Icon of St. Xenia presentation & blessing
Don Nead, one of the founding members of the Lafayette Urban Ministry and retired Presbyterian campus minister, presented the Icon of St. Xenia, the patron saint of St. Petersburg, Russia to LUM before a gathering of Board of Directors, friends and staff. The presentation of the Icon included the Rite of Blessing of the Icon of St. Xenia by Father Gregory Allard of St. Alexis Orthodox Church, Lafayette.
Don Nead shared reflections on his 1988 trip to Russia that inspired this historic event. Don Nead pointed out that “in many ways, St. Xenia of St. Petersburg was one of the first ‘Urban Ministers’ in the life of the Christian Church, focusing her ministry on those who were left behind and without help.” St. Xenia was widowed at an early age, gave up her wealth and devoted her life to serving others – “especially the poor and downtrodden, by sharing the alms which she was given,
passing them along to the beggars and various sufferers she encountered during her 45 year ‘ministry.’ She is “beloved of all who suffer and a model for those who would mitigate suffering.”
The Icon of St. Xenia is now fittingly venerated in the office of the Lafayette Urban Ministry.
For the full story of the Icon of St. Xenia coming to LUM, written by Don Nead, click HERE.
For more photos from the presentation of the Icon of St. Xenia to LUM, click HERE.
The Icon of St. Xenia was “written” by Philip Davydov of Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. Check out their website, HERE.
The Story of Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova
by Don Nead
Little is known of her early life. Neither the dates of her birth nor her death are known. Her birth is believed to have been about 1730 and her death about 1803. She was married to Colonel Andrei Fyodorovich Petrov, who served as a court chorister at the Saint Andrew Cathedral. Xenia fell into great grief upon the death of her husband when she was 26 years old.
Xenia became a “fool for Christ” after her husband’s death and for 45 years wandered around the streets of St. Petersburg, usually wearing her late husband’s military uniform. She called herself by her husband’s name: Andrei Fyodorovich. She was noted for her intercessions in helping those with employment, marriage, the homeless, for ﬁres for warmth, for missing children, and for a spouse.
The canonization of Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova (1719/1730-c.1803) as St. Xenia of St. Petersburg was by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988, the year of the Millennial celebration of the church.
In many ways St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, was one of the ﬁrst Urban Ministers in the life of the Christian Church, focusing her ministry on those who were left behind and without help.
To read a written account of the entire story written by Don Nead, click HERE.
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