Iconography and Hand painted icons

Lord, You are our strength. Help us to endure to the end with faith that You are beside us. – Patience of sorrows is the highest virtue of our time, Blessed Lyubushka Fool for Christ of Susanino

Επταβηματίζουσα Παναγία_Αννα_Byzantine Orthodox icon-290_dionisiatMartyrs Demetrius, his wife Evanthia, and their son Demetrian, at Skepsis on the Hellespont (1st century)
Venerable Theodora of Alexandria (491)
Holy Martyr Theodora of Vasta, in the central Peloponnese (10th century)
Saint Paphnutius the Confessor, Bishop in the Egyptian Thebaid (4th century)
Saint Euphrosynus the Cook of Alexandria (9th century)
Venerable Elias the Cave-dweller of Calabria (Elia Speleota), and his spiritual father St. Arsenios (c. 960)
Translation of relics of Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam Monastery (1542-1550)
Matuska Lyubushka (= Love) Fool for Christ of Susanino of St. Petersburg (1997), spiritual daughter of Saint Seraphim of Viritsa (-1949)
Glorification of St. Xenia of Saint Petersburg, Fool-for-Christ (1978)

Commemorated on September 11

“He who endures to the end will be saved”Patience of sorrows is the highest virtue of our time, said Staritsa Blessed Lyubushka Fool for Christ of Susanino

About enduring to the end
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (St. Matthew 24:13).

Παναγια Γλυκοφιλουσα_Божией Матери Икона_Virgin Mary –Byzantine Orthodox Icon_181_05df0d1c0ff023a96defd95ff1b75821O Lord most wonderful, You have endured all, all to the end. That is why You became not only blessed but the source of blessings for all men who desire good forthemselves throughout the ages of ages.
The apostles endured all to the end and entered into blessed eternity. The saints willingly endured the difficulties and sufferings to the end and were glorified, both in heaven and on earth.
The martyrs willingly endured all pains to the end and became the adopted co-inheritors of the Kingdom of Christ.

Every founder of a new organization recruits followers for himself with the promise of good fruits and many pleasures but deliberately remains silent about the hardships and labors which lead to those fruits and pleasures. Our Lord Jesus is the only one Who spoke the whole truth to His followers, both the bitter and the sweet side of the truth. He did not promise fruits without service, nor glory without suffering, nor ultimate rest without the thorny path, nor victory without struggle, nor pleasure without bitterness, nor the kingdom without tears and self-denial.

Although our Lord counted the many difficulties which would befall His followers, in the end He does not abandon them without comfort. He gives meaning to their sufferings and does not leave them in darkness. He says, “The one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” What is that blessing which awaits those who endure to the end that He Jesus fully revealed and that has been witnessed even until today and is being witnessed by many saints, who, have either appeared in glory to the faithful from the other world or who, while yet in the flesh, were uplifted in the spirit to a vision of that glory and blessedness which await the faithful, the chosen and persevering?

O Lord, You are our strength. Help us to endure to the end with faith that You are beside us.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 


ΣΕΡΑΦΕΙΜ ΒΙΡΙΤΣΑ_Σεραφείμ-Saint Seraphim of Vyritsa_Преп. Серафим, Вырицкий__7c205y_92f012c6Lyubushka of Susanino (Lyubov Ivanovna Lazareva; 1911/1912 (?) – 1997), Blessed, ascetic. She lived with her elder brother in Peresburg after her parents died in 1923. She worked at the factory “Red Triangular”, then she worked at the linen factory. She was settled in the psychiatric hospital but she escaped. She lived without home and passport, wandered, leaded the life of “God’s fool”. She moved to Kuban before WWII, where she lived for six years, then she returned to Leningrad. She lived in a forest, in a cemeteries. St Seraphim of Vyritsa and Archimandrite Naum from the Holy Trinity- St Sergius Lavra were her spiritual teachers. She lived in the settlement of Vyritsa as homeless for seven years and from 1974 she lived in the house of L.I. Mironova. From 1983 she lived in the settlement of Susanino of the Gatchina District where Mironova bought the house. Lyubushka of Susanino was well-known as a prophetess and thousands of people came to her for the spiritual advices. From the end of 1995 she was in the Nicholas- Shartomsky Monastery of the Ivanovj District for about year and from 1997 she was in the Kazan Convent in the town of Vyshny Volochok of the Tver District where she died after the serious illness. She was buried in the Kazan Convent and the Chapel was constructed under her grave. The “Lyubushka House” having the prayer room was built in Susanino near the church.

 Blessed – wanderer Lyubushka, as well as her spiritual mentor St. Seraphim Vyritsky, accepted the feat of pillar domination. She prayed, never allowing herself to sit down, nor lie down. In the village of Susanino, not far from the Kazan Church, Lyubushka’s house has been preserved, which was built especially for her and in which she did not live a day. The memory of blessed Lyubushka is still alive today – every year on the day of her angel, September 17, pilgrims from all over Russia come to Susanino. 


Conceal your spiritual treasures
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Λιούμπουσκα-Αγάπη η δια Χριστόν Σαλή του Σουσάνινο_старицы Любушки Сусанинской_Lyubushka of Susanino_2 (1)22Conceal your spiritual treasures and do not reveal them unnecessarily. Behold, how men conceal and hide their material wealth and how, when forced to reveal how much they have, they always conceal the greater amount and only reveal the lesser amount. Very few are the number of men who want to reveal all that they possess, and fewer still are those who would reveal more than they, in reality, possess. This, the world considers frivolous and mindless. This clearly shows you how you need to conceal your spiritual wealth, that is, your virtues, your good works, your fastings, your vigils, and your prayers. Why do not the wise children of this world reveal their material wealth? For two reasons: So that thieves would not hear of it and not to provoke the envy of evil men. There also exist envious and jealous thieves after spiritual treasure. They are the spirits of envy. As soon as you reveal your spiritual treasure, they will endeavor to belittle it and to squander it. Just as soon as you reveal it without need [let us say, out of vanity, so as to be praised], they have seized it and disparaged it; and you, O rich man of spiritual treasure, will imperceptibly and suddenly become a poor man. Many who were spiritually rich, the saints, made themselves out to be fools before the world so that by appearing foolish, they would conceal their great wisdom and strength within themselves. The Abba Isaiah writes, “Those good works which are performed in secret are more pleasing to God.” St. Nilus of Sinai says, “The covered skin of the body is white, but the uncovered skin in parched and black.” So it is with our concealed and revealed good works.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič


Learn to become invisible… so that God can see you and bless you.
Tito Colliander

Ξένη ἡ διὰ Χριστὸν Σαλή_St. Xenia of Petersburg_ Святая Ксения Петербургская_3198 (2)It all takes place in the heart, and in silence, deep within us; and this is another serious matter, on which the holy Fathers lay much stress: keep your lips tight shut on your secret! If one opens the door of the steam bath the heat escapes, and the treatment loses its benefit.

Thus say nothing to anyone of your newly conceived purpose. Say nothing of the new life you have begun or of the experiment you are making and experiences you expect to have. All this is a matter between God and you, and only between you two. The only exception might be your father-confessor.

This silence is necessary because all chatter about one’s own concerns nourishes self-preoccupation and self-trust. And these must be stifled first of all! Through stillness one’s trust grows in Him who sees what is hidden; through silence one talks with Him who hears without words. To come to Him is your endeavour, and in Him shall be all your confidence: you are anchored in eternity, and in eternity there are no words.

Hereafter you will consider that everything that happens to you, both great and small, is sent by God to help you in your warfare. He alone knows what is necessary for you and what you need at the moment: adversity and prosperity, temptation and fall. Nothing happens accidentally or in such a way that you cannot learn from it; you must understand this at once, for this is how your trust grows in the Lord whom you have chosen to follow. (taken from The Way of the Ascetics by Tito Colliander)

Apolytikion of Nativity of the Theotokos
Fourth Tone

Your birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the sun of righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us eternal life.