Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
Saint Matrona the Blind of Moscow.
Commemorated April 22/May 2
“Difficult times are our lot, but we Christians must choose the Cross. Christ has placed us on His sleigh, and he will take us where He will.”
“Come close, all of you, and tell me of your troubles as though I were alive! I’ll see you, I’ll hear you, and I’ll come to your aid.”
St. Matrona led an ascetic life on her bed of pain. She fasted constantly, slept little, her head resting on her chest, and her forehead was dented by the innumerable signs of the Cross that she made.
Having chosen Matrona for a special ministry, the Lord from the very beginning gave her a heavy cross that she bore throughout her life meekly and patiently. At the age of seven or eight the Lord gave St. Matrona the gifts of prophesy and of spiritual vision and of healing the infirm. Matronushka acquired spiritual discernment, vision, wonderworking and healing at an early age. Her family and neighbours noticed that she knew not only about people’s sins and crimes but their thoughts as well. She saw the coming of dangers and social catastrophes. Her prayer healed the sick and comforted the suffering. Soon people started coming to her for comfort, advice and healing.
Zinaida Zhdanova says about Matrona: “Matushka Matrona fought for every soul that came to her and won. She never complained about the difficulties of her labour. I cannot forgive myself for never feeling sorry for Matushka, though I saw that she had a very hard time, sharing the burden of each of us. The light of those days still warms me. Icon lamps were lit in the house, and Matushka’s love and peace penetrated the soul. There was holiness, joy, peace and blessed warmth at home. It was a war time, but we lived like in heaven.”
Matushka taught not to judge our neighbour. “Why judge other people? Think more of yourself. Every sheep will be hung by its tail. What business do you have with others’ tails? Think of yours.” Matushka taught people to leave their lives to God’s will, to live with prayer, to cross oneself and everything around to protect oneself from evil. She advised to have Holy Communion often. “Protect yourselves with the sign of the cross, prayer, holy water, frequent Communion…Light lamps before the icons.”
“When the enemy approaches you, you should pray. Cross yourself as frequently as possible! The cross is like a lock on the door“. Protect yourself with the power of the Holy and Life-giving Cross.”
When asked why the Church was undergoing such great persecutions, she replied that it was because of the sins of the Christians and their lack of faith. “All the peoples who have turned away from God have disappeared from off the face of the earth,” she affirmed. “Difficult times are our lot, but we Christians must choose the Cross. Christ has placed us on His sleigh, and he will take us where He will.”
Thinking of the years after the revolution, Zenaida Zhdanova once asked Matushka, “How can God allow so many churches to be closed and destroyed?” Matushka replied, “It is the will of God to reduce the number of churches because there will be few believers and no one to serve.” Later, she said, “The people are under hypnosis, they are not themselves, a terrible power has come into being…This power exists in the air and penetrates everything. In earlier times, swamps and impenetrable forests were the habitations of these forces because people were going to churches, they wore crosses and their homes were defended by icons, lampadas and blessings. Before, demons could only fly near these houses, but now they inhabit both houses and people because of unbelief and apostasy from God.”
Matushka felt sorry for her close ones: “I am so sorry for you, you’ll live to the last times. Life will get worse and worse. The time will come when they put the cross and the bread in front of you and ask you to make your choice.” “We’ll choose the cross, but how shall we live?” “We’ll pray to God, take some soil, form it into little balls, eat them and be no more hungry.”
Matronushka often said: “If a nation loses faith in God, it faces scourges, and if it does not repent, it disappears from the earth. How many peoples have disappeared, but Russia existed and will exist. Pray, ask, repent! The Lord will not abandon you and will keep our land!”
On another occasion she comforted a person and urged not to fear anything: “Imagine a carefree child who is carried around in the sledge. The Lord will sort out everything.”
On May the 2nd, 1952 St. Matrona departed this life. Great numbers of Orthodox people started venerating St. Matrona as a true servant of God immediately after her funeral.
Before her death she said: “Come, come to me, all. Tell me about your troubles, as if I were alive, and I will see you and hear you, and help you.” Matushka also said that those who would seek her intercession before God would be saved. “All those who ask me for help I will meet after their death, everyone.”
They call her affectionately “Matronushka”. She helps people as in the days when she lived. Those who ask her for intercession soon feel it, and she prays for them to God with great boldness.
Troparion of St. Matrona of Moscow
Chosen by the Holy Spirit from thy swaddling clothes O blessed eldress Matrona, / Thou didst receive bodily weakness and blindness from God for spiritual cleansing, / Thou wast enriched with the gift of foresight and wonderworking and hast been adorned with an incorruptible crown from the Lord. / Wherefore, we offer thee crowns of praise, in gratitude crying out: / Rejoice O righteous mother Matrona, fervent intercessor before God for us!