The Church of Holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene

The Church of Holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene
According to the drawing by the Venerable Seraphim, the superior's pavilion, as he called it, is located northeast from the Trinity Cathedral. This large wooden structure sitting on its stone foundation was actually built only in 1885. An attractive, two-storied pentagonal porch with cant-bay windows and topped by corbel arches decorates its main faсade.

Before the monastery closed, this building housed the visiting hierarchs and was used as Hegumenia's quarters. It included cells for both the monastery's steward nun and all the nuns operating various offices. The building also had separate rooms for the library and artificial flower shop.
According to the drawing by the Venerable Seraphim, the superior's pavilion, as he called it, is located northeast from the Trinity Cathedral. This large wooden structure sitting on its stone foundation was actually built only in 1885. An attractive, two-storied pentagonal porch with cant-bay windows and topped by corbel arches decorates its main faсade.

Before the monastery closed, this building housed the visiting hierarchs and was used as Hegumenia's quarters. It included cells for both the monastery's steward nun and all the nuns operating various offices. The building also had separate rooms for the library and artificial flower shop.
Hegumenia's quarters, beginning of the 20th century
Hegumenia's quarters, beginning of the 20th century
In 1902, a house church to the Holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene, the heavenly patron of Hegumenia Maria, was added in the eastern part of the Hegumenia's quarters. This is where she prayed during wintertime as, when she got older, health issues prevented her from attending services at Trinity Cathedral.
In 1902, a house church to the Holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene, the heavenly patron of Hegumenia Maria, was added in the eastern part of the Hegumenia's quarters. This is where she prayed during wintertime as, when she got older, health issues prevented her from attending services at Trinity Cathedral.
On July 20/August 2, 1903, after the celebrations of the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov's glorification, Divine Liturgy was served in this church in the presence of His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas II, Their Majesties the Empresses Maria Feodorovna and Alexandra Feodorovna, and members of the Imperial Family. The Tsar asked that the Liturgy be served in one hour yet done unhurriedly and reverently. For this task, Hegumenia Maria appointed Father Peter Sokolov, a junior priest in the monastery at the time. He had a pleasant voice, clear delivery and quick and lively disposition. Father Peter's service found great favor with the Emperor. When the service ended, the Emperor called the priest in and awarded him a golden pectoral cross with precious stones. Addressing the Ober Procurator Sabler, he said: "Here is the brilliant devout minister of Christ's Church."
On July 20/August 2, 1903, after the celebrations of the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov's glorification, Divine Liturgy was served in this church in the presence of His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas II, Their Majesties the Empresses Maria Feodorovna and Alexandra Feodorovna, and members of the Imperial Family. The Tsar asked that the Liturgy be served in one hour yet done unhurriedly and reverently. For this task, Hegumenia Maria appointed Father Peter Sokolov, a junior priest in the monastery at the time. He had a pleasant voice, clear delivery and quick and lively disposition. Father Peter's service found great favor with the Emperor. When the service ended, the Emperor called the priest in and awarded him a golden pectoral cross with precious stones. Addressing the Ober Procurator Sabler, he said: "Here is the brilliant devout minister of Christ's Church."
Photo of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarine Alexandra Feodorovna leaving the Hegumenia's residential quarters in 1903.
Photo of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarine Alexandra Feodorovna leaving the Hegumenia's residential quarters in 1903.
Once the monastery closed, the church was desecrated. At first, the building housed a children's home and was later used as part residential dwelling, part local district government.
Once the monastery closed, the church was desecrated. At first, the building housed a children's home and was later used as part residential dwelling, part local district government.
Altar window of the house church to the Holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene during Soviet times
Altar window of the house church to the Holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene during Soviet times
Eastern side of the Hegumenia's quarters during Soviet times
Eastern side of the Hegumenia's quarters during Soviet times
In 1996, the church's dome was rebuilt and topped with a cross while its façade received a much-needed facelift. Reconstruction work continued inside the church from 1997 till 2006. The renovated one-altar house church is made of wood and accommodates about 50 to 70 worshippers. An all-day long Psalter reading is performed in its choir loft on the second floor.
In 1996, the church's dome was rebuilt and topped with a cross while its façade received a much-needed facelift. Reconstruction work continued inside the church from 1997 till 2006. The renovated one-altar house church is made of wood and accommodates about 50 to 70 worshippers. An all-day long Psalter reading is performed in its choir loft on the second floor.
The church has several old icons, including a full-figure icon of Father Seraphim of Diveyevo style. A visit by the Imperial Family is treasured in the history of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery as one of its uniquely important events. In commemoration of that event, the restored church's iconostasis includes the icon of the Royal Passion Bearers.
The church has several old icons, including a full-figure icon of Father Seraphim of Diveyevo style. A visit by the Imperial Family is treasured in the history of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery as one of its uniquely important events. In commemoration of that event, the restored church's iconostasis includes the icon of the Royal Passion Bearers.
The altar of the house church was newly consecrated on January 21/February 3, 2006 on the day commemorating the icon of the Mother of God "Of Comfort" or "Of Consolation." Hegumenia Sergiya pointed to a providential match that took place on that day. She remarked that, with the Queen of Heaven's intercession, the monastery was being comforted and consoled as it received the church back, consecrating it in the name of the Equal-to-Apostles Mary Magdalene.
The altar of the house church was newly consecrated on January 21/February 3, 2006 on the day commemorating the icon of the Mother of God "Of Comfort" or "Of Consolation." Hegumenia Sergiya pointed to a providential match that took place on that day. She remarked that, with the Queen of Heaven's intercession, the monastery was being comforted and consoled as it received the church back, consecrating it in the name of the Equal-to-Apostles Mary Magdalene.








The Church of the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow"


The Church of the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow"
In 1861, a wooden church with cells for elderly nuns, located 280 meters east from the Trinity Cathedral inside the Holy Kanavka enclosure, was added to the monastery's almshouse. The Diveyevo nuns, the widow Olga Vasilyevna Shishkina and maiden Barbara Alexandrovna Karamzina, both of noble families, consecrated this house church in the name of Most Holy Mother of God's icon "Joy of All Who Sorrow." Its main entrance was located on the side of Kanavka with cell entrances on the southern and northern ends.

"The Church Overview of the Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Diocese by His Eminence Bishop Modestos in 1886" describes this church as follows: "His Eminence wished to enter the hospital church of "Joy of All Who Sorrow." This church was consecrated on September 11, 1862. Instead of a separately standing building, this church is part of the residential quarters with the cells for the elderly nuns. Upon leaving it, His Eminence desired to visit the cells and the elders residing there. Among them, there are still some nuns, seventeen in total, who were accepted to the monastery through a personal blessing from Father Seraphim, the monastery's founder. Some reside there, while others stay in another building. One of the nuns, Anna Alexeyevna, is the only survivor from the first eight nuns that Father Seraphim handpicked from the community of Mother Alexandra. Barbara Alexandrovna Karamzina, who used her own funds to expand the "Joy of All Who Sorrow" church, resides there as well. She is a niece of Russian historian Karamzin. His Eminence visited the elders in their cells and blessed them."
In 1861, a wooden church with cells for elderly nuns, located 280 meters east from the Trinity Cathedral inside the Holy Kanavka enclosure, was added to the monastery's almshouse. The Diveyevo nuns, the widow Olga Vasilyevna Shishkina and maiden Barbara Alexandrovna Karamzina, both of noble families, consecrated this house church in the name of Most Holy Mother of God's icon "Joy of All Who Sorrow." Its main entrance was located on the side of Kanavka with cell entrances on the southern and northern ends.

"The Church Overview of the Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Diocese by His Eminence Bishop Modestos in 1886" describes this church as follows: "His Eminence wished to enter the hospital church of "Joy of All Who Sorrow." This church was consecrated on September 11, 1862. Instead of a separately standing building, this church is part of the residential quarters with the cells for the elderly nuns. Upon leaving it, His Eminence desired to visit the cells and the elders residing there. Among them, there are still some nuns, seventeen in total, who were accepted to the monastery through a personal blessing from Father Seraphim, the monastery's founder. Some reside there, while others stay in another building. One of the nuns, Anna Alexeyevna, is the only survivor from the first eight nuns that Father Seraphim handpicked from the community of Mother Alexandra. Barbara Alexandrovna Karamzina, who used her own funds to expand the "Joy of All Who Sorrow" church, resides there as well. She is a niece of Russian historian Karamzin. His Eminence visited the elders in their cells and blessed them."
In 1927, the last church service of a closed monastery was held in this church on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Nun Seraphima (Bulgakova), a former novice of old Diveyevo, described that final service: "The Liturgy was over and the choir sang Adam's lamentations from the Vespers of the Sunday of Forgiveness. Everyone was saying goodbye to one other. The whole church wept."

During Soviet times, the church was demolished; the hospital cells were used as residential flats, while their new residents built utility sheds all over the Holy Kanavka.
In 1927, the last church service of a closed monastery was held in this church on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Nun Seraphima (Bulgakova), a former novice of old Diveyevo, described that final service: "The Liturgy was over and the choir sang Adam's lamentations from the Vespers of the Sunday of Forgiveness. Everyone was saying goodbye to one other. The whole church wept."

During Soviet times, the church was demolished; the hospital cells were used as residential flats, while their new residents built utility sheds all over the Holy Kanavka.
Central part of the former monastery's almshouse during Soviet times
Central part of the former monastery's almshouse during Soviet times
On March 18, 2003, a ceremony was held for handing over the keys from an apartment that formerly housed the "Joy of All Who Sorrow's" church altar. That same year, reconstruction of the former monastery almshouse began in accordance with the design project submitted by Nizhny Novgorod's architect Victor V. Koval.

On November 12, 2004, the building was topped with a cross.

On the eve of the patronal feast on October 25/November 5, 2006, the residential quarters welcomed its first residents and the first Vigil service was served in the church. The following day, the Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy consecrated the church.

Before the service of church consecration, His Eminence said: "After many hours that Mother Hegumenia Sergiya and the sisters, construction workers and our benefactors have spent laboring here, we resume prayers at this church dedicated to the icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" celebrated today. It is the sign of the Lord's mercy that we are able to raise altars to the Living God. Preeminently, church consecrations such as this one reset the continuity of time. The Guardian Angel, who guards this altar table, exults and rejoices today as he celebrates the Lord's Resurrection.

We believe and understand that prayer is real, just like any other events in our lives. Prayer links us to God and allows joy and awe to enter our hearts.

During life's journey, every man meets temptations and trials, doubts and struggles, sighing and sadness. It is exactly this icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" that assists us at overcoming them and offers help. Through the prayers of the Queen of Heaven, the Lord bestows joy and spiritual gladness to people's hearts. Today, we will say the prayers needed to consecrate this altar. At the same time, we will beseech the Queen of Heaven to console those who flock here, Her fourth domain, so that their sins are forgiven and their hearts filled with spiritual gladness."
On March 18, 2003, a ceremony was held for handing over the keys from an apartment that formerly housed the "Joy of All Who Sorrow's" church altar. That same year, reconstruction of the former monastery almshouse began in accordance with the design project submitted by Nizhny Novgorod's architect Victor V. Koval.

On November 12, 2004, the building was topped with a cross.

On the eve of the patronal feast on October 25/November 5, 2006, the residential quarters welcomed its first residents and the first Vigil service was served in the church. The following day, the Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy consecrated the church.

Before the service of church consecration, His Eminence said: "After many hours that Mother Hegumenia Sergiya and the sisters, construction workers and our benefactors have spent laboring here, we resume prayers at this church dedicated to the icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" celebrated today. It is the sign of the Lord's mercy that we are able to raise altars to the Living God. Preeminently, church consecrations such as this one reset the continuity of time. The Guardian Angel, who guards this altar table, exults and rejoices today as he celebrates the Lord's Resurrection.

We believe and understand that prayer is real, just like any other events in our lives. Prayer links us to God and allows joy and awe to enter our hearts.

During life's journey, every man meets temptations and trials, doubts and struggles, sighing and sadness. It is exactly this icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" that assists us at overcoming them and offers help. Through the prayers of the Queen of Heaven, the Lord bestows joy and spiritual gladness to people's hearts. Today, we will say the prayers needed to consecrate this altar. At the same time, we will beseech the Queen of Heaven to console those who flock here, Her fourth domain, so that their sins are forgiven and their hearts filled with spiritual gladness."
The residents of the almshouse have the Liturgy served weekly at their church. The monastic prayer rule is read there daily. It includes morning and evening prayers, matins, 12 Psalms, Gospels and lectionary reading, and the Three Canons. The "Joy of All Who Sorrow" church holds monastic tonsures. Besides, this church is where last respects are paid to the monastery's residents after their repose. In memory of a departed sister, the Psalter is read for three days with the funeral service following it.
The residents of the almshouse have the Liturgy served weekly at their church. The monastic prayer rule is read there daily. It includes morning and evening prayers, matins, 12 Psalms, Gospels and lectionary reading, and the Three Canons. The "Joy of All Who Sorrow" church holds monastic tonsures. Besides, this church is where last respects are paid to the monastery's residents after their repose. In memory of a departed sister, the Psalter is read for three days with the funeral service following it.







Church of the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God "Healer"
Church of the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God "Healer"
Long ago, the southeastern corner inside the Kanavka was taken by a cemetery for nuns and the monastery's benefactors. In February 1854, the Hegumenia Ekaterina's (Ladyzhenskaya) relative of noble origins, Daria Mikhailovna Kaminskaya, asked to build a cemetery church in memory of her son's untimely death. She intended to build it around the "Hieromonk Seraphim's" hermitage cell, transforming the latter into a church altar. On July 17/30, 1856, the newly built church was consecrated to the Transfiguration of the Lord. Father Seraphim's Faraway hermitage, a simple wooden structure darkened from time and the elements, has thus been preserved, encased inside another larger structure. The hallways around the cell were filled with glass display cases exhibiting items of clothing and the personal possessions of the great ascetic. Above them hung a large full-figure portrait of the father wearing monk's habit and cowl.
Long ago, the southeastern corner inside the Kanavka was taken by a cemetery for nuns and the monastery's benefactors. In February 1854, the Hegumenia Ekaterina's (Ladyzhenskaya) relative of noble origins, Daria Mikhailovna Kaminskaya, asked to build a cemetery church in memory of her son's untimely death. She intended to build it around the "Hieromonk Seraphim's" hermitage cell, transforming the latter into a church altar. On July 17/30, 1856, the newly built church was consecrated to the Transfiguration of the Lord. Father Seraphim's Faraway hermitage, a simple wooden structure darkened from time and the elements, has thus been preserved, encased inside another larger structure. The hallways around the cell were filled with glass display cases exhibiting items of clothing and the personal possessions of the great ascetic. Above them hung a large full-figure portrait of the father wearing monk's habit and cowl.
Photo of Transfiguration church at the cemetery. Beginning of the 20th century
Photo of Transfiguration church at the cemetery. Beginning of the 20th century
Photo of Venerable Seraphim's personal possessions displayed at the Transfiguration church. Beginning of the 20th century
Photo of Venerable Seraphim's personal possessions displayed at the Transfiguration church. Beginning of the 20th century
In 1950s, the Transfiguration Church housed apartments for local schoolteachers. In the 1970s, the church building was torn down and the churchyard was destroyed during a village school construction.
In 1950s, the Transfiguration Church housed apartments for local schoolteachers. In the 1970s, the church building was torn down and the churchyard was destroyed during a village school construction.
Photo of Diveyevo's secondary school at the site of the cemetery's Transfiguration church. 2002
Photo of Diveyevo's secondary school at the site of the cemetery's Transfiguration church. 2002
The school building remained under reconstruction from 2004 to 2008. The northern addition to the school building was remodeled to house a hospital church. On the feast of the icon of the Mother of God "Healer" in 2008, Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy consecrated the church to this holy image.
The school building remained under reconstruction from 2004 to 2008. The northern addition to the school building was remodeled to house a hospital church. On the feast of the icon of the Mother of God "Healer" in 2008, Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy consecrated the church to this holy image.
Left
Right
During construction work, a nameless, fully preserved burial site was discovered beside the hospital church. It was moved further east and marked with a cross. The grave serves as a reminder of a pre-revolutionary churchyard location in the southeastern end of the Kanavka.
During construction work, a nameless, fully preserved burial site was discovered beside the hospital church. It was moved further east and marked with a cross. The grave serves as a reminder of a pre-revolutionary churchyard location in the southeastern end of the Kanavka.
A ceremony to return the former school building back to the monastery was held during the 250th birthday anniversary celebrations of Venerable Seraphim. On August 1, 2008, Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy, in the presence of the Metropolitan of the Church of Greece Nicholas, blessed the Medical Center building.

On October 1, 2008, on the feast of the icon of the Mother of God "Healer," Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy consecrated the church to this holy image.
A ceremony to return the former school building back to the monastery was held during the 250th birthday anniversary celebrations of Venerable Seraphim. On August 1, 2008, Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy, in the presence of the Metropolitan of the Church of Greece Nicholas, blessed the Medical Center building.

On October 1, 2008, on the feast of the icon of the Mother of God "Healer," Archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy consecrated the church to this holy image.
In 2009 during Great Lent, the team of artists Maxim E. and Irina A. Mironov from Moscow began painting the church with assistance of nun Chrisantha (Dolgatova). It was completed in March 2010.

The church wall art is generally inspired by wall paintings from Russia's Ferapontov Monastery and the Serbian Decani and Studenica monasteries. The frescoes in these monasteries date back to 14th and 15th century. Therefore, the artists chose to re-interprete, rather than imitate, them in correlation to architecture of this particular church. Some of the series of paintings that reflect the history of Diveyevo are made using modern icon painting techniques. Since the church is dedicated to the Mother of God, the frescoes are painted against a blue background symbolizing Her purity and virginity. These frescoes can be subdivided into three types.

The major series of paintings over the central and eastern parts of the vault depict the feasts dedicated to the Mother of God. Adjacent to the hospital, the vault and the western wall feature Gospel narratives and stories of healing by the Savior and saints.

The series on the southern wall in the church's lower level incorporate selected events from the Venerable Seraphim's life. They include the story of healing Manturov from a wasting disease in his legs and of a boy from a noble family healed as the Venerable one stood suspended in the air.

The northern wall depicted the many miracles that have taken place in Diveyevo: healings of the infirm at the Venerable Seraphim's springs and at the tomb holding his relics at Trinity Cathedral; the vision of the Mother of God by the holy hierarch Seraphim (Zvezdinsky) at the Kanavka and the healing of a lame man there.
In 2009 during Great Lent, the team of artists Maxim E. and Irina A. Mironov from Moscow began painting the church with assistance of nun Chrisantha (Dolgatova). It was completed in March 2010.

The church wall art is generally inspired by wall paintings from Russia's Ferapontov Monastery and the Serbian Decani and Studenica monasteries. The frescoes in these monasteries date back to 14th and 15th century. Therefore, the artists chose to re-interprete, rather than imitate, them in correlation to architecture of this particular church. Some of the series of paintings that reflect the history of Diveyevo are made using modern icon painting techniques. Since the church is dedicated to the Mother of God, the frescoes are painted against a blue background symbolizing Her purity and virginity. These frescoes can be subdivided into three types.

The major series of paintings over the central and eastern parts of the vault depict the feasts dedicated to the Mother of God. Adjacent to the hospital, the vault and the western wall feature Gospel narratives and stories of healing by the Savior and saints.

The series on the southern wall in the church's lower level incorporate selected events from the Venerable Seraphim's life. They include the story of healing Manturov from a wasting disease in his legs and of a boy from a noble family healed as the Venerable one stood suspended in the air.

The northern wall depicted the many miracles that have taken place in Diveyevo: healings of the infirm at the Venerable Seraphim's springs and at the tomb holding his relics at Trinity Cathedral; the vision of the Mother of God by the holy hierarch Seraphim (Zvezdinsky) at the Kanavka and the healing of a lame man there.
The church of the Mother of God "Healer" holds regular Divine Liturgies for sisters undergoing treatment at the Medical Center.
The church of the Mother of God "Healer" holds regular Divine Liturgies for sisters undergoing treatment at the Medical Center.
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