Feodosia Morozova

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Boyaryna Morozova by Vasily Surikov is depicting Feodosia's arrest by the Nikonians in 1671. She holds two fingers raised, thus showing the old way of making the Sign of the cross on oneself: with two fingers, rather than with three, as the Old Believer.

Feodosia Prokopiyevna Morozova (Russian: Феодо́сия Проко́пьевна Моро́зова) (1632–1675) was one of the best-known partisans of the Old Believer movement.

She was born on May 21, 1632 into a family of the okolnichi Prokopy Feodorovich Sokovnin. At the age of 17, she was married to the boyar Gleb Morozov, brother to the tsar's tutor Boris Morozov. After her husband's early death in 1662, she retained a prominent position at the Russian court.

A detail of painting

During the Raskol, because Archpriest Avvakum was her confessor, Feodosia joined the Old Believers' movement and secretly took monastic vows with the name Theodora. She played an important role in convincing her sister, Princess Evdokia Urusova, to join the Old Believers.

After many misfortunes the two sisters were incarcerated in an underground cellar of the St. Paphnutius Monastery[1] at Borovsk, where Feodosia succumbed to starvation on December 1, 1675. Many Old Believer communities venerate her as a martyr.

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