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Matrona Dimitrievna Nikonova


Matrona was born to a peasant family in 1881 (vita of the saint). There are versions, that she was born in 1883 (the data of agricultural census of Tula province in 1911) or in 1885 (registration book of Danilovsky cemetery, 1952). The girl was born blind, she had no eyeballs. There were four children in the family: Pelageya (b. 1873). (according to other sources Maria)), Ivan (b. 1885), Mikhail (b. 1888). Three more brothers and a sister died in infancy: Mikhail (1870-1871), Ustinia (1876-1878), Ivan (1879-1880) and Andrey (12.08.1882-05.08.1883). There is an opinion that Matrona was an adopted child[12]. The saint's birthday is considered to be November 22,[13] the day of the memory of Matrona of Constantinople.

According to the hagiography, when Matrona was born, the parents Natalya Nikitichna and Dmitry Ivanovich Nikonov, not young by that time, wanted to leave the blind girl in the orphanage of Prince Golitsyn in the neighboring village of Buchalki. But her mother had a dream: a white bird of extraordinary beauty, blind, sat on her chest. Natalia Nikonova decided that the dream was prophetic, and left the child.

The hagiography says that from as early as the age of eight, Matrona had a deep faith, the ability to heal the sick and to foretell the future. At the age of about 17 her legs fell off[5][14][15] (suddenly, as if from a blow[16]). Matrona herself pointed to the spiritual cause of this illness. She was walking through the temple after communion and knew that a woman would come up to her and deliberately take away her ability to walk (out of hatred for those who please God with prayer[16]). And so it happened. "I did not avoid it - it was God's will," Matrona said. After that she was "sedentary" for the rest of her days[17].

In her adolescence, Matrona had the opportunity to travel. The daughter of a local landowner Lydia Alexandrovna Yankova (b. 1885) took her on pilgrimages. They visited Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, Trinity-Sergius Lavra, St. Petersburg, other cities and holy places of Russia. In 1899 Matrona met St. John of Kronstadt in the Kronstadt Cathedral. According to legend, at the end of the service he asked the congregation to part before Matrona approaching the solea and said loudly: "Matronushka, come and come to me. Here comes my shift - the eighth pillar of Russia "[5].

In 1912 Dmitry Ivanovich Nikonov, Matrona's father, died.

After the revolution, Matrona and her friend Lydia Yankova, left homeless, went to look for work and food in the city. Around 1925 Matrona moved to Moscow. She lived wherever she could, with friends and acquaintances, but not with her brothers, who had become Bolsheviks. Brother Michael, a member of the CPSU(b) since 1919, was elected chairman of the village council, and then - deputy chairman of the executive committee of Khovanskaya volost, 25 km from the district town.

In 1942-1949 Matrona lived in Moscow, in an old wooden mansion at Starokonyushenny Lane, d. 30 (not preserved), near Arbat, where she occupied a corner in the 48-meter room of fellow villager E. M. Zhdanova and her daughter Zinaida[9]. In 1950-1952 she lived near Moscow, in Skhodnya, at 23 Kurgannaya St., with distant relatives, in the Kurochkin family.

According to her hagiography, Saint Matrona received people during the day (up to forty people a day), healing them and giving advice on what to do, and at night she prayed[9]. She regularly confessed and took communion. Even in her lifetime she was venerated by the monks of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra[18].

According to her hagiography, Matrona predicted her death in three days, continuing to take people. They asked her: "Matronushka, how should we live? With whom shall we stay now, with whom shall we consult?" To which she replied:

After my death there will be no one like me, and you come to my grave, I will always be there, I will help you and pray for you as I did when I was alive. Speak to me, tell me all your sorrows, I will see and hear you, whatever I tell your soul, do.

- Zhdanova Z.V. Tale of the life of the blessed Matrona. - Holy Trinity Novo-Golutvin monastery, 1993. - С. 26[19]

Chapel over Matrona's former grave at Danilovsky cemetery, near the grave you can see a line of pilgrims

Died in Skhodnya on May 2, 1952. Preserved posthumous photos of the saint[20]. Burial service in the church of the Deposition of the Rizopolozhenie on Donskaya Street was made by the archpriest Nikolay Golubtsov, well known to Matrona and who had revered her[20].

She was buried on May 4, on the week of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women. Many people came to the funeral. The Danilovskaya cemetery was chosen by Matrona herself to "hear the service" - in those years the cemetery church was one of the few operating in Moscow[21].

The grave became a place of pilgrimage[21], remaining so even after the transfer of Matrona's remains to the Pokrovsky monastery. A chapel was erected on th

e site of the grave.

Movies about Saint Matrona

Matrona of Moscow:

Quotes in Wikiquote

Mediafiles on Wikimedia Commons

Orthodoxy Portal

"The Righteous Matrona of Moscow," documentary, 2005

"God-given," documentary, 2014

"The Miracle Maker," TV series, feature, with elements of a documentary, 2015

"Saint Matrona: Come to me as if I were alive," documentary, 2018

"Matrona's Hell and Paradise," documentary, 2018

"Blessed Matrona," documentary, 2019 (directed by Arkady Mamontov)

"Maria. Save Moscow", fiction, 2022 (dir. Vera Storozheva)


Further Resources

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