Holy Righteous nun Matushka Alipiya of Kiev (Avdeyeva, 1910– 1988).
Reposed in the Lord on the 30th of October 1988
“We are fools for Christ’s sake” (1 Cor 4:10).
“As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering.” (Wisdom of Solomon 3:6)
Nun Alipiya is a spiritual ascetic of our times
During the time when the Goloseevsky monastery was in desolation the Holy Righteous nun Matushka Alipiya (Agafia Tikhonovna Avdeyeva) became the extension of the prayerful ascetic struggle of the Goloseyev Elders.
Nun Alipiya, baptized Agafiya (named in honor of Holy Martyr Agafiya), was born on the 3/16th of March in 1905 in the family of a pious peasant in the village Vyshelei, Gorodichensky Uyezd, Penzensk Oblast, Russia. Matushka revered greatly the Holy Martyr Agafiya throughout her life and wore the chains with an icon of her heavenly patroness on her shoulders. Since her childhood she had to go through incredible sorrows and deprivation. Her parents were executed by a Red Army firing squad; she wandered from her youth, and it was accompanied by hard work, persecution and poverty. Matushka lived under the open sky by what God sent; she often was hired for daily work to have a piece of bread and a roof over her head. Also she had to endure persecution and prison, war years and authorities’ prosecution.
After enduring trials and engaging in ascetic labors, Matushka Alipiya resolved to carry the Cross of monasticism in the Kiev Caves Lavra. By that time she had been a spiritual mature person and carried one of the most difficult of ascetic struggles and monastic feats – that of being a Fool for Christ. Strict fast, unceasing prayer to God, very short sleep, physical labor, uninterrupted silence and self-contemplation – people remember her as the person with such the features. But most of all in their memory she was full of the boundless faith and love for God and deeply responsive towards the ones who were near her. It was known after her death that the nun Alipiya hung a key on her neck for each person she had prayed for, and to the end of her life the quantity of those keys increased so that they turned into the heavy iron chains.
The last nine years of her life Matushka Alipiya spent in Goloseevo. She settled on the abolished monastery’s territory and continued prayers and deeds of our Goloseev Holy Fathers. Her great spiritual gifts had been fully revealed to the people there. The Lord gifted her by insight, foresight, healing and comforting of the afflicted ones. And most of all Matushka was endowed by the gift of love. It is impossible to enumerate all the cases of blissful help of this aged woman during her lifetime as well as after her leaving to God.
Matushka reposed in the Lord on the 30th of October 1988, on the date that she had foretold. The great crowd of her spiritual children was close to her on the day of her funeral: religious and secular ones that treated her like their mother, friend and closest person in their lives. The funeral was served in the Florovsky monastery, and Matushka Alipiya was interred in the Lesnoe Cemetery of Kiev. On the 18th of May, 2006 with the blessing of Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Vladimir the relics of the Holy Righteous Nun Alipiya were uncovered by the Archimandrite Isaac and the brethren of the Holy Protection Goloseevsky monastery and were reburied at the monastery in the crypt under the Life-Giving Spring Church.
When the coffin with the remains of this ascetic person had been brought in the church, the cross appeared in the sky over the temple. On the same day there were the two cases of healing from cancer illnesses. Since then lots of evidences about healing from serious illnesses have been gathered.
Every day hundreds of people come to the Nun Alipiya’s tomb. On the 30th day of each month and particularly on the 30th of October (the anniversary of Matushka’s death) thousands of people fill in the Goloseevsky monastery to commemorate their dearest intercessor. As the proverb says, an empty wellspring will not attract anybody.
Apolytikion Holy Righteous nun Matushka Alipiya of Kiev (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother;for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ,and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlookthe flesh,for it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal.Wherefore, O righteous Alipiya, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.
Troparion to our Venerable Mother Alipiya of Kiev, 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./
Canon, in the 4th tone. Ode 3 .
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./
Canon, in the 4th tone. Ode 4
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./