Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg, Fool-for-Christaudio button
(January 24/ February 6)
(†1803)

Blessed Xenia of Saint PetersburgSaint Xenia, a venerated fool-for-Christ of Saint Petersburg, lived in the second part of the 18th century.  Not much is known about her childhood and youth.  Xenia was married to Andrei Petrov, a singer in the royal church choir of Empress Elizabeth.

Xenia loved her husband dearly.  After he died suddenly, she grieved very much.  She was only twenty six years old at the time. The blessed saint gave away her house, money and everything else she had to her friends, church and the poor.  Xenia’s relatives thought that she had lost her mind, and they took her to doctors.  The doctors’ conclusion was that she was completely sane.

Xenia became a fool-for-Christ, wandering in the streets of Saint Petersburg in her husband’s uniform.  She never had warm clothes.  When people tried to give her money, the saint did not take it, saying, “I do not need anything.”  She only accepted a one kopeck coin (монета) – “the tsar on horseback,” as she called it.  The coin had an image of St. George.  Xenia did not keep the money for herself but always gave it to the poor.

Soon people noticed unusual things about Xenia.  Her words often had a hidden meaning, and she could see things before they happened.  Xenia knew ahead of time about the death of the Empress.  A day before Ivan VI was killed in prison, Xenia wept and repeated, “There is blood, rivers of blood.”  She told young girls when and whom they would marry; if Xenia came into a merchant’s store, soon his business would go very well.  It was a good sign when she went into somebody’s house.

Blessed Xenia spent her nights in a field in prayer.  She helped to build a church, secretly carrying bricks to the top of the construction site every night.  For a long time, the workers could not understand who was helping them.

Saint Xenia lived as a fool-for-Christ for 45 years.

Blessed Xenia appeared to many people in visions and helped them.  Her miracles continue to happen today.


Saint Petersburg [ˈseɪntˎ pi:təsˈbə:g]
Empress [ˈemprəs]
St. George [ˈseɪnt ˈdʒə:dʒ]

Словарь к тексту

blessed, adj.  [ˈble sɪd]  блаженный, блаженная
dearly, adv.  [ˈdɪəlɪ]  очень сильно
suddenly, adv.  [ˈsʌdnlɪ]  внезапно
grieve, v.  [grɪːv]  горевать
conclusion, n.  [kənˈkluːʒən]  заключение
sane, adj.  [seɪn]  умственно нормальный, в здравом рассудке
hidden, adj. [hɪdn] скрытый
weep, v. (wept-wept) [wɪːp]  плакать