Blessed from St. Petersburg who took upon herself the feat of foolishness for Christ.
Saint Xenia was the wife of Colonel Andrei Fedorovich Petrov who served as a court chanter. In the age of 26 Xenia became a widow and seemed to have driven mad by grief. She scattered her wealth among the poor, dressed in her deceased husband’s clothes and as if have forgotten her real name called herself Andrei Fedorovich. These oddities didn’t have to do with dementation, they only signified her utter contempt for creature comforts and human beliefs, which put these comforts at the centre of life. Thus Xenia of St. Petersburg took upon herself heavy feat of foolishness for Christ (intentional effort to seem mad).
Having learned through death of her beloved husband all inconstancy of earthly happiness, Xenia came to God seeking for protection and consolation. She owned a house but gave it away to a friend provided that she would be giving a shelter to the poor there. Xenia herself was wandering among the poor folk of St. Petersburg. At nights she went into the field and spent time in prayer. When a new church was being built in the Smolensk cemetery, Xenia would secretly carry bricks to help the masons erect the walls of the church. Xenia had a gift of prophecy. On Christmas Eve in 1762 she walked about St. Petersburg saying “Bake bliny, tomorrow all Russia’s going to bake bliny”. (bliny - Russian traditional pancakes).
The next day the Empress Elizabeth suddenly passed away. A few days before the murder of the royal youth Ivan VI, who in infancy had been proclaimed the Russian Emperor, the blessed one wept and repeated: "Blood, blood, blood." Within a few days after Mirovich's unsuccessful conspiracy, the young Ivan was killed.
Blessed Xenia died at the end of the XVIII century, but either the exact year or date of her death is not known. She was buried at the Smolensky Cemetery, where she helped building the church.
During the celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia, in front of the 1988 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Alexy publicly canonized Xenia of Petersburg.
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