Memorial House of Blessed Paraskevi of Diveyevo
Memorial House of Blessed Paraskevi of Diveyevo
There is one truly special place in the women's Holy Trinity Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery, where the grace-filled atmosphere of olden times feels especially vivid. That place is the memorial house of blessed Paraskevi, the only one of all the hermitages that somehow, by the grace of God, preserved to this day.
There is one truly special place in the women's Holy Trinity Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery, where the grace-filled atmosphere of olden times feels especially vivid. That place is the memorial house of blessed Paraskevi, the only one of all the hermitages that somehow, by the grace of God, preserved to this day.
In a renowned Russian-language dictionary by V.I. Dal, the word "hermitage" is described as "pustyn, or hermitage: a remote monastery, a lonesome dwelling, a cell, a hermit's hut or a lonely pilgrim who shuns the worldly cares." The Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery had preserved two cells of father Seraphim, his faraway hermitage and a near one. N.A. Motovilov moved them from the Sarov monastery after the great elder's death. Diveyevo had customarily called the cells of the nun ascetics "hermitages" after their death. There were the hermitages of Mother Alexandra, Pelagia Ivanovna (located not far from the Kazan Church), and Natasha's at the end of the Kanavka. The elders' personal possessions, sanctified by their holy prayers and spiritual exploits, were left untouched just as they had been during the nuns' lifetime. According to the Diveyevo tradition, sisters read the Psalter unceasingly in all of the hermit cells. During the great feasts, it was customary to walk around all these holy places in the monastery, praying for the peaceful repose of the ascetics and seeking their prayerful intercession. Sadly, these holy places have been lost to future generations. The 1927 inventory of the former Diveyevo monastery includes notes briefly describing all the monastery's buildings. The lines referring to the hermitages are marked with notes: "wheeled away" or "dismantled and taken away."

By Divine Providence's mysterious ways, only the hermitage of blessed Pasha of Sarov has been preserved. The 1927 documents mention this building: "Sold to the collective farm named "Way Forward." At various times, it housed a bank office and an infant feeding center. Finally, in the summer of 2004, the house welcomed in the museum of blessed Paraskevi. Initially, its exhibits were limited to a recreated cell of blessed Pasha of Sarov, whereas other rooms were taken up by the Pilgrim Center. Nowadays, the reconstruction of the hermitage is complete and houses a large exhibit recounting the history of the Diveyevo monastery from the day of its founding by Venerable Seraphim till its desolation in 1927.
In a renowned Russian-language dictionary by V.I. Dal, the word "hermitage" is described as "pustyn, or hermitage: a remote monastery, a lonesome dwelling, a cell, a hermit's hut or a lonely pilgrim who shuns the worldly cares." The Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery had preserved two cells of father Seraphim, his faraway hermitage and a near one. N.A. Motovilov moved them from the Sarov monastery after the great elder's death. Diveyevo had customarily called the cells of the nun ascetics "hermitages" after their death. There were the hermitages of Mother Alexandra, Pelagia Ivanovna (located not far from the Kazan Church), and Natasha's at the end of the Kanavka. The elders' personal possessions, sanctified by their holy prayers and spiritual exploits, were left untouched just as they had been during the nuns' lifetime. According to the Diveyevo tradition, sisters read the Psalter unceasingly in all of the hermit cells. During the great feasts, it was customary to walk around all these holy places in the monastery, praying for the peaceful repose of the ascetics and seeking their prayerful intercession. Sadly, these holy places have been lost to future generations. The 1927 inventory of the former Diveyevo monastery includes notes briefly describing all the monastery's buildings. The lines referring to the hermitages are marked with notes: "wheeled away" or "dismantled and taken away."

By Divine Providence's mysterious ways, only the hermitage of blessed Pasha of Sarov has been preserved. The 1927 documents mention this building: "Sold to the collective farm named "Way Forward." At various times, it housed a bank office and an infant feeding center. Finally, in the summer of 2004, the house welcomed in the museum of blessed Paraskevi. Initially, its exhibits were limited to a recreated cell of blessed Pasha of Sarov, whereas other rooms were taken up by the Pilgrim Center. Nowadays, the reconstruction of the hermitage is complete and houses a large exhibit recounting the history of the Diveyevo monastery from the day of its founding by Venerable Seraphim till its desolation in 1927.
In 2010, another ancient tradition was restored: unceasing Psalter reading in the hermitage. As in olden times, the sisters come here and conduct the prayer services on the days of remembrance for the holy blessed women Pelagia, Paraskevi and Maria. The sisters ask for their prayerful intercession and venerate the holy and sacred objects that have been preserved: Venerable Seraphim's footstool and blessed Paraskevi's dress.
In 2010, another ancient tradition was restored: unceasing Psalter reading in the hermitage. As in olden times, the sisters come here and conduct the prayer services on the days of remembrance for the holy blessed women Pelagia, Paraskevi and Maria. The sisters ask for their prayerful intercession and venerate the holy and sacred objects that have been preserved: Venerable Seraphim's footstool and blessed Paraskevi's dress.
Psalter readings at Blessed Paraskevi's house
Psalter readings at Blessed Paraskevi's house
The historical exhibit depicting the founding of the Diveyevo monastery begins in the museum's main exhibition hall. Visitors reverently view the holy and sacred objects of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. There are following objects: his portrait painted during his lifetime, a fragment of the stone venerable father prayed upon for 1000 days and nights, a burnt book of martyrs that father was reading not long before his death, and a piece of paper with some unusual writings, presumably written by the venerable father himself. The Diveyevo sisters preserved part of father's undershirt and a candle end from his cell. The venerable father urged them to keep it safe prophesying that his relics would be greeted in Diveyevo with this candle. The sisters were bewildered at his unusual request, but in obedience to him, they kept it, passing it on from one to another for almost 160 years. Father's candle end was lit again on August 1, 1991, when Diveyevo received his relics after they were uncovered for the second time. An old black and white photo seals the moment for eternity: it shows how the procession with the holy relics is solemnly met at the Diveyevo monastery. In the background to the left is the candle of father Seraphim, inserted in a large deacon's candle. His prophecy was thus wonderfully fulfilled.
The historical exhibit depicting the founding of the Diveyevo monastery begins in the museum's main exhibition hall. Visitors reverently view the holy and sacred objects of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. There are following objects: his portrait painted during his lifetime, a fragment of the stone venerable father prayed upon for 1000 days and nights, a burnt book of martyrs that father was reading not long before his death, and a piece of paper with some unusual writings, presumably written by the venerable father himself. The Diveyevo sisters preserved part of father's undershirt and a candle end from his cell. The venerable father urged them to keep it safe prophesying that his relics would be greeted in Diveyevo with this candle. The sisters were bewildered at his unusual request, but in obedience to him, they kept it, passing it on from one to another for almost 160 years. Father's candle end was lit again on August 1, 1991, when Diveyevo received his relics after they were uncovered for the second time. An old black and white photo seals the moment for eternity: it shows how the procession with the holy relics is solemnly met at the Diveyevo monastery. In the background to the left is the candle of father Seraphim, inserted in a large deacon's candle. His prophecy was thus wonderfully fulfilled.
A display case with Father Seraphim's personal belongings
A display case with Father Seraphim's personal belongings
In the summer of 1829, two churches of the Nativity were added to the Kazan church for use by the Community by the Mill for maidens. Venerable Seraphim placed an order to buy bells for these additions. The "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery" tells how "Father Seraphim had purposely sent someone to buy the bells at the Nizhny Novgorod fair." Those bells were "tiny, really small, but once they rang, they sounded brightly, as if they made up their own melody."

Over 160 years passed and one of Seraphim's bells was returned to the Diveyevo monastery. It is really small, weighing just one pud, or 16 kg. A sign saying "Elder Seraphim" is engraved on its side as, according to the ancient tradition, the names of the ordering customers were engraved in order to avoid a mix up later. Unfortunately, due to a small crack, the bell no longer makes the sound it did during father Seraphim's times. The bell was returned to the monastery in the summer of 1991. When it was shown to schema nun Margarita (Lakhtionova), she recognized it at a glance as the one from Diveyevo and exclaimed joyfully: "It is ours!" and kissed it.

In the 1960s, the villager from Diveyevo who saved Father's bell sold it to F.Kh.Nasyrov, a worker at Sarov's nuclear center and an avid antique collector. Having heard about the uncovering of the relics of Venerable Seraphim, he decided to turn the bell over to the monastery. While returning it, he recalled a providential dream about the Diveyevo monastery's restoration that his son-in-law had 10 years before the monastery's re-opening, despite him being a completely ignorant man or, even worse, an atheist.

Beginning in 2010, Father Seraphim's bell became part of the monastery museum collection available for viewing for the thousands of visiting pilgrims.
In the summer of 1829, two churches of the Nativity were added to the Kazan church for use by the Community by the Mill for maidens. Venerable Seraphim placed an order to buy bells for these additions. The "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery" tells how "Father Seraphim had purposely sent someone to buy the bells at the Nizhny Novgorod fair." Those bells were "tiny, really small, but once they rang, they sounded brightly, as if they made up their own melody."

Over 160 years passed and one of Seraphim's bells was returned to the Diveyevo monastery. It is really small, weighing just one pud, or 16 kg. A sign saying "Elder Seraphim" is engraved on its side as, according to the ancient tradition, the names of the ordering customers were engraved in order to avoid a mix up later. Unfortunately, due to a small crack, the bell no longer makes the sound it did during father Seraphim's times. The bell was returned to the monastery in the summer of 1991. When it was shown to schema nun Margarita (Lakhtionova), she recognized it at a glance as the one from Diveyevo and exclaimed joyfully: "It is ours!" and kissed it.

In the 1960s, the villager from Diveyevo who saved Father's bell sold it to F.Kh.Nasyrov, a worker at Sarov's nuclear center and an avid antique collector. Having heard about the uncovering of the relics of Venerable Seraphim, he decided to turn the bell over to the monastery. While returning it, he recalled a providential dream about the Diveyevo monastery's restoration that his son-in-law had 10 years before the monastery's re-opening, despite him being a completely ignorant man or, even worse, an atheist.

Beginning in 2010, Father Seraphim's bell became part of the monastery museum collection available for viewing for the thousands of visiting pilgrims.
A detail of the exhibition space and Venerable Seraphim's bell
A detail of the exhibition space and Venerable Seraphim's bell
The museum collection has a historical document section that includes two hand-written notebooks of the Seraphim's elders. By Divine Providence, at the time the monastery was headed by Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova) and by the initiative of the monastery's steward nun Elena (Annenkova), the monastery started the collection of memoirs of the Diveyevo's elder nuns who were personally acquainted with Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. He had guided them spiritually and, through him, they reached heights of spirituality. Thanks to nun Elena's zeal, a few hefty volumes of notes were compiled that served as a stepping stone for writing of "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery" by Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov). During the years of religious persecution, some of the notebooks were preserved by the now deceased Metropolitan Nicholas (Kutepov), a loyal admirer of Venerable Seraphim and a collector of antique writings, holy objects and icons. One of the notebooks contained some previously unknown facts not included in the "Chronicle." Just recently, the notebook found its way back to the monastery via the library of the Nizhny Novgorod Seminary. At present, it is on view in the monastery museum as one of its most valuable exhibits. Its linen-wrapped cover bears the image of father Seraphim with a walking stick. This lovingly and delicately drawn portrait resembles a colored pencil drawing.

In addition to the preserved notebooks, there are a few timeworn notes containing the priceless writings of Venerable Seraphim himself. These notes were found among the personal belongings of the nuns who had to abandon the desecrated monastery. Protopresbyter Alexander Petrovich Sokolov guarded the notes in his archive. As the nuns settled in the village of Vyezdnoye just outside Arzamas, Father Alexander was able to take care of their spiritual needs. He assisted the nuns financially and preserved and protected select sacred objects from Diveyevo.
The museum collection has a historical document section that includes two hand-written notebooks of the Seraphim's elders. By Divine Providence, at the time the monastery was headed by Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova) and by the initiative of the monastery's steward nun Elena (Annenkova), the monastery started the collection of memoirs of the Diveyevo's elder nuns who were personally acquainted with Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. He had guided them spiritually and, through him, they reached heights of spirituality. Thanks to nun Elena's zeal, a few hefty volumes of notes were compiled that served as a stepping stone for writing of "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery" by Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov). During the years of religious persecution, some of the notebooks were preserved by the now deceased Metropolitan Nicholas (Kutepov), a loyal admirer of Venerable Seraphim and a collector of antique writings, holy objects and icons. One of the notebooks contained some previously unknown facts not included in the "Chronicle." Just recently, the notebook found its way back to the monastery via the library of the Nizhny Novgorod Seminary. At present, it is on view in the monastery museum as one of its most valuable exhibits. Its linen-wrapped cover bears the image of father Seraphim with a walking stick. This lovingly and delicately drawn portrait resembles a colored pencil drawing.

In addition to the preserved notebooks, there are a few timeworn notes containing the priceless writings of Venerable Seraphim himself. These notes were found among the personal belongings of the nuns who had to abandon the desecrated monastery. Protopresbyter Alexander Petrovich Sokolov guarded the notes in his archive. As the nuns settled in the village of Vyezdnoye just outside Arzamas, Father Alexander was able to take care of their spiritual needs. He assisted the nuns financially and preserved and protected select sacred objects from Diveyevo.
An old notebook of memoirs about Venerable Seraphim
An old notebook of memoirs about Venerable Seraphim
The museum's art gallery showcases old portraits of Diveyevo's Venerable women Alexandra, Martha and Elena, as well as a masterfully executed large-scale portrait of the priest Vasily Sadovsky painted by the Diveyevo artist nuns. With the blessing of father Seraphim, Father Vasily served as a spiritual father to Diveyevo nuns for a total of 58 years. Another exhibit item is a well-preserved gilded icon of Sts Nicholas of Salos and Vasily the Confessor, a delicate work by the Diveyevo icon-painters. According to the signage, the icon was gifted to Protopresbyter of the Diveyevo monastery Vasily Sadovsky on the 50th anniversary of his priestly service. Next to the portrait are images of the benefactors of the Diveyevo Monastery, Father Seraphim's devout friends and his trusted assistants Nikolai Alexandrovich Motovilov and Mikhail Vasilyevich Manturov.
The museum's art gallery showcases old portraits of Diveyevo's Venerable women Alexandra, Martha and Elena, as well as a masterfully executed large-scale portrait of the priest Vasily Sadovsky painted by the Diveyevo artist nuns. With the blessing of father Seraphim, Father Vasily served as a spiritual father to Diveyevo nuns for a total of 58 years. Another exhibit item is a well-preserved gilded icon of Sts Nicholas of Salos and Vasily the Confessor, a delicate work by the Diveyevo icon-painters. According to the signage, the icon was gifted to Protopresbyter of the Diveyevo monastery Vasily Sadovsky on the 50th anniversary of his priestly service. Next to the portrait are images of the benefactors of the Diveyevo Monastery, Father Seraphim's devout friends and his trusted assistants Nikolai Alexandrovich Motovilov and Mikhail Vasilyevich Manturov.
Portraits of Venerable Alexandra and Ven. Martha, icon of Venerable Elena with scenes from her life, portrait of Protopresbyter Vasily Sadovsky
The ambience of old Diveyevo is most evident in the museum's main exhibition hall, which is dedicated to the period when Mother Maria (Ushakova) was the monastery's Hegumenia. Made by the Diveyevo icon workshop, her portrait depicts her as the twelfth mother superior who, according to Venerable Seraphim's prediction, had to transform Diveyevo into a monastery. Genuinely and devoutly caring for Father Seraphim, mother Hegumenia tried to arrange life in the monastery in complete obedience to Father Seraphim's commands. However, she had to overcome many afflictions before a tiny and little known community grew to become the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery known and prominent throughout the Orthodox world. Hegumenia Maria remained at its helm for 42 years, and through her labors and prayers, the monastery reached its spiritual golden age. The monastery's growth was in part due to the strenuous efforts by Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov), while Bishop Theophan (Govorov) the Recluse was the one who elevated nun Maria to the rank of Hegumenia. Their portraits form part of the exhibition as well.

The museum's treasures include Hegumenia Maria's personal seal, her autograph in a form of a calligraphically written letter, a postcard, and Holy Hierarch Philaret's Psalter.

There is something that makes visitors pause and ponder reverently next to a display in the corner of the room. Among the exhibits there is the chiming clock; a rare kind of parlor organ used by the sisters to learn music, with antique sheet music; and a reading easel with a book. A cupboard nearby displays the chinaware from the Hegumenia's private quarters, including a tea set that belonged to the Holy Hierarch Philaret (Drozdov); and souvenir chargers and cups signed "A Keepsake from Diveyevo," produced in 1903 at the famous china factories of Kuznetsov brothers.
The ambience of old Diveyevo is most evident in the museum's main exhibition hall, which is dedicated to the period when Mother Maria (Ushakova) was the monastery's Hegumenia. Made by the Diveyevo icon workshop, her portrait depicts her as the twelfth mother superior who, according to Venerable Seraphim's prediction, had to transform Diveyevo into a monastery. Genuinely and devoutly caring for Father Seraphim, mother Hegumenia tried to arrange life in the monastery in complete obedience to Father Seraphim's commands. However, she had to overcome many afflictions before a tiny and little known community grew to become the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery known and prominent throughout the Orthodox world. Hegumenia Maria remained at its helm for 42 years, and through her labors and prayers, the monastery reached its spiritual golden age. The monastery's growth was in part due to the strenuous efforts by Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov), while Bishop Theophan (Govorov) the Recluse was the one who elevated nun Maria to the rank of Hegumenia. Their portraits form part of the exhibition as well.

The museum's treasures include Hegumenia Maria's personal seal, her autograph in a form of a calligraphically written letter, a postcard, and Holy Hierarch Philaret's Psalter.

There is something that makes visitors pause and ponder reverently next to a display in the corner of the room. Among the exhibits there is the chiming clock; a rare kind of parlor organ used by the sisters to learn music, with antique sheet music; and a reading easel with a book. A cupboard nearby displays the chinaware from the Hegumenia's private quarters, including a tea set that belonged to the Holy Hierarch Philaret (Drozdov); and souvenir chargers and cups signed "A Keepsake from Diveyevo," produced in 1903 at the famous china factories of Kuznetsov brothers.
Detail of the exhibition space dedicated to Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova)
Detail of the exhibition space dedicated to Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova)
An old-fashioned Diveyevo monastic garment is displayed behind the glass in a case: a cassock, kamilavka with veil, prayer beads decorated with Venetian seed beads. A peasant tunic and a white shirt, masterfully hand-sewn, represent the kind of informal clothing the sisters wore in a bygone era.

Other exhibits stirring visitors' interest include the old commemoration books, small gifts and handiwork by the Diveyevo sisters. Their delicate tastes and sense of harmony show through in every minute detail. The Diveyevo sisters were true masters. The museum has an original folding screen, a gift lovingly made by the sisters to the second monastery Hegumenia, Mother Alexandra (Trakovskaya). It is displayed with some of her personal belongings that have been returned to the monastery. While there, one can see her Psalter, remembrance book, and the prayer beads; a large photo portrait of her fully vested as Hegumenia; and a family photo album.
An old-fashioned Diveyevo monastic garment is displayed behind the glass in a case: a cassock, kamilavka with veil, prayer beads decorated with Venetian seed beads. A peasant tunic and a white shirt, masterfully hand-sewn, represent the kind of informal clothing the sisters wore in a bygone era.

Other exhibits stirring visitors' interest include the old commemoration books, small gifts and handiwork by the Diveyevo sisters. Their delicate tastes and sense of harmony show through in every minute detail. The Diveyevo sisters were true masters. The museum has an original folding screen, a gift lovingly made by the sisters to the second monastery Hegumenia, Mother Alexandra (Trakovskaya). It is displayed with some of her personal belongings that have been returned to the monastery. While there, one can see her Psalter, remembrance book, and the prayer beads; a large photo portrait of her fully vested as Hegumenia; and a family photo album.
Antique personal possessions owned by the nuns of Diveyevo
Antique personal possessions owned by the nuns of Diveyevo
At the memorial house of blessed Paraskevi, there is a special area devoted to Venerable Seraphim: a small room, the replica of his cell, where some of his handmade holy items are exhibited: the burnt footstool by which he prayed kneeling before his death (fire all but started at the time of his passing); a chair with a carved back, handmade, just as his footstool, by Father Seraphim without a single nail; and a short ladder he used to reach the stove damper. His old icons, books and chest; his mantle, copper ladle, and bottles to store holy oil: all of these objects, once in possession of the Diveyevo sisters, are now as thoughtfully arranged as they were during the elder's lifetime. The icon corner includes an icon of the Mother of God "Tenderness" of Diveyevo style, a replica of the one to which venerable father prayed upon.

The exhibit, dedicated to the Sarov's celebrations of uncovering of the relics of Venerable Seraphim in 1903, reflects the universal spiritual fervor of the Russian people. That fervor is most evident in the old photos showing the members of the Tsar family, clergy and crowds of people (Sarov saw an influx of about 300,000 at that time!) from all walks of life. Some memorabilia has been preserved to this day: the gift albums and books, souvenirs, glass vials, holy oil and holy spring water bottles. Nearby, a small exhibit is dedicated to Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov), the author of "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery." It reflects His Grace's multi-faceted personality and his martyrous path to professing faith for the sake of Christ.

An intricate gold-embroidered cover, handmade and gifted for the shrine of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov by the Tsarina herself, inspires awe and admiration.
At the memorial house of blessed Paraskevi, there is a special area devoted to Venerable Seraphim: a small room, the replica of his cell, where some of his handmade holy items are exhibited: the burnt footstool by which he prayed kneeling before his death (fire all but started at the time of his passing); a chair with a carved back, handmade, just as his footstool, by Father Seraphim without a single nail; and a short ladder he used to reach the stove damper. His old icons, books and chest; his mantle, copper ladle, and bottles to store holy oil: all of these objects, once in possession of the Diveyevo sisters, are now as thoughtfully arranged as they were during the elder's lifetime. The icon corner includes an icon of the Mother of God "Tenderness" of Diveyevo style, a replica of the one to which venerable father prayed upon.

The exhibit, dedicated to the Sarov's celebrations of uncovering of the relics of Venerable Seraphim in 1903, reflects the universal spiritual fervor of the Russian people. That fervor is most evident in the old photos showing the members of the Tsar family, clergy and crowds of people (Sarov saw an influx of about 300,000 at that time!) from all walks of life. Some memorabilia has been preserved to this day: the gift albums and books, souvenirs, glass vials, holy oil and holy spring water bottles. Nearby, a small exhibit is dedicated to Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov), the author of "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery." It reflects His Grace's multi-faceted personality and his martyrous path to professing faith for the sake of Christ.

An intricate gold-embroidered cover, handmade and gifted for the shrine of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov by the Tsarina herself, inspires awe and admiration.
Recreated cell of Father Seraphim
The exhibition concludes with the cell of blessed Paraskevi, where the modest furnishings remarkably piece together the environment that surrounded the life of the holy woman. At this side of the house, Blessed Pasha of Sarov received Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. According to eyewitness accounts, she sat her honorable guests straight on the floor and foretold everything that awaited Russia and Tsar's family in the near future: the war, the revolution, the fall of the monarchy, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the oceans of blood… By then, the Empress was about to faint and said she did not believe it. The blessed one then stretched out a square of bright red calico cloth to her saying: "Here, this is for your son for his pants. Once he is born, you will believe it."

Next, Paraskevi Ivanovna opened her chest, laid out a new tablecloth on her table and set out gifts for her guests: a piece of her own handmade linen cloth, an unfinished loaf of sugar, colored eggs, and some crushed loaf of sugar. She tied all of this in her linen cloth really tight, making a few knots so tight she had to squat from effort, and then handed the bundle to him: "Here, Your Majesty, carry it yourself. And give us some money for we have to build a hut here." The Tsar had no money with him, but he immediately sent someone for them and handed her a purse full of gold that she immediately forwarded to the Hegumenia.

When they parted, they kissed each other's hand. After that, His Majesty Nikolai Alexandrovich would call Paraskevi Ivanovna a true slave of God. Anywhere he came, people would take him as a Tsar, whereas she accepted him as a man.

After his visit with her, Tsar used to address Paraskevi Ivanovna about the most serious issues, sending Grand Dukes to her so often that at times she was receiving one immediately after another. Once, her cell woman relayed the blessed one's message to him: "Your Majesty, descend the throne on your own."

Before her death, the blessed one used to bow down before the portrait of the Tsar. She was unable to bow down herself, so she was lifted and lowered down.

- Why, mother, do you pray to His Majesty?

- Silly ones! He will be lifted up above other tsars. I am not sure how, maybe as a venerable saint or as a martyr.

In remembrance of that, her cell showcases a lithographic portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. Shortly before her death, the blessed one removed his portrait and kissed his feet saying: "My honey's life is almost finished." There were witnesses as to how she used to place the portrait of the Imperial Family next to the icons and prayed to them, appealing: "Holy Royal martyrs, pray to God for us!" and crying bitterly.
The exhibition concludes with the cell of blessed Paraskevi, where the modest furnishings remarkably piece together the environment that surrounded the life of the holy woman. At this side of the house, Blessed Pasha of Sarov received Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. According to eyewitness accounts, she sat her honorable guests straight on the floor and foretold everything that awaited Russia and Tsar's family in the near future: the war, the revolution, the fall of the monarchy, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the oceans of blood… By then, the Empress was about to faint and said she did not believe it. The blessed one then stretched out a square of bright red calico cloth to her saying: "Here, this is for your son for his pants. Once he is born, you will believe it."

Next, Paraskevi Ivanovna opened her chest, laid out a new tablecloth on her table and set out gifts for her guests: a piece of her own handmade linen cloth, an unfinished loaf of sugar, colored eggs, and some crushed loaf of sugar. She tied all of this in her linen cloth really tight, making a few knots so tight she had to squat from effort, and then handed the bundle to him: "Here, Your Majesty, carry it yourself. And give us some money for we have to build a hut here." The Tsar had no money with him, but he immediately sent someone for them and handed her a purse full of gold that she immediately forwarded to the Hegumenia.

When they parted, they kissed each other's hand. After that, His Majesty Nikolai Alexandrovich would call Paraskevi Ivanovna a true slave of God. Anywhere he came, people would take him as a Tsar, whereas she accepted him as a man.

After his visit with her, Tsar used to address Paraskevi Ivanovna about the most serious issues, sending Grand Dukes to her so often that at times she was receiving one immediately after another. Once, her cell woman relayed the blessed one's message to him: "Your Majesty, descend the throne on your own."

Before her death, the blessed one used to bow down before the portrait of the Tsar. She was unable to bow down herself, so she was lifted and lowered down.

- Why, mother, do you pray to His Majesty?

- Silly ones! He will be lifted up above other tsars. I am not sure how, maybe as a venerable saint or as a martyr.

In remembrance of that, her cell showcases a lithographic portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. Shortly before her death, the blessed one removed his portrait and kissed his feet saying: "My honey's life is almost finished." There were witnesses as to how she used to place the portrait of the Imperial Family next to the icons and prayed to them, appealing: "Holy Royal martyrs, pray to God for us!" and crying bitterly.
Blessed Paraskevi Ivanovna's monastic cell
Blessed Paraskevi Ivanovna's monastic cell
The blessed one's house and its old wooden walls, glorified by the presence of so many saints, have since stayed intact. Once, the walls in her house were completely filled with icons. The multitude of icons in the carved cases and a finely made large Crucifix remind visitors about the life of a great ascetic who prayed incessantly for the entire Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery and who directly conversed in her childish naiveté with the world above. Only one of the icons preserved to this day actually belonged to the blessed one: an old darkened image of St. John the Baptist painted by the Diveyevo painters especially for her.
The blessed one's house and its old wooden walls, glorified by the presence of so many saints, have since stayed intact. Once, the walls in her house were completely filled with icons. The multitude of icons in the carved cases and a finely made large Crucifix remind visitors about the life of a great ascetic who prayed incessantly for the entire Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery and who directly conversed in her childish naiveté with the world above. Only one of the icons preserved to this day actually belonged to the blessed one: an old darkened image of St. John the Baptist painted by the Diveyevo painters especially for her.
Prayer corner inside the cell of Blessed Paraskevi
A glass case protects a holy object received from the nun Seraphima (Bulgakova): Paraskevi Ivanovna's pink flowery shirt and the simple blue dress she used to wear to receive Holy Communion.

A glass case protects a holy object received from the nun Seraphima (Bulgakova): Paraskevi Ivanovna's pink flowery shirt and the simple blue dress she used to wear to receive Holy Communion.

Old-fashioned dolls are seated on the bed. It is known that the elder played with the dolls while allegorically unmasking the people's hidden vices, settling difficult questions, and foretelling future events. A small photo of one of Pasha's dolls has been preserved till these days.
Old-fashioned dolls are seated on the bed. It is known that the elder played with the dolls while allegorically unmasking the people's hidden vices, settling difficult questions, and foretelling future events. A small photo of one of Pasha's dolls has been preserved till these days.
Dolls from the early 20th century
Dolls from the early 20th century
In Pashenka's memory, there are some photos, a lock of her hair, a bookmark made from the moire ribbon, a wooden wool comb, threads and a handmade piece of linen.

The blessed surroundings of this monastic cell have been beautifully restored with the help of the Diveyevo sisters' personal belongings: a graceful chest of drawers, an icon stand with icons, a wooden bed with a tall headboard resembling a sofa bed, a colorful hand-woven rug dating back 100 years; a quilted blanket. These days, all of the fancy antique furnishings have become part of the spiritual legacy. Their former owners are the sisters who entered the eternity of old Diveyevo. Despite their improbable sufferings, they stayed faithful and loyal to Christ and represent the ideal of faith and holiness of life to us.
In Pashenka's memory, there are some photos, a lock of her hair, a bookmark made from the moire ribbon, a wooden wool comb, threads and a handmade piece of linen.

The blessed surroundings of this monastic cell have been beautifully restored with the help of the Diveyevo sisters' personal belongings: a graceful chest of drawers, an icon stand with icons, a wooden bed with a tall headboard resembling a sofa bed, a colorful hand-woven rug dating back 100 years; a quilted blanket. These days, all of the fancy antique furnishings have become part of the spiritual legacy. Their former owners are the sisters who entered the eternity of old Diveyevo. Despite their improbable sufferings, they stayed faithful and loyal to Christ and represent the ideal of faith and holiness of life to us.
Blessed Paraskevi Ivanovna at her house
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