastery was in an  awful state of desolation.  However, the Eldress continued to assert, «Here there will be a very large and beautiful church and monastery.»  She also said about her house that  there would be a church on the site.  In addition, she said that it was a holy place, and that three Elders were interred under her house.  During excavation of the foundation, skulls were found in the walls of the trench. The tractor had not damaged the graves.

Matushka Alipiya rendered inestimable help in keeping theAscensionChurchfrom  being demolished in connection with the building of the design institute. As a result of the  appeals filed by the Eldress inMoscow, the building plans were revised.  Believers learned of this from the authorized representative for religious affairs, who in conversation mentioned her name, and explained by whose intercession the church had been spared.

Matushka had a particular love for God’s church.  She was very worried whenever they planned to close achurchofGod, to deprive [people] of Divine Services. The faithful would often turn to her for prayerful intercession in that regard.  Matushka would loudly exclaim, «Return the keys, open the church!  There will be no rain, and there will be no grain, unless you open the church!»  These are the kind of «orders» Matushka would issue, and by her prayers, services in the church would resume.  A certain woman asked her to pray for the reopening of the Church of the Holy Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul.  Matushka began a peculiar conversation: «Well, the Apostles Peter and Paul, eh? Will we return the church? Yes, we will return it!  First we will return the Lavra – right? And then theChurchofApostles Peterand Paul, right?»   Soon what she had said came to pass.  First the Kiev-Caves Lavra was reopened, and then the Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Several times, Matushka had prophesied the reopening of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, her favorite holy place, a place about which she loved to talk.  One month before its reopening, she said joyously, «They are already lighting the vigil lamps in the caves.»

The Eldress was severely ill for about a year.  Physically weak, she was forced to lie down, but even then she did not give her body rest: she lay on bare boards.  Matushka’s spiritual children did not abandon her in this difficult time.   They arranged it so that every night someone would stay at her little house.  During this period, she would commune in her cell.  Her healing took place on the feast of the Holy Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul, whom the Eldress especially loved. She rose from her sickbed, and with incredible effort, and accompanied by her cell attendant and a nun, went to church.  After they had all had Communion in church, Matushka returned home already more invigorated, and from that point would once again go to church each Sunday.

Many times, the Eldress foretold the day of her death.  She would ask, «And what day is October 30?»  When she would be told that it was Sunday, she would not respond.  She also would say that she would die during the first snow.  She gave a certain woman the Church calendar, and asked her to count off the days.  When she came to the 30th, the Eldress stopped her and circled that day.  The woman guessed that it was to be Matushka’s last day, and she began to weep.  That incident could also have presaged the fact that today the faithful especially commemorate Matushka Alipiya on the thirtieth of each month.

Knowing that she would soon be translated to the Lord, the Eldress prepared her spiritual children for that event.  Several times, she directed that they should come to her  grave and ask her just as they had while she was alive.  Several months before her repose, a certain nun, sensing that they soon would be parted, asked her, «To whom do you leave us?»  Matushka affectionately replied, «You, dear, I leave to the Mother of God!» To a priest who greatly revered her, she said, «Come to me at my grave, and talk with me as with a living person.  I helped you in life, and I will help you then as well.»  She gave a blessing to honor the place where she pursued her ascetic struggles, and to come to her little house just as they had when she was alive.  «I am not dying, but am here with you.  Come, walk around the cottage, call out, and I will hear you.»

On the next to last Sunday before her death, Matushka suddenly began to prostrate herself before each person at her home, and to say, «Forgive me!»  Then she stood up, raised her head heavenward, and sincerely and fervently appealed to the Lord, «Forgive me!»  With upturned face, she continued her plea without ceasing.  She had already said goodbye to everyone.

In her last week of life, she blessed a certain woman to come read the Psalter for her.   She said, «Come for three days to read; no more will be needed.» The woman read on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  On Saturday evening, she blessed her cell-attendant to go to church, and to put candles in the candlestands, but not to light them.  She gave a commemoration book to be offered in church in the morning, and warned her that after the service she was to «race quickly, so that I would not have gone.»  After the service, many people gathered together in her cell.  Everyone hurried to see her one last time, and to say goodbye.  Matushka prepared herself, fixing everyone with a very solemn, very piercing gaze.  Thrice, she moved her eyes cross-wise, and gave her blessing for the people to go to the Kitaev Hermitage to pray to Venerable Sts. Dosifei and Feofil.   At the moment her spiritual children bowed down to the Venerable Ones, Matushka departed to the Lord.  At the same time, a cloud appeared in the clear-blue sky, moved over the place where Matushka Alipiya’s spiritual children were praying, and from it, thick, dense snow began to fall.

The next morning, nuns of the Monastery of St. Florus came to vest the Eldress according to the monastic rite.  The Eldress’ body was warm and soft.  Hieromonk Roman Matiushyn, who had come with the nuns, served the first Panikhida.

On that day, nature took on an unusual, festive appearance.  The earth, the trees, Matushka’ cell, the ravine, the forest — everything was covered in white rime-frost.  Matushka lay looking young, her face unwrinkled, and there was a smile on her white face.  On the day of her funeral, the sky was blue, there was no breeze, all was quiet, and there was an otherworldly peace, a sense that theKingdomofHeavenwas present.  The funeral was served onNovember 1, 1988with all due solemnity by the clergy of the Holy Ascension St. Florus Monastery, with a great crowd of people in attendance.  Matushka Alipiya was interred in the St. Florus Monastery section of theLesnoCemeteryof the city ofKiev.

Since that time, the people’s love for the Eldress has continued unabated.  In keeping  with her blessing, people continue to come to her with their burdens, and then to leave with a sense of relief.  News of the miracles that had begun to occur at the blessed one’s grave became more and more wide-spread among the people, and soon a steady and endless stream of people began to flow to their intercessor.  From morning until late in the night, there were people at her tomb, and on the 30th of each month, there were so many that in order to venerate her memorial Cross, one had to stand in line for several hours.

With the blessing of Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan) ofKiev, the relics of Nun Alipiya (Avdeyeva) were uncovered by clergy of the Holy Protection «Goloseyev Hermitage» Monastery early in the morning onMay 18, 2006, and were taken in solemn procession to the monastery, whose restoration the blessed one had foretold.

As the Eldress had said, on the site of her house, a chapel with five cupolas was erected.  Initially, Matushka’s holy relics were set out for veneration in the great Church of the Life -giving Spring.  Later, they were transferred to the crypt below the church, and installed in a marble sarcophagus.  The traditions established at Matushka’s grave in the LesnoCemeterycontinue to be observed at the monastery. On the 30th of each month, on the anniversary of Matushka’s death, on her birthday — March 16, and on the day of the uncovering of her relics — May 18, festivities take place, a meal is prepared for the people, many Panikhidas are served, people come from all of the countries of the CIS, and from the Near and Far Abroad.  Over 50,000 people gathered together for the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Eldress’ repose.

 

Akathist to our Venerable Mother Alipiya

         Kontakion 1

Chosen from out of the many in the host of Holy New Martyrs, thou hast appeared in latter days to comfort and edify people gone astray, O constant intercessor for the city ofKiev. As thou hast love so inexpressible, we dare to offer thee our humble praises, crying: Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

                 Oikos 1

The Angels were amazed to see a frail woman in these latter days worthily emulate the image of  ancient fathers, combining in herself gifts of the Holy Spirit shown to serve theChurchofChrist, and we exclaim of thee:

Rejoice, thou who art enlightened by the word of wisdom;

Rejoice, thou who showest forth the word of knowledge.

Rejoice, thou who art strengthened by faith;

Rejoice, thou who art glorified with the gift of healing.

Rejoice, O great worker of miracles;

Rejoice, O special prophet.

Rejoice, thou who hast instilled Christ in thy heart;

Rejoice, thou whose life was spent in humility.

Rejoice, thou who didst bring thy body joy through fasting;

Rejoice, thou who hadst strengthened thy soul with prayer.

Rejoice, thou who hadst made almsgiving thy rule;

Rejoice, thou who hast covered the sins of the weak.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

           Kontakion 2

Seeing before thee the Image of Christ our God, thou didst heed the words of the Apostle that we have here no permanent city, and didst eagerly rush to follow Christ and serve Him alone throughout thy  life.   And having counted everything earthly as nothing, and proceeding toward the Heavenly Homeland, thou didst cry:  Alleluia.

             Oikos 2

Enlightened by Divine Reason, from childhood thou didst prepare thy heart to be the throne of our Lord God.  Thou didst not fear to leave thy homeland and thy people, to endure shortages and offense, to wander from church to church.  Thou didst find nourishment in Divine quiet, and, didst emulate all the  saints, the God-pleasing ones who wandered in the deserts and in the caves of the earth, the ones of whom the world was not worthy.  To thee, we vain ones thus cry out:

Rejoice, glory of the Church Triumphant;

Rejoice, intercessor and boast of the Church on earth.

Rejoice, quiet manifestation of Divine grace.

Rejoice, constant amazement to those who are infirm;

Rejoice, from childhood filled with the Holy Spirit;

Rejoice, clairvoyant, seeing into the souls of men.

Rejoice, honored for humility by the Lord our God;

Rejoice, by Him blessed to be a Fool for Christ.

Rejoice, God-chosen child of the city ofPenza;

Rejoice, holy scion of pious parents.

Rejoice, thou who didst direct praying for our parents;

Rejoice, who in prayer didst carry thy parents’ Cross.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

          Kontakion 3

As thou workest miracles through the power of the Most-high, O venerable mother, no one coming to thee  goeth away unconsoled: to the sick thou bringest healing, to the sorrowful, maternal comfort,  to sinners despairing of salvation, correction and quick forgiveness from the Lord God.  To whom but thee should we then come, crying out to God in repentance:  Alleluia.

          Oikos 3

Possessing a heart that through the Holy Spirit came to know the Lord’s love in hard times of trial for the Russian Church, when the Lord called archpastors and pastors, monastics and lay people to bring themselves as innocent sacrifice, then with the  choir of holy New Martyrs didst thou, Venerable Mother, say that not sorrow, nor narrow straits, nor death could separate thee from the love of God.  Wherefore with unworthy praises do we hope to honor thee:

Rejoice, true child of Christ’s Church;

Rejoice, thou who for Christ’s sake didst endure prison.

Rejoice,  thou who didst love ascetic struggles of New Martyrs;

Rejoice, thou who wast not ashamed to be called a Christian.

Rejoice, thou who didst meekly pray in prison;

Rejoice, thou who didst not respond in kind to persecutors.

Rejoice, thou who with good didst vanquish malice;

Rejoice, thou whose patience hath shamed the foe.

Rejoice, thou who art become one of the New Martyrs;

Rejoice, thou, miraculously saved from thy sufferings.

Rejoice, thou who helpest us in time of trial;

Rejoice, thou who consolest those in despair.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

       Kontakion 4

The enemy of mankind, who throughout thy life wished to shame thee, raised up a storm of malice, but could not sway thee, O our venerable mother  Alipiya.  Thou didst cross unharmed over all manner of temptations. Now hast thou found a quiet harbor and enjoyment of paradise according to the words: “I will grant to the victorious to eat of the Tree of Life.”  Thus direct also thy spiritual children, teaching us to sing to God with one voice and one heart: Alleluia.

         Oikos 4

Having heard of thy great love for those who suffer, all peoples stream to thee, and despondency abates, despair vanishes, sinners sick at heart find consolation and thank God that there is such a woman of prayer.  Wondrous are Thy works, O Lord, and so we joyously cry out:

Rejoice, consolation of the sorrowful;

Rejoice, carer for those gone astray.

Rejoice, compassion for the suffering;

Rejoice, satiation for the hungry.

Rejoice, thou who hast found room for all in thy heart;

Rejoice, thou who burnest with love for each and everyone.

Rejoice, woman of most fervent prayer;

Rejoice, devoted advocate of the Orthodox faith.

Rejoice, thou who hast a kind charitable heart;

Rejoice, our long-suffering mother.

Rejoice, thou who showest kindness to those condemned by all;

Rejoice, intercessor for us before God.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

              Kontakion 5

The Lord hath worked a most-glorious miracle with thee, O venerable mother Alipiya, when the Apostle Peter appeared to thee in prison and, having mercy on thee, led thee out, just as the Apostle himself had been saved by the Angel of the Lord.  For that reason thou throughout thy  life thou didst revere the Holy Apostle, crying out in thanks: Alleluia

                       Oikos 5

Seeing the Lord’s mercy come upon her, the Holy One saw her liberation from the prison as a sign: henceforth to dedicate her life to charity,  and to be of service to the sick.  Wherefore she brought to God her humble prayers for the resurrection of the dead young girl, and for the deliverance from famine  of the impoverished folk whose stock animal she healed.  There is no malady over which thy heart did not feel pain, and no sorrow over which thou didst not mourn.  Wherefore, with all our soul do we so bless thee:

Rejoice, for thou didst demonstrate the miracle of Resurrection;

Rejoice, for in so doing thou didst emulate Venerable St. Sergius.

Rejoice, for with thy prayers thou didst heal wounds;

Rejoice, for at thy blessing did tumors disappear.

Rejoice, for thou didst keep secret grace-filled healing treatment;

Rejoice, for thou didst flee from human fame and glory.

Rejoice, thou who by means of food didst work healing;

Rejoice, thou who with thy cloak dost now bestow healings.

Rejoice, for thou didst take pains, not to receive this gift, but to please God ;

Rejoice, for the Lord God bestowed this gift upon thee.

Rejoice, worker of many wondrous miracles;

Rejoice, for out of love for thee the Lord doth hear thy prayers.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

              Kontakion 6

O Venerable Mother: thou hast shown faithful obedience to the Gospel words: the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself, and that no one hath greater love than he who layeth down his life for his friends.   Day and night didst thou labor for thy neighbors, with compunction entreating our Lord God to help his errant children, feeding and healing, edifying, and comforting them.  With thankful lips do we then cry: Alleluia.

           Oikos 6

In our land hath shone forth the beneficial light of thy great virtues.  As inSt. Petersburgwith Blessed Ksenia, as inMoscowwith Blessed Matrona, so did the Lord stay with our city, and there appeared to us a woman emulating the struggles of Venerable Fathers of theKievCaves.  For she did love the Caves Lavra, and there performed great ascetic feats.  In that, we faithful, do rejoice:

Rejoice, for to the end thou didst adopt the image of a Fool for Christ;

Rejoice, for thou didst emulate Ksenia of St. Petersburg.

Rejoice, for thou didst call thy visitors thy children;

Rejoice, for throughout life thou didst not lie down in a bed.

Rejoice, thou who didst  weigh down thy body with heavy chains;

Rejoice, thou who didst  signify each new child taken on by hanging a key from thy  neck.

Rejoice, for with that key thou didst open the person’s soul;

Rejoice, thou who wast gratified to love the Lord our God.

Rejoice, for by God’s grace thou didst lead sinful souls to healing through repentance;

Rejoice, for thou didst converse with Angels.

Rejoice, thou who didst take nourishment from little food;

Rejoice, thou who on Wednesdays and Fridays never took in any food..

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

              Kontakion 7

Wishing to do the Lord’s will, thou didst submit thyself to Elders Kronid and Damian, cutting off thine own will,  moving into the hollow of a tree and there disposing thyself toward the good.  Marveling at such ascetic feats, do we in praise sing: Alleluia

                    Oikos 7

The Lord did show thee to be a zealous pillar at the Caves Lavra, where in illness and physical suffering thou wast filled with the Holy Spirit. Humbling thy flesh with fasting and cold, in spirit didst thou  soar to the gathered Venerable Fathers, and strengthened by them didst achieve spiritual heights.  Recalling such devotion, we thus cry:

Rejoice, thou who wast clothed by Elder Kronid in the angelic rank;

Rejoice, thou who hadst cast aside thoughts of the body.

Rejoice, thou who through prayer didst vanquish temptations;

Rejoice, thou who through patience didst cut off self-will.

Rejoice, thou who didst pray to God by night;

Rejoice, thou who didst love unceasing prayer.

Rejoice, thou who didst regard thyself as but dust among men

Rejoice, thou who didst accomplish humility;

Rejoice, thou who didst live in the cramped quarters of the tree;

Rejoice, thou who ever wast standing firm;

Rejoice, thou who didst never give thy flesh over to comfort.

Rejoice, true image of complete self-denial.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

                Kontakion 8

Now is a strange, most-marvelous wonder shown to all the faithful.  The Lord, long suffering and plenteous in mercy, hath not been angered with us to the end by our lawlessness; recalling His mercy both in days of old and still today, He hath given us thee, O wondrous mother, an intercessor and consoler, who hath lived with us and who knoweth our illnesses. Thus hath she filled our hearts with hope and joy, crying: Alleluia.

                Oikos 8

O Venerable Alipiya, when new persecutions were visited upon the Church of Christ, thou didst  come, all aflame with love for God, to that place where thou didst continue service done by the Goloseyev Fathers, shining forth the light of faith and piety to the entire world.  Many people gathered to receive thy blessing. Thou didst abide there, as in a desert, to the end of thy life, and even now, thou grantest aid unstintingly to those who come to thee, crying:

Rejoice, thou for whom hills and gullies were places to pray;

Rejoice, thou who there didst battle unclean spirits.

Rejoice, lover of maintaining desert silence;

Rejoice, holy protectress of that place.

Rejoice, thou who didst  entreat God to grant a healing spring;

Rejoice, thou who didst bless its waters with thy prayers.

Rejoice, thou whose water brings healing;

Rejoice, thou who didst struggle in spirit  for salvation.

Rejoice, thou who didst stand guard over demolished churches;

Rejoice, thou who didst instruct that the Angel of the Throne should be honored.

Rejoice, great boast of the Goloseyev Hermitage;

Rejoice, glory shining from from that Monastery.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

            Kontakion 9

All those who, hemmed in and burdened by various earthly matters,  misfortunes, and sorrows,  came to thee for prayer and blessing, didst thou, O venerable mother, comfort like unto a parent comforting his child in times of sickness of sorrow: with your assistance bringing them extreme joy, and with maternal love lightening the load of their woes. For through thee  even unbelievers and atheists have come to God. We humbly pray thee: to us who come to thee in times of misfortune, temptation, misunderstanding, and doubt, speak words of consolation, instruction and encouragement, that  having been shown thy great favor and kindness, we might sing to God in thanks: Alleluia.

                 Oikos 9

Man’s oratory is insufficient to describe the greatness of God’s mysteries, past or future, how thou didst foresee the present, didst read human thoughts as if written in a book, how thou didst grant healing to those chilled by the evil one, how by thy prayers the suffering received easing of their maladies, how earthly elements did heed thy voice. Therefore do we, at a loss to understand, say:

Rejoice, thou who with a two-week fast didst obtain rain for the earth;

Rejoice, thou who could direct that there be no rain.

Rejoice, thou who didst clearly foretell the tragedy ofChernobyl;

Rejoice, thou by whose prayers the Lord did lessen the resultant woes.

Rejoice, thou who did show compassion both for  dumb creatures and for our land in woes;

Rejoice, thou who didst warn of the suffering to come in Passion Week

Rejoice, revealer of those fomenting schism;

Rejoice, for thou didst criticize the impious.

Rejoice, for thou by signs didst condemn the new calendar;

Rejoice, for thou as a Fool for Christ with vivid words didst reveal God’s mysteries.

Rejoice, for thou with seeming madness didst reveal the madness of the world;

Rejoice, O faithful, blessed and true servant of the Lord.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

                Kontakion 10

Filled with the salvific fruits of ascetic struggle, thou wast in particular invested with humility, O Venerable Mother Alipiya, and keeping from holding a high opinion of thyself, thou didst entirely devote thyself to serving others.   It is a marvel to see thee walk about in old patched clothing, and with bright eyes receiving all, rich and poor, leaders and simple folk, with equal love, and speaking useful needed words to each.  Wherefore we loudly say from the depths of our souls: Alleluia

                  Oikos 10

Thou didst appear as an unassailable wall and intercessor for the city ofKiev, O all-blessed Mother Alipiya. Let not  our prayers to be in vain, for it is by thy blessing that we live.  For we have no others,  merciful ones of prayer before God like unto thee. We are thy children.  Should we merit punishment by God’s righteous judgment, be thou for us a compassionate mother, as we believe that thou canst implore  the Lord on our behalf, and out of the abundance of the heart do we joyously proclaim:

Rejoice, salvation of those who love and honor thee as intercessor;

Rejoice, bringer of health to souls and bodies.

Rejoice, humble preacher of Christ’s Gospel;

Rejoice, devoted keeper of Apostolic traditions.

Rejoice, for thou didst humbly offer succinct criticism to sinners;

Rejoice, for thou wast one who is impartial.

Rejoice, for in thy cell thou wast made worthy to see the saints.;

Rejoice, for thou didst endure attacks of the enemy for thy love for people.

Rejoice, thou who didst never abandon thine asceticic struggle;

Rejoice, O thou, devoted to the Demiev church.

Rejoice, for in that church thou didst venerate the icon of Holy Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul;

Rejoice, thou who didst watch over that church in prayer.

Rejoice, for by thy words thou art established in that church..

Rejoice, for thou didst bring with you joy to that church.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

              Kontakion 11

Thou didst bring most tender chant to the Most-holy Trinity at thine end, and like unto the ripened wheat, didst thou say together with the Apostle: “the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fight a good fight, I hve finished my course, I have kept the faith.” And now a crown of truth hath been prepared for thee, one given thee by the Lord, the righteous Judge.  Rejoicing in thy glorification in heaven, we sinners cry: Alleluia.

               Oikos 11

Thou wast a radiant lamp, O most-glorious Alipiya, that is not put under a bushel, but on a candlestand, to bring light to all.  Let thy light so shine before men, that they might see thy good works, and glorify our Father, which is in Heaven.  Moved by love for thee, we call:

Rejoice, for after thy repose thou art not separated from us;

Rejoice, for at thy death thou didst bless thy children with the Cross.

Rejoice, for thou didst direct that this blessing be preserved;

Rejoice, for thou didst promise not to leave the orphans.

Rejoice, intercessor before the Lord who cannot be  put to shame.;

Rejoice, one who prayeth to the Theotokos without cease.

Rejoice, abundent manifestation of love and compassion;

Rejoice, benevolent champion of our souls.

Rejoice, for consistent with thy name, thou dost remain untroubled;

Rejoice, for thou dost reap the fruits of eternal joy.

Rejoice, thou who with the Fathers of the Caves bringest God praise, honor and glory.

Rejoice, for thou singest a new song in theKingdomofHeaven.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

              Kontakion 12

Thou didst receive God’s grace to direct us onto the path of truth, and not allow our souls to perish.  Thou dost entreat the Lord that He save us and allow us in eternal life to joyously meet with thee, that  by thy prayers we might attain to theHeavenlyKingdom, to the Church Triumphant, and cry out to the King:  Alleluia.

                   Oikos 12

Hymning thy glorious death and repose with the saints, thy spiritual children bore thee away, with hearts filled with much sighing and sorrow, but  recalling thy words that thou art not dying, they follow thy testament, come to thy holy relics,  and with both hearts and lips cry unto thee:

Rejoice, thou from whose relics many miracles appear;

Rejoice, thou who gatherest new children from the ends of the earth.

Rejoice, source of marvelous sweet aroma;

Rejoice, O thou before whose relics candles miraculously light.

Rejoice, whose place here is illumined with heavenly light;

Rejoice, for new children offer heartfelt prayers to thee about their woes.

Rejoice, for thy image doth pour forth tears;

Rejoice, for sweet-smelling myrrh doth stream from it.

Rejoice, for there many possessed by demons receive healing.

Rejoice, for thy help is quickly given them.

Rejoice, O thou who easily drawest them from the abyss of perdition;

Rejoice, for through thy miracles, atheist hearts are enlightened by faith.

Rejoice, our mother Alipiya, filled with great love in thy heart.

                Kontakion 13

(to be read thrice)

О most wondrous mother Alipiya! Accept these chants of praise, sung from hearts inflamed with love for thee.  As in the past, so now continue to grant thy maternal aid to all of us in need of thy intercession before God.   And as thou thyself knowest our sorrows, so dost thou also know deliverance.   Meet it is that we hymn our God: Alleluia.

 

Repeat Oikos 1, and Kontakion 1.

Prayer

O our venerable mother, Alipiya!  In thy unwavering compassion and mercy, pour out upon us – the  poor, weak and disparaged – but a small drop of thy gifts from our Sovereign Lord.   Take us under thy  help and intercession, free us from all evils and severe illness, entreat the Lord that He forgive us our sins, and by thy prayers do thou raise us up, the weakened ones.  Allow us not, the unworthy  servants [insert names] to utterly perish; be thou our refuge and help, leave us not without consolation, that we may all glorify the All-holy Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer

О, great boast  of Christ’s Church, O protecting wall and consolation of the city of Kiev, o Venerable Mother Alipiya! We fall down before thee and pray thee: be our unflagging intercessor before Christ our God, for we believe that shouldst thou entreat man-loving God, all will be granted thee out of the sea of His kind grace.  Disdain not our plea, O thou whom we sinful ones entreat, as God is a lover of mankind, while we, on account of many sins dare not stand before Him.   It is for thee, O Holy One, to plead on behalf of sinners, and for God to have mercy on those in despair.  Ask, O Venerable One, for each according to his need:  Quickly comfort and heal the ill, for thou dost work many healings, causing the mute to speak, the blind to see, those with fractured bones to rise from their bed of pain.  Thou canst  ask all this of the Lord, O Venerable One, if thou but pray to Him on our behalf.  Make excruciating tumors to be no more.  As thou didst heed a mother’s prayers,  and didst by night appear unto the youth, showing the world a great miracle of healing, so do thou grant quick healing to those suffering from burns.  In these difficult days, when lawlessness and injustice reign, ask on behalf of the offended, those unjustly condemned, those imprisoned, those suffering persecution because of envy,  lies, and greed, intercede and rid them of slander and attack,  for the Lord hath granted thee abundantly to intercede on their behalf.  Bless and unite good marriages.  Grant unto mothers in labor successful birth, and keep them and their children from all harm.  Hear the fervent prayers of parents exhausted by grief over their children, so that their children might come to their senses, see the truth, evade the snares of the evil one, and find salvation eternal.  Accept the prayers of children sorrowing over  parents, that by thy prayers, their parents might see the light of Christ’s Gospel.  Likewise, console the childless, and grant them fruit of the womb, that by thy blessing and maternal teaching, more true Christians might appear before the Lord. To those in need of thy help to perfect Christian marriage, send the Lord’s blessing as a companion to them throughout life, that through thy assistance to them, they might as families, as “little churches,” offer service to Christ God.  And most of all, grant peace, calm, and sincere love, that we might be true disciples of Christ.

 

As thou didst appear to the man dying of drunkenness, and through thy blessing didst heal him of his sickness, so also grant to those who have given themselves over to alcoholism and drug abuse, those bereft of spiritual strength to leave their soul-corrupting waywardness, both spiritual strength and  clarity of thought.  By thy prayers, invisibly send down from the Lord to those who are alone and helpless,  both consolation and the recognition of Christ’s true love, that they might know that our friends – angels and saints – invisibly watch over us.  Accept the pleas of those suffering and in need, and by thy prayers grant them unexpected help, that they might have thee as their benefactor in their earthly life.

 

As thou didst safeguard the sorrowing woman bent on leaping from a great height and doing herself and her child harm, and didst save them both from the abyss of destruction, so be a quick comforter to all the faint of heart, to those despairing over life. We likewise pray thee, O Venerable One, that as thou didst preserve unharmed the youth struck down severely on the road, so keep us from a sudden death.  Pour out thy  help maternal upon students; grant them an increase in intellect, that they not be sorrowed in the difficult course of their education.  Grant quick and proper resolution to troubles and difficulties in the many and various circumstances of daily life. Hear the prayers of those who sorrow and have gone astray, of those outside the saving ark of the Orthodox Church, that All-merciful God, Who knoweth their fate, might save them and bring them to knowledge of His truth. Send down to soldiers strength of body and spirit to performGod-pleasing service, that the Lord might keep them from all evil.

 

As thou, in love for the Lord and for His people, didst pursue ascetic struggle unto salvation,  so do thou teach monastics to properly follow the Lord’s path, and strengthen them in their ascetic labors and in the carrying of their Cross. Grant unto bishops and priests true firmness in the Orthodox Faith, that they might faithfully, sincerely, shepherd  Christ’s flock, rightly dividing [the Word of His truth], and walking irreproachably before the Lord. Grant unto our leaders and authorities wise governance of our people, that in concert with the Church, our land might be at  peace and calm.

 

By thy prayers, open unto us the doors of God’s mercy and deliver us from all evil.  Grant us not be ensnared by the nets of the evil one.  O Venerable One, entreat our Merciful Lord for us, who are repentant, that according to the multitude of His mercies, He might forgive us our faults.  And by thy prayers, do thou continue to preserve us uncondemned, to the end,  that saved through thy help and intercession, we might always send up glory, praise, thanks, and worship to God, One in Trinity, Creator of all.  Amen.

At Great Vespers

At Great Vespers, Blessed is the Man: 1st Antiphon.  At Lord I have cried: sticherae 8, in the 5th tone.

Podoben [pattern melody]: O Co-eternal Word…

Rejoice now, O Kievan land,/ for thou hast received an unfading treasure./ In thee has blossomed a great ascetic,/ one quick to help in troubled times, most-marvelous Alipiya,/ given the grace to fill the souls of those in sorrow with  tenderness and joy / to heal the sick / and to pray for our souls./

Thy most honorable feast has come, o thou who hast wisdom divine, bringing the light of hope and faith into our lives,/ with the sweet fragrance of eternal life,/ and so rejoice, be glad, o city of Kiev/ in glorious celebration,/ fittingly bowing down to keep bright memory of venerable Alipiya,/ who resteth peacefully in Heaven. /

O come faithful peoples assembled, /through repentance cleansed of a multitude of sins, / and let us praise most marvelous Alipiya,/ an emulator of piety and one living like unto the saints.  Let us lovingly kiss her honorable relics, and say: Rejoice o Blessed Alipiya, boast of our native land, pray that by faith those who revere thee might be saved../

 

Disdaining all desire for rest, with fasting didst thou enlighten thy soul, and with the beauties of ascetic labors didst thou adorn thyself. Thy glorious feast, shining with the light of the Spirit of God, illumines our souls, who in faith sing thy praises, O venerable Alipiya./

 

Other sticherae, in the 6th tone: Podoben: Putting aside all :

 

Thou didst put aside all earthly pleasures,/ and filled thyself with great courage,/ like a soaring bird thou didst roam the earth,/ abiding in piety and resolve,/ keeping thy bodily feelings in check. / Thy strict way of life was unto salvation for thee,/ who dost appeal to God in our behalf. / Do thou implore Him, o blessed Alipiya,/ that our souls be saved./ (Twice)

 

Placing all thy faith, O Venerable One, in the Lord,/ thou didst take up thy Cross and follow after Christ./ Considering as nothing all human glory,/ thou wast made worthy to receive heavenly glory,/ and now in life incorruptible dost rejoice together with the angels./  Wherefore do thou pray to Him before Whom thou now standest,/ thatHe grant to our souls great mercy./

 

Thy entire life is a song of love: / to the Lord, for thou didst serve Him, and for His sake didst follow the narrow path of monastic life;/ to His people, for thou didst dedicate thy life to serve thy neighbor and all those who suffer and grieve./  Pray without ceasing, to Christ, O venerable Alipiya, /that our souls be saved./

 

Glory, in the 5th tone : O worthy one, preacher of Christ,/ now thou dost appear in the sight of all the faithful,/ for thou didst embrace martyrdom, emulating the stylites,/ showing thyself to be an heir to the venerable ones,/ the fasters’ boast, monastics’ most excellent cultivator,/ most-wondrous prophet and most marvelous worker of miracles./  Do thou, Alipiya, who art become like  Blessed Ksenia and Matrona of Moscow,/ pray that our souls be saved./

 

Both now, the Theotokion.

 

Evening Entrance. Prokeimenon of the day. Three readings.

 

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

 

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.  For God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.

 

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

 

But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest. For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age. He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated. Yea speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind. He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked. This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen.

 

Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon

 

But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them. He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies. He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet.  He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise. then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark.  And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them. Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away: thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.Hear therefore, O ye kings, and understand; learn, ye that be judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, ye that rule the people, and glory in the multitude of nations. For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Highest.

 

At the Litya, sticherae of the church

And sticherae for the Saint, in the 3rd tone, special melody:

 

How can we, O venerable Alipiya, fail to praise thee and to marvel at thy angelic life,/ thy chaste thought, humble quiet meekness, thy unstinting charity,/ how thou wast adorned with all the virtues,/ by which thou didst receive the inexpressible joys of theHeavenlyKingdom.

 

Chosen by God O venerable mother,/ instructed on finding refuge in life,/ thou didst live through cares of much sickness and deprivation,/ and now, O our great helper, venerable Alipiya,/ thou art singing with the angels, songs of praise to the Redeemer,/ and praying without cease for all of us ,/ that Christ grant us His grace and mercy.

 

Directing thy mind toward God,/ thou didst not take uncleanness into thy soul./  Living in the world, O venerable Alipiya, /thou didst inscribe on thy heart a clean slate,/ filling it with grace of the Holy Spirit, dispassion, and sincere love,/ by thy prayers thou dost cleanse the souls of those who run to thee/ from that which sullies the spirit.

Glory, in the 6th tone

Not having this vain world’s acquisitiveness,/ knowing thou wouldst be scorned,/ choosing to live by the Apostle as a fool for Christ,/ preferring happiness to come over that which is corruptible,/ O unconquerable passion-bearer of Christ, / who didst defeat the devil through humility,/ and like poor Lazarus of old, now living in Abraham’s bosom,/ do thou pray to God for all of us.

Both now…, the Theotokion.

 

At the apostikha, in the 5th tone. Podoben: The Co-eternal Word:

Amid the host of New Martyrs who are wedded to Christ,/ those eagerly sacrificed as pure offerings for Christ’s sake didst thou appear, O blessed Alipiya,/ a pure incorrupt sacrifice, a dedicated offering for Christ,/ putting to shame the devices of thy torturers,/ wherefore thou art worthy of being magnified and glorified O Venerable One,/ for thy suffering.

 

Verse:

Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel.

 

Thou didst appear, O blessed one, in prison with courageous soul,/ showing a martyr’s strong determination:/ not hail, not  straitened circumstances, not woman’s frailty,/ nor evil tricks of thy satanic torturers could shake thy firm resolve in suffering. / To thee the Lord did grant divine deliverance,/ for He hath bountiful great mercy.

Verse: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints.

 

O venerable mother, thou didst love abuse and ridicule as if enormous praise;/ reproaching thy body with fasting, vigil and chains, thou showedst true humility,/ and with unceasing prayer, embraced us all with Christ’s love.  And so to Him, O venerable one,  in theHeavenlyKingdom  do thou pray.

Glory, in the 5th tone

Nоw hath shone forth a holy festival forKiev,/ in which abide thy holy relics, O all-blessed mother, Venerable Alipiya. / For those who stream in faith unto thy precious reliquary,/ thou bringest deliverance from woes and easing of sicknesses./  The Venerable One prays that the lost be set upon right paths to the Lord,/ that by her prayers we might attain the Heavenly Kingdom and great mercy.

Both now, the Theotokion.
Troparion, Tone 4

Тhou dost add to the number of the choir of Kievan Saints/ O venerable mother Alipiya. / In thee the Lord showeth a sign of His mercy,/ magnifying thee, the humble one,/ healing the sick and giving comfort to the grieving,/ as thou art quick to hear the voices of those in need of thy intercession,/ as thou art one of strong and most-kind prayer,/ who savest people from misfortune and evil circumstance./

At Matins

At: God is the Lord,  the troparion of the saint, twice. Glory, both now: the Theotokion.

After the 1st reading, we chant the Sedalen, Tone 6: Special melody: Putting aside all…

Burdened by the storm of sin,/ assailed and almost capsizing,/ we look up to God’s mercy and cry aloud:/ Lord! Accept Thy Venerable Ones’ prayers as earthly flowers, as spiritual sweet aroma./  With them, before Thy Throne, Venerable Alipiya appealeth:/ grant to Thy people, Lord, grace and great mercy.

Glory…both now…, the Theotokion

Afflicted by all the enmity of the foe/ as by wounds drawn to us as severe punishment by the multitude of our transgressions,/ we humbly cry out to thee:/ O pure one, with thy maternal prayer,/ do thou save us, who are deserving of all condemnation.

After the 2nd chanting of the Sedalen, in the 8th tone . Podoben: The secret command…

Bearing divine grace of the Holy Spirit, O mother Alipiya, thou wast gloriously taught by Christ God, / for thou dost pour forth like grace-willed waters, thy miracles, from which we drink and hymn thy memory

Glory…both now…, the Theotokion

O all-pure mother,/ Virgin Theotokos, shine down upon us the pure light of repentance, and dispel the darkness of our countless transgressions, drive away our enemies’ evil machinations/ and extend thy hand to us, who do glorify thee.

 

After ‘Praise ye the Name of the Lord,’ the Magnification:

we glorify thee, O venerable mother Alipiya, and we honor thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us to Christ our God.

 

Psalm:  I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

 

After the polyeleion, the sessional hymn, in the 6th tone.  Podoben: On the third day.

O venerable and God-bearing mother,/ thou didst take into thy heart the image of Christ the Savior,/ meek and humble of heart; thou didst come to hate self-pride and glory,/ and storing in the depths of thy heart God-pleasing works as incorruptible treasure,/ didst show marvelous patience, courageously saying:/ while life on earth may be bereft of glory, yet Paradise is sweet;/ the labor is difficult, but to take it on is blessed./  Wherefore, do thou implore Christ God that our souls be saved.

Glory…both now…, the Theotokion

We run to thy intercession o Theotokos, /and we fall down to ask forgiveness;/ accept from sullied lips our daring pleas,/ and this, the wretched chant that we raise up to thee in praise

Hymn of degrees, in the 4th tone, 1st antiphon

Prokeimenon, in the 4th tone : Wondrous is God in His Saints, the God of Israel.

Verse: In congregations bless ye God, the Lord from the well-springs ofIsrael.

Let every breath: Gospel: Matthew, pericope 104.

 

After Psalm 50, stichera in the 6th tone:

O venerable mother,/ who can express in words the greatness of thy soul,/ the love with which thou came to love us, /o faithful marvelous servant of the Lord, /thy precious life of sincere humility, illumining the world with wonders./  As one with daring before Christ our God,/ ask that He grant peace unto our souls.

 

Canon to the Theotokos with 6 troparia, and two canons to the saint, with 8 troparia.

Canon, in the 4th tone.  Ode 1

Through theRed Sea’s deep theIsraelof old marched dry shod, and by Moses’ hands, outstretched in the form of a cross, routed the power of Amalek in the wilderness./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

The breath of grace still lives throughout the Kievan land,/ having no scarcity of Venerable Ones./ This blessed land is the Theotokos’ province, faithfully protected by the Sovereign Lady,/ who sendeth forth her worthy one Alipiya to work her miracles and turn hearts of atheists to faith,/ lest people who had lost their way die unrepentant.

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

The Lord turns His eyes to His righteous ones, and inclines His ears incline to their prayers. / This cometh not by some compulsion but by God-pleasing love for Him./ To thee, O Venerable mother Alipiya, hath he vouchsafed great mercy./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Like unto Holy Hierarch Nicholas in Myra, who gave the world an inexhaustible sea of miracles, / so hath the fame of thy wonders spread to many lands,/ and Orthodox and non-believers, righteous ones and sinners,/  hearts far and near have come to love thee./ recognizing how kind and close thou art to human hearts,/ how thou dost visit the sick and speak with the suffering,/ shining peace upon their souls and giving them unexpected aid./

O most-holy Theotokos, save us.

What shall we render unto thee, O Lady, for thine abundant mercy?/ Thou didst not abhor us for our many sins, but mercifully didst visit us./  Truly thou O Pure One art our Intercessor before God/ and Heaven and earth do rejoice in thy name./

Another  canon,  6th tone. Ode 1.

Traversing the deep on foot, as though it were dry land,/ and seeing the tyrant Pharaoh drowned,Israelcried aloud:/ Let us chant unto God a hymn of victory!/

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

O great King, enlighten my mind and cleanse my soul, mercifully dispel the darkness of transgressions,/  that I might worthily hymn the glory of Thy new Worthy One, Blessed Alipiya./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Fom thy youth didst thou love Christ, Who humbled Himself for our sake, and joyfully didst emulate Him, with all thy heart leaping to heed His call: Follow Me./

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Blossoming with radiant gifts of the Holy Spirit,/ thou didst appear a most bright light ray of the Kievan land,/ O divinely-wise mother Alipiya,/ wherefore now standing at the Throne of Glory,/ do thou pray for the legacy of thy land./

Both now and ever, and unto Ages of Ages. Amen.

O merciful Sovereign Lady, teacher to all ascetic laborers,/ teach us to  work and act in ways pleasing to thee,/ that we might hymn thy merciful assistance./

                                 Canon, in the 4th tone.  Ode  3 .

Thy Church, O Christ, rejoices in Thee and cries: Thou, Lord, art my strength, my refuge and my firmament./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

The Lord both knows and wants to glorify His Saints,/ and grants mercy according to their prayers,/ for He doth love the poor, humble in heart, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,/ those with pure hearts and merciful, the peacemakers /and those who suffer for the truth, enduring abuse and slander,/ wherefore now having performed all this for Him with love,/ thou dost rejoice and art glad,/ for great is thy reward in Heaven./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

The people’s surging toward thee cannot be restrained, their love for thee is immeasurable, for in sorrow and joy, misfortune and evil circumstance, they fall down before thee and ask for thy help before the Lord./ They know that it not flesh and blood that has revealed thee, but our Heavenly Father, showing thee through miracles, that He doth crown thee a true servant of Christ God, a possessor of great gifts, and abundant mercy./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Christ our Savior saith that him that loveth me will I love,and him tht glorifieth me will I glorify;/ God is glorified in His Saints, and Saints are glorified by God.  Do thou, O mother Alipiya, abundantly glorified by the Lord and living in theHeavenlyKingdom, remember us sinners and pray for our souls./

O most-holy Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, the only one to never have committed sin, O mother of Christ our God, who hast devoted thyself to comforting the Apostles and the Christian people./

 

Another Canon, in the 6th tone.  Ode 3

There is none as holy as Thee, O Lord my God, Who hast uplifted the horn of Thy faithful and established us on the rock of the confession of Thee, O Good One./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Fom infancy following after Christ, thou didst leave family and homeland, carefully seeking out and finding many dwellings, and delving for  wisdom as for a pearl, remained a wanderer, experiencing cruel and blessed life./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Thou didst devote thyself entirely to God, spending a hidden life for the Lord, a life filled with difficulties and sorrows, offering to Him thy sorrows as a pure sacrifice./

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Fleeing from human fame and glory,/ denouncing with feigned madness the madness of the world,/ guided by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and holding thyself to be nothing,/ thou didst manifest Christ’s victory./

Both now and ever, and unto Ages of Ages. Amen.

О all-praised Mother!/ thou still protectest Kiev with thy favor, wherefore we all sing out to thee:/ rejoice, thou who in thy Dormition dost not abandon us./

 

Sessional hymn, in the 2nd tone

Like unto gold cleansed by the fire of suffering,/ thou didst take on  strength and power from the Holy Spirit, to serve God with perfect love,/ using ascetic struggle as a spear to pierce through godlessness,/ and coming as a Fool for Christ,/ do thou, O Venerable Alipiya, pray that our souls be saved.

 

Glory…both now… the Theotokion

Thou art the boast of all the holy righteous ones, O pure one, wherefore we pray unto thee: pray with them to the Lord that our souls be saved./

 

Canon, in the 4th tone.  Ode 4

Seeing Thee, the Sun of righteousness, raised upon the Cross, the Church stands in order and fittingly cries out: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Like a sheep among wolves didst thou, O mother Alipiya, show forth thy loftiness of spirit: enduring cold, nakedness, attacks, – thou didst not fear either their mocking or their hateful tricks,/ but with other Neomartyrs didst  prepare thy soul for departure at the hour of death, to Christ God, our Model for ascetic struggle./ Yet being one chosen to engage in new struggles, thou wast marvelously saved./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Marvelous and wondrous works hath the Lord wrought: As in Christian days of old those who confessed Christ and prepared and cleansed the soul through martyrdom, were joined to the ranks of Martyrs, so thou, O mother Alipiya, communicant of that grace, wast made worthy to be a confessor of the Orthodox Faith./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

What human tongue can tell the trepidation of thy soul, when thou, prepared for death as a pure sacrifice, wast given help by Holy Apostle Peter, who led thee out of prison and into an unpopulated, savage place.  Long was thy journey along shores and cliffs, with wounded body, but with spirit  strengthened by the Lord./

O most-holy Theotokos, save us.

Our minds are small, our hearts poor and weak, in fear and trepidation are our souls, but moved by love, we offer thanks to thee, O Sovereign Lady, for thy mercy, O Virgin Mother./

 

Another Canon, in the 6th tone.  Ode4.

Christ is my power, my God and my Lord, the honored Church doth sing, crying out in godly manner with a pure mind, keeping festival in the Lord.

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Enduring with angelic meekness streams of abuse and torture from the devil,/ thou didst desire to suffer imprisonment for Christ,/ and drawing sustenance from suffering as if from manna,/ thou didst await the hour of death./

O venerable mother Alipiya, pray to God for us.

Like a divine warrior didst thou attain victory for the King over all,/ victory attained by those who patiently endure, breaking the bonds that hold the body.