Xenia of Saint Petersburg

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Xenia of St. Petersburg
Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg.jpg
Saint Xenia painted by Alexander Prostev
Fool for Christ and Wonderworker
BornXenia Grigoryevna Petrova
c. 1719–1730
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Diedc. 1803
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Venerated inEastern Orthodoxy
Canonized1978 and 1988, United States and Russia by Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the Russian Orthodox Church
Major shrineSmolensky Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Russia
FeastJanuary 24
February 6
AttributesWearings rug garments with old Admiral jacket with cross and staff in her hands
PatronageSaint Petersburg
Sarcophagus of Blessed Xenia in a chapel in the Smolensky Cemetery in St. Petersburg
Russian Orthodox Icon of St. Xenia of Petersburg

Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova (Russian: Ксения Григорьевна Петрова), also known as Saint Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg (Russian: Святая блаженная Ксения Петербургская, c. 1719–1730c. 1803) is a patron saint of St. Petersburg, who according to tradition, gave all her possessions to the poor after her husband died.

Her husband had been Colonel Andrey Fyodorovich Petrov, a chanter at the Saint Andrew Cathedral. After his death, Xenia became a "fool-for-Christ" and for 45 years wandered around the streets of St. Petersburg, usually wearing her late husband's military uniform.

Xenia's grave is in the Smolensky Cemetery of St. Petersburg. It has been marked by an ornate chapel since 1902. She was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia on September 24, 1978 (O. S. September 11, 1978) in Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York, USA and by Russian Orthodox Church on June 6, 1988 during Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. Her feast day in the O.S. is January 24, which is February 6 in the New Calendar. In July 2020, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church also resolved to include Xenia of St. Petersburg in its calendar on January 24.[1]

As a saint, she is noted for her intercessions in helping those with employment, marriage, the homeless, for fires, for missing children, and for a spouse.[2] She is venerated in several countries. There are about 40 churches and chapels built in her name.[3]


Troparion (Tone 4)

Having renounced the vanity of the earthly world,
Thou didst take up the cross of a homeless life of wandering;
Thou didst not fear grief, privation, nor the mockery of men,
And didst know the love of Christ.
Now taking sweet delight of this love in Heaven,
O Xenia, the blessed and divinely wise,
Pray for the salvation of our souls.

Troparion (Tone 8)

In you, O mother was carefully preserved what is according to the image.
For you took up the Cross and followed Christ.
By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away,
But to care instead for the soul since it is immortal.
Therefore, O Blessed Xenia, your spirit rejoices with the Angels.

Kontakion (Tone 3)

Having been as a wandering stranger on earth,
sighing for the heavenly homeland,
thou wast known as a fool by the senseless and unbelieving,
but as most wise and holy by the faithful,
and wast crowned by God with glory and honor,
O Xenia, courageous and divinely wise.
Therefore, we cry to thee:
Rejoice, for after earthly wandering thou hast come to dwell in the Father’s house.

Kontakion (Tone 7)

Having loved the poverty of Christ,
You are now being satisfied at the Immortal Banquet.
By the humility of the Cross, you received the power of God.
Having acquired the gift of miraculous help, O Blessed Xenia,
Beseech Christ God, that by repentance
We may be delivered from every evil thing.

Literary references[edit]

Xenia is a major figure in the historical fiction novel The Mirrored World by Debra Dean.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New decisons [sic] of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church: communique." BASILICA.RO. 22.07.2020.
  2. ^ "Life of St. Blessed Xenia of Petersburg". Father Nektarios Serfes. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  3. ^ "St. Xenia Parish in Concord CA". Saintxeniaparish.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
  4. ^ Dean, Debra (2012), The Mirrored World, New York: Harper Collins, pp. 132–136, ISBN 978-0-06-123145-2

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]