The Hegumeness of St. Xenia Orthodox Convent Stabbed to Death in Belarus

Translated by Nadezhda Filipchik for OCP News Service – 7/1/17

+Memory Eternal+

On the 5th of January Mother Vasilissa, hegumeness of the St. Xenia of Petersburg convent (Belarus), was stabbed to death in her monastery. The tragedy is being inquired by the Belarusian Investigative Committee.

It is reported that the hegumeness was stabbed by a 29-year-old woman who had been sheltered in the monastery in order to get help in her personal problems. The inmates of the convent noticed her peculiar behavior which was a result of mental instability. This is believed to have caused the tragedy.

On the 6th of January, a memorial litia was served at the monastery for the soul of the recently deceased hegumeness Vasilissa. After the litia, Bishop Veniamin of Borisov and Maryna Gorka asked the congregation to engage in fervent prayers for mother Vasilissa. He noted that the most important thing for the community is to understand the spiritual sense of the tragedy because this is how the ‘devil tries to make us feel confused, create sorrow and anxiety’ (on the eve of the Christmas day – the day of a common joy).

Mother Vasilissa (Medved’), the hegumeness of the Convent of St. Xenia of Petersburg (in the Belarusian village of Baran’), was born on the 10th of March 1949 in the Ukrainian town of Sosnytsia. She graduated from the faculty of history from the Chernihiv pedagogical institute and worked as a school teacher. After moving to Belarus, she became a parishioner at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk and as well as a sister of mercy. She was admitted to the veil in 2004 and was elevated to the rank of mother superior of the newly created monastery in the same year.