Pelegia of Diveyevo

Pelegia of Diveyevo
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Pelegis of Diveyevo (no know commemeration date) The first fool-for-Christ of Diveyevo was blessed Parasceva Semyonovna Meliukova. In blessing her on this path, St. Seraphim told her to undertake it only after his death, a time of troubles for the Convent, in order to defend the truth. After barely a week she collapsed under the strain--which gives one an idea of the spiritual stamina necessary to bear it successfully. Nine days later she died. 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." On returning home, Pelagia Ivanovna began acting as though she had gone mad, running around Arzamas and shouting inanities. For several years she endured unspeakable torments from her relatives: her husband locked her up, beat her, chained her to a wall, and finally abandoned her altogether. Half-dressed, she spent freezing winter nights on a church porch. But she remained unshaken, encouraged in her exploit by another fool-for-Christ living in the same town, who evidently guided her. After four years of this harsh' life, she was sitting one day in the road when a Diveyevo nun of considerable spiritual experience came up to- her. "You've been acting crazy here long enough; it's time you came to us in Diveyevo, for this is pleasing to God."
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