The Life of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg

The Life of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg


Among the saints of the Lord there are a small
number that follow the difficult path of divine folly. Known as salos in Greek and iurodivyi in Russian,
the fool-for-Christ is inspired by St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians where he says
that the apostles are a spectacle to the world and, despite their hunger, thirst, and persecution
and even while living as the offscouring of all things, they endure as fools-for-Christ’s
sake. And endure they must, for by their very presence
the fool-for-Christ invites ridicule and derision. For the holy fool is a mysterious figure,
one who instead of falling for the trappings of social status, power, and wealth, instead
feigns madness and acts in strange ways in order to mock the world. This folly, which some may take for mental
illness or demonic possession, serves a double purpose as it wards off vainglory and hides
the spiritual gifts that the fool has gained through hidden asceticism. One of the most beloved of these figures is
venerable Xenia of St. Petersburg, a fool-for-Christ now venerated throughout the Orthodox world. She is the patron saint for those seeking
a spouse, employment, or a new home despite not having these for most of her life. She also intercedes for the sick, the homeless,
and on behalf of missing children. Xenia married Colonel Andrei Fyodorovich Petrov
but was widowed at age 26 when he died one night at a drinking party. She deeply mourned his loss and found that
the things of this world no longer had any meaning. Against the wishes of her family, Xenia gave
up her home and all of her possessions and disappeared from St. Petersburg to seek spiritual
instruction from holy ascetics and elders, including St. Theodore of Sanaxar, whose life
also changed when he witnessed a young officer die at a drinking party. After eight years, Xenia had gained enough
spiritual strength to return to St. Petersburg to care for the poor in the guise of a fool-for-Christ. She insisted that everyone call her by her
husband’s name and even wore his red and green military uniform while wandering throughout
the poorest sections of the city. When the uniform eventually wore out she exchanged
it for red and green rags. People mocked and ridiculed Xenia as a simple
minded beggar. For the presence of a fool who wants nothing
nor has anything to lose is a shock to those who conform to the desires and wisdom of this
world. Yet she endured with patience and humility,
only once raising her cane in the air at a group of street urchins who threw rocks and
mud at her. Xenia followed Christ’s example by enduring
her hardships with meekness and silence. In time she gained the sympathy of the citizens
of St. Petersburg. Some even began offering her warm clothing
during the winter which she in turn gave to the poor. She did the same with the copper coins given
to her, the coins known as “the king on horseback” due to the depiction of the king
on the coin. Xenia distributed whatever she received to
the poor in the vicinity of the church of St. Matthias. To one woman she said, “Take this king on
a horseback. It will be extinguished.” The woman returned home, wondering about these
words from this beggar until she saw that her house was on fire. But soon after she arrived the fire was extinguished. Xenia loved children and whenever she would
pray over the crib of a sick infant the child’s health would improve. When local merchants gave her food or clothing,
their business for the day would drastically increase. Some citizens, still not understanding Xenia’s
way of life, became concerned that she was homeless and worried about where she stayed
at night. So, a local police man followed her and found
that she spent her nights praying and making prostrations in an open field. It was here, she would later say, that she
felt God more distinctly. While Xenia made no show of her spiritual
gifts, people began to notice and would invite her to their home. Such as the Golubev family. One time when Xenia visited, she suddenly
said to their seventeen year old daughter, “Here you are making coffee while your husband
is burying his wife at Okhta. Run there quickly!” Confused, the girl left for the Okhta Cemetery
and through a series of events met her future husband. On the eve of the Feast of the Nativity, Xenia
was heard saying, “Bake blini! Tomorrow all Russia will bake blini!” The next day, the Empress died and Russians
made blini, the traditional pancake made upon someone’s death. In 1794, toward the end of Xenia’s life,
a new church was being built in the Smolensk Cemetery. Workers would arrive in the morning only to
find a large number of the bricks already carted up to the top of the building. They later discovered that it was Xenia who
late at night carried the bricks up the scaffolding as part of her asceticism. Throughout her time in St. Petersburg, Xenia
lived in poverty as a homeless wanderer and yet displayed remarkable gifts of clairvoyance
and prophecy. She did all for the love of Christ and became
a fool in order to become wise. And when she departed to the Lord at the age
of 71, her grave in the Smolensk Cemetery quickly became a place of pilgrimage. People would take soil from her grave site
only to report miracles happening afterward. When the authorities placed a stone slab over
her grave, this too disappeared as pilgrims carried it away bit by bit. Later, when the Communist government built
a fence around the chapel that now covered her gravesite and also prohibited flowers,
the faithful honored her by making paper flowers instead. Xenia, as one anonymous writer said, “bore
that faith with which all things are possible. While still living in her body, her soul always
soared above this world, dwelling in a living, direct communion with God.” Saint Xenia, please pray for us!

36 Replies to “The Life of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg”

  1. Beautiful thanks for this video learned a lot
    Hopefully we could get a video of St.Xenia of Kalamata

  2. This video is very different than the others you’ve produced and it’s beautiful. The illustrations are wonderful. In addition to the narration, the pictures convey the seriousness, hardship, and even beauty of that difficult road as a fool for Christ. I just love these videos and play them often to remind myself of the calling I have to be more like Him and try to reflect Him in my daily life. Thank you for making these!

  3. Beautiful Video. Jesus Christ Bless This Channel Lord.

    Lord Jesus Christ God come back and save us from this wicked world Maranatha Amen.

  4. Another beautiful video brothers and sisters 🙇‍♂️✝️🙇‍♀️ Those who truly follow our Lord would become saints . Who wants to start today? Raise your hands 🙋🏻‍♂️🙌🙋‍♀️We are the light for the world . Godbless you all ❤️
    Xristos Anesti ✝️🍷🥖✝️

  5. What a beautiful production! Thank you. Saint Xenia, pray for us lowly and useless servants. Lord have mercy.

  6. A quick check and it could have been discovered that in Russian the accent in Xenia is on the first syllable.

  7. Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, tr. Sankt-Peterburg) is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015).

    An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject (a federal city).

    Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May [O.S. 16 May] 1703.

    During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia.

    In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, which is about 625 km (388 miles) to the south-east.

    Saint Petersburg is often considered Russia's cultural capital.

    The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world.

    Many foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg.

  8. I saw in my dream yesterday my previous spiritual guid ( priest) who died previously. . We all were in a mountain somewhere in dark green .. it should be evening in the autumn. . He was very happy and smiley as he used to be and more than that.. as I have met him before .. dressed in white. .. he was supposed to know that he will dye ( in the dream) and for this purpose he started in the dream to marry people. . He married many couples but not me.. I was by the side opposite him watching his happiness. . He was really amazing happy. . ! I am not sure if we should believe in dreams but it is the first time I saw him in my dream and he was such real and alive. . God bless him wherever he is now. . I really love him I really do

  9. καλο μηνα χρονια πολλα με τα καλητερα!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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