Saint Pelagia Ivanovna of Diveyevo, fool for Christ’s and the disciple of St. Seraphim of Sarov (1809-1884)
Commemorated on January 30
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19 KJV)
St. Paul wrote “We are fools for Christ’s sake..” (1 Corinthians 4:10 KJV)
St. John the Baptist and Forerunner anticipated the fools for Christ, for he lived in strict asceticism in the desert on a diet of locusts and honey, spoke judgment upon the established religious leaders of the Jews, and dared even to tell the royal family to repent of their sins, which ultimately cost him his head. Our Lord’s disciples and apostles were no less bold and unconventional as they followed a path to martyrdom in sharp contrast to what Jews and Gentiles thought of as a good life in that time and place. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the apostles were truly “fools for Christ’s sake…” ( 1 Cor. 4:10)
Blessed Pelagia Ivanovna of Diveyevo, pray to God for us! May each of us learn humility and charity, and live as beacons of Christ’s light to the world. May we each learn to be “Fools for Christ” in our own lives, and shed the trappings of the world to embrace a spiritual manner of living with poverty of spirit and perseverance of heart. Amen.