Murdered abbess laid to rest in Belarus, suspect charged

January 10, 2017

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The newly-departed abbess Mother Vasilisa (Medved) of the Monastery of St. Xenia (in the Borisovo region of Minsk province, Belarus) was prayerfully laid to rest on January 8, the feast of the Synaxis of the Theotokos—the abbess and guide for all monastics—reports the site of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.

The Divine Liturgy and Funeral were celebrated by Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, and Bishop Benjamin of Borisov and Marinogorsk in the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov at the St. Xenia Convent.

After Communion, the Nativity message of Metropolitan Pavel was read out, the joy of the feast still present despite the recent murder of the community’s abbess, late in the evening on January 5.

At the end of the Liturgy, Bishop Benjamin fervently thanked Metropolitan Pavel for his attention and care to the sufferings of the St. Xenia Convent and asked for a word of consolation following the tragic death of Mother Vasilisa.

His Eminence congratulated all gathered with the joy of the feast of the Nativity and noted the special achievements of Mother Vasilisa in her work in the monastery. He recalled the words of the holy Apostle Paul who urges us not to grieve for the dead as do those who have no hope in resurrection. After Christ’s Resurrection, he stated, there is no more death for those who believe in Him, but only a transition into eternal life with our Savior.

After the Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel and Bishop Benjamin celebrated the Funeral service for Mother Vasilisa.

Meanwhile, the woman accused of killing the abbess, who had been temporarily living at the monastery, has been officially charged, as a representative of the Belarus Investigative Committee for the Minsk Region told RIA-Novosti.

The suspect, charged with stabbing Mother Vasilisa to death, is being detained, charged under article 139 of the criminal code (murder), and awaiting a psychological examination.

10 января 2017 г.

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