Saint Pelagia Ivanovna ,fool for Christ’s of Diveyevo and the disciple of St. Seraphim of Sarov
Celebrated on January 30 (July 8, when the women saints of Diveyevo are remembered )
“…we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake.” (I Cor. 4:9-10)
“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound those who are mighty. ” (1 Cor 1:27)
Still in her lifetime there settled in Diveyevo another fool-for-Christ, Pelagia Ivanovna Sembrenikova. As a young married woman she visited St. Seraphim, who conversed privately with her for a long time. On parting, the Elder bowed to her and said, “Go, Matushka, to Diveyevo and defend my orphans. God win glorify you there.” And he handed her a prayer rope. As she walked away, a young monk standing outside the elder’s cell asked him who she was. “Trust God, Fr. John,” replied the Saint, “this woman whom you see will be a great luminary for the whole world….She is Pelagia Ivanovna, from Arzamas.”
St. Paisios the Athonites
Blessed are those who prefer to be wronged rather than to wrong others and accept serenely and silently injustices. In this way, they reveal in practice that they believe in “one God, the Father Almighty” and expect to be vindicated by Him and not by human beings who repay in this life with vanity.
Blessed, however, according to the divine Paul, are those who have but a nest to perch in, a little food and some coverings• For, in this way, they’ve managed to become estranged from the vain world, using the earth as a footstool, as children of God, and their mind is constantly found close to God, their Good Father.
Blessed and thrice blessed, however, are the very wise who feign foolishness for the love of Christ and mock all the vanity of the world. This foolishness for Christ’s sake is worth more than all the knowledge and wisdom of the wise of this world.
Foolishness-for-Christ’s-sake is considered to be the most difficult of Christian spiritual exploits. Foolishness-for-Christ (yurodstvo) is none other than one of the forms, one of the manifestations of love for the Cross…
The essence of this exploit is in a voluntary acceptance of humiliation and insults in order to achieve the height of humility, meekness and goodness of heart and by this to cultivate love even for one’s enemies and persecutors. It is a life-and-death struggle not only with sin, but with the root of sin – pride in all its secret displays. A fool-for-Christ (yurodivy) is determined to follow the crucified Christ and to live keeping completely away from all earthly comforts.
A fool-for-Christ does not in the least seek esteem or love from people; he even does not care to leave a good memory of himself among people. This main principle was the source of the strength and courage shown by fools-for-Christ, when they took their sorrowful way of exile and opposed evil and injustice, regardless of their source or the respect or social position of those who committed them. http://www.russia-hc.ru/
Metropolitan Kallistos Ware says, The Fool for Christ, has no possessions, no family, no position, and so can speak with a prophetic boldness. He cannot be exploited, for he has no ambition;
Only when man rejects pride can he defeat the world and devote himself to God.
Father Sophrony would sometimes say to me, ‘If I had never known the lives of the Saints, I would have fallen into despair many times; but being familiar with them, I was able to bear more.’ It is important to know the lives of the Saints for they contain descriptions of the various phenomena and stages of the spiritual life. When we come to experience these for ourselves, we recall what we have read in order to be confirmed and reassured on the way of salvation. During times of testing, great consolation can be derived even from indirect knowledge of the spiritual life. This gives us the courage to say, ‘Lord, let me experience this for myself,’ which is exactly what God wants.
One way of conducting our experiment is to ponder God’s ways with man. This leads to an understanding of the great honour in which God holds man. We begin to realise that man was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world and that God has cared for him tremendously since the time of his creation and throughout the tragedy of his fall. He has given us His only-begotten Son, Who came down to earth and purchased man, sold under sin, with the immense price of His precious Blood. God’s ineffable dispensation towards man is the surest indication of how sublime and wonderful is man’s calling.
Archimandrite Zacharias’s “Remember Thy First Love“.
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
All those who love this world more than they love the eternal kingdom of God will hate the followers of the Lord Jesus.
All those who love sin more than they love virtue will hate the followers of the Lord Jesus.
O do not be afraid, Christ is with you and that means that you are always mightier than those who hate you.When the most Omnipotent One is on your side, you are always more numerous for you are always stronger than any number of your adversaries.
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/saint-pelagia-ivanovna-of-diveyevo/ – https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/5608/ – http://www.4udel.nne.ru/index.php?id=64
Blessed Pelagia Ivanovna of Diveyevo, pray to God for us! Pray that we labor in the fast with joy, and let God’s light illumine our hearts. Pray that our days are filled with humility, and that we learn to love others in charity, just as God loves us. Pray that we can learn to live out our Christian vocation in all times and places, and in all circumstances. Pray that we can learn to be “Fools for Christ” in our own lives…