View more saints

Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg

About Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg is a beloved saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, known for her life of asceticism, prayer, and acts of charity. Her story is one of devotion and spiritual endurance. Below is a detailed account of her life, divided into sections: early life, ecclesiastical life, later life, and legacy.

Feast Day

January 24

Birth Place

St. Petersburg, Russia

Born

1719–1730

Reposed

1803
Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg

Photo credit to

Wikipedia

Early Life and Education

01

Early Life and Education

St. Xenia was born around the early 18th century into a wealthy family in St. Petersburg, Russia. She was originally named Xenia Grigorievna Petrova. Little is known about her early years, but her life took a dramatic turn after the death of her husband, a colonel named Andrei Feodorovich Petrov, when she was in her mid-20s. Deeply grieved by his sudden death, Xenia decided to give away all her possessions and dedicate her life to God.

02

Ecclesiastical Career

After her husband's death, Xenia became a "fool-for-Christ," adopting his name and wearing his military uniform. This practice was a form of extreme humility and devotion in Eastern Orthodoxy, symbolizing the renunciation of worldly desires and social conventions. She wandered around the poorest areas of St. Petersburg, giving away her possessions and providing comfort to the poor and sick. Her life of prayer and acts of kindness earned her a reputation as a holy woman, and people started seeking her blessings and prayers, believing her to have the gift of prophecy and healing.

Ecclesiastical Career

Later Life and Canonization

03

Later Life and Canonization

In her later years, St. Xenia continued her life of prayer and pilgrimage, never returning to a regular home. She spent nights in a field, praying for the people of St. Petersburg. Despite her strange behavior to society, she became a spiritual figure for many, embodying Christ's teachings of love, charity, and humility. She passed away at the age of 71 and was buried in the Smolensk Cemetery in St. Petersburg.

04

Legacy

St. Xenia's legacy is one of compassion and piety. After her death, people reported miraculous intercessions and healings when praying at her grave. Her grave became a pilgrimage site, with many seeking her prayers and intercession. The Orthodox Church canonized her as a saint, and she is venerated as a patroness of St. Petersburg, with her feast day celebrated on January 24th. Her life story continues to inspire many with her dedication to a spiritual path, despite personal loss and societal misunderstandings.

Legacy

Relics

Where are the relics of Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg

The relics of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg are located at the Smolensk Cemetery in St. Petersburg, Russia. After her death, she was buried there, and over time, her gravesite became a revered place of pilgrimage. Devotees visit her grave to pray and seek her intercession, believing in her continued spiritual presence and her ability to provide help and comfort. A chapel dedicated to St. Xenia was eventually built over her grave due to the many reports of miracles and answered prayers attributed to her. This chapel has become a significant spiritual destination for those venerating her and seeking her blessings. The faithful often leave notes with prayers or petitions at her gravesite, a testament to the enduring belief in her intercession and the widespread veneration she continues to receive as a saint. Her relics and the chapel at the Smolensk Cemetery remain a focal point of devotion, drawing visitors from around the world to honor her memory and seek her spiritual guidance.

Other Saints from this region

We're working on adding in more saints from this region. Please check back again soon!
Subscribe to receive news, articles and more from the Orthodox Calendar Company
Thanks for joining our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Works written by Saint Nektarios

Credit card mockups
History of Orthodoxy in Russia

Eastern Orthodoxy in Russia: A Journey through Faith, Heritage, and Spiritual Majesty

Embark on a captivating journey through the world of Eastern Orthodoxy in Russia, a country where the faith has deep historical roots and has profoundly shaped its culture, identity, and spiritual landscape. Russia stands as a beacon of Orthodox Christianity, with a rich heritage that spans centuries.
Orthodox Church

Amazon Kindle - Digital

Download the 2024 Lives of the Saints Calendar

This 365-page daily calendar book features the life of an Orthodox saint, insightful teachings from the Saints and elders of the Church, a list of all commemorations for the day, Gospel and Epistle readings, fasting guidelines, and references to feasts. The stories include the lives of Greek, Russian, Georgian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, English, Celtic, and American saints.

Download Now