The Babruysk Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church has started gathering materials related to a granddaughter of great Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin who it believes should be canonized.
Natalya Vorontsova-Velyaminovna (1859—1912) lived with her husband in what is now the village of Dubawka near Babruysk. She together with her husband initiated and financed the construction of a school for children, an Orthodox church and a library in the nearby village of Tsyalusha. The St. Nicolas Church still functions in the village.
“In the case of martyrs, it is sometimes hard to find proof that they were saints, but her case leaves no doubt,” Dzmitry Perviy, head of the Babruysk Eparchy`s canonization department, told BelaPAN on Friday. “She was a saint person who lived a righteous life.”
“The school that she opened for village children gave many respected persons to the world, and it is known today that eight martyrs were her students,” he said. “She herself did teaching and was in charge of all organizational work. There was a day care center for children and an old people’s home at the school.”
“People venerate her nowadays, and this is a fact,” said Mr. Perviy. “They come to her grave to pray and ask for help, and they do receive the help.”
The materials related to Ms. Vorontsova-Velyaminovna that the Babruysk Eparchy will gather will be sent to the canonization commission of the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to Mr. Perviy, Patriarchal Exarch Filaret, head of the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, has given his preliminary approval for the canonization of the woman.
Earlier this year, the Babruysk Eparchy also suggested canonizing priest Pavel Sewba, who was one of Ms. Vorontsova-Velyaminovna’s students and was executed by the NKVD in 1938.
“We hope that both of them will be canonized by the end of the year,” said Mr. Perviy. //BelaPAN