Sunday, August 21, 2016 - St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
The Church Herald
Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church
2053 North Road, NE
Warren, OH 44483
Church Phone: (330) 372-6240 Rectory Phone: (330) 372-9778
Pastor: The Very Rev. Protopresbyter Kenneth M. Bachofsky, D. Min.
Email: [email protected]—Parish Web Page: www.stnicholaswarren.org
August 21, 2016
St. Zenia of St. Petersburg: A Fool of Christ
The only record of “vital statistics”
which has been left to us concerning Blessed
Zenia is the epitaph on her gravestone: “In the
Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here
rests the body of the servant of God, Zenia Grigorievna, wife of the imperial chorister, Colonel
Andrie Theodorovish Petrov. Widowed at the
age of 26, a pilgrim for 45 years, she lived a total of 71 years. She was known by the name Andrei Theodorovich. May whoever knew me pray
for my soul that his own may be saved. Amen.”
Who wrote it, no one knows, but this is
all we know about the early life of Blessed
Zenia: only that she lived during the reigns of the
Empresses Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine II
and that she was married to the imperial chorister, Col. Andrei Theodorovich
Petrov. From this latter fact
we may assume that she was
of the lesser nobility.
Presumably, in her
early years, she led a ordinary,
though comfortable life, performing no services that merited recording or recognition.
It would seem that she was
happily married and completely devoted to her husband
who was, perhaps, a bit
worldly and a drunkard. He
was still young and in good
health when he died suddenly
one night at a drinking party.
The unexpected death
of her beloved husband completely shattered Zenia Grigorievna and her personal world.
She was twenty-six years old,
childless and her husband to whom she was passionately devoted had suddenly died without the
benefit of the Holy Mysteries. The distraught
widow looked around herself, at all her possessions, at her inane little world and suddenly began to realize the vanity and transitory nature of
all earthly joys and treasures. She came to realize
that there is true value only in heavenly treasures
and real joy in Christ.
To the utter amazement of her friends
and relatives, Zenia Grigorievna began to give
away literally all that she possessed. Her money
and personal belongings she gave to the poor and
she even gave away her house to her dear friend
Finally, her relative decided that she
had taken complete leave of her senses and
they petitioned the trustees of her late husband’s estate to prevent Zenia form disposing
of her wealth, on the grounds that she was
mentally unbalanced due to her husband’s
death. The trustees called Zenia in and, after a
long and careful examination, ruled that she
was perfectly sound of mind and had every
right to dispose of her property as she pleased.
Having, therefore, relieved herself of
all such hindrances, Zenia suddenly vanished
form St. Petersburg for eight years. It is said
that during these years she lived at some hermitage with a sisterhood of holy ascetics,
learning about prayer and the spiritual life
from an elder. It was during this time that she was
called to the highest feat
of spiritual perfection, that
of being a “Fool for
Christ’s sake.” To this
end, she returned to St.
Petersburg, clothed herself
in one of her late husband’s old uniforms and
linens and thereafter refused to respond the name
of Zenia Grigorievna, answering instead only tot
eh name of her late husb a n d ,
A n d r e i
Feodorovich. It was as if
she, in her deep devotion
to her husband, had hoped
in some way to take upon
herself the burden of his
unrepented sins and of his
unfortunate demise without the Holy Mysteries. Sorrowing for her own sins and for his, she
left her home and began her long pilgrimage of
wandering through the streets of poorer district
of St. Petersburg known as the Petersburg Borough (Peterburgskaya Stornoa). She was most
often to be found in the vicinity of the parish of
St. Matthias where the poorest people lived in
At first, the people of the Borough
thought that this strangely dressed, scarcely
shod woman was merely a simple minded beggar, and evil people, especially the street urchins, would often persecute and laugh at her.
With complete meekness, however, she kept
before her the image of the guiltless Great Suffered, Christ Jesus, who, without a murmur,
heard all accusations, bore all persecutions, suffered terrible torture and crucifixion. Because of
His example, the Blessed One strove to bear her
hardships meekly and in silence, forgiving offenses in accordance with the last earthly prayer
of Jesus, “Father, forgive them, for they know
not what they do.”
Only once did the people of Petersburg
Borough see her in anger. The street boys, seeing
the ragged old woman, began as usual to laugh at
and torment her. The Blessed One ordinarily
bore all this without murmur. On this occasion,
however, the buys did not content themselves
with verbal abuse, but seeing that she did not
take notice of their mocking, they began to throw
mud and rocks at her. At last they exhausted
even the patience of Blessed Zenia and she flew
at them, waving her cane in the air. The residents
of the Borough were so startled at seeing the
Blessed One in such anger that they took immediate steps to prevent any further offenses toward
her. As our Lord Jesus Christ had said, “A candle is not bought to be hidden under a basket...but to be placed on the candle stand.”
So it was with God pleasing Zenia.
Gradually, people began to realize that Zenia
was no mere beggar but someone much more.
They began to invite her into their homes and
offer her warm clothing for the severe Petersburg
winters as well as alms. She would never accept
the clothing and took only the small copper pennies, which were called the king on horseback
because there was a horseman (actually, St.
George) struck on them.
She would distribute these copper pennies to the poor, at times, apparently, with some
prophecy. On one such occasion Zenia met a devout women on the street. Handing her a five
kopeck coin, she said, “take this five piece, here
is the king on horseback; it will be extinguished.” The women accepted the copper five
piece and went on her way pondering the meaning of the Blessed One’s words. No sooner had
she entered the street where she lived than she
saw that her house was on fire. Running toward
her home, she arrived just as the flames were
being quenched. Then she realized that he
Blessed One had been foretelling this with her
On one occasion Paraskeva Antonova
was sitting in the home which the Blessed One
had given her, when Zenia arrived for a visit.
Entering the house, she looked irritably at Antonova and said, “Here you are sitting and sewing buttons and you don’t know that God has
given you a son! Go at once to the Smolensk
Cemetery!” Antonova, knowing Zenia to be
truly saintly and knowing that no idle word came
form her lips, did not even question this strange
command but believed at once that something
extraordinary was about to happen and she immediately hurried to the Smolensk Cemetery.
On one of the streets of Vasiliev Island
near the cemetery, Antonova saw a large crowd
of people. Being curious, she approached the
crowd to see what was taking place. It seems that
a coachman had knocked down a pregnant
woman who then gave birth to a child right there
on the street and died immediately afterwards.
Filled with compassion for the child, Antonova
took it to her own home. All the efforts of the St.
Petersburg police to discover the identity of the
mother or locate the father or relatives of the tiny
orphan proved in vain and so the child remained
with Paraskeva Antonova. She provided him
with a good upbringing and a sound education,
loving him as her own son. Eventually the boy
became an eminent functionary and lovingly
cared for his foster mother in her old age. He
also revered, with sincere piety, the memory of
the Servant of God, Zenia who had shown much
kindness to his foster mother and who had taken
such a hand in his own fate.
There are many such stories of the
Blessed Zenia that circled St. Petersburg. There
are many other clairvoyant events prophetically
uttered by the Saint. People gradually began to
accept her strange behavior as some sort of sign
form God and often, her behavior would be
Occasionally, Zenia would drop in to
visit some friend or acquaintance, converse for a
while, and then suddenly fall silent, as if listening to something. All at once, she would leap up
and leave quickly. If the hostess asked why she
was leaving and where she was going, the
Blessed One would only wave her stick in the air
and say, “I must hurry, I am needed there.”
She possessed absolutely nothing except
eh rags on her back and often, upon arriving at
the home of a friend, she would cheerfully announce, “here is all of me.” For a long time no
one know where the Blessed One spent her
nights. The residents of the Borough were not
the only ones to wonder about this, for the local
police were also curious about the matter. Upon
investigating they discovered that he elderly little woman spent her nights in an open field,
praying and making prostrations in all four directions, and she
did this no
the season or
was a miracle
of God that
the severe St.
this way. It
time that her
be spent in
On one occasion in 1794, toward the end
of Zenia’s long life, a new Church was being
built in the Smolensk Cemetery. Workers began
to notice that, during the night, someone would
haul mounds of bricks to the top of the building
where they were needed. The workers were
amazed by this and resolved to find out who this
tireless worker could be. By posting a watchman
they were able to discover that it was the Servant
of God, Zenia.
“It was necessary,” says one writer, “for
her to possess either some super human power
or to carry within herself such a strong spiritual
fire, such a deep, undoubting faith with which
the impossible becomes possible. When one considers God’s great saints, however, who performed such wondrous miracles by their faith,
wonders incomprehensible to the human mind,
we cannot consider the Blessed One’s ascetic
feats as unprecedented or impossible for a person in the flesh. Zenia truly bore that faith with
which all tings are possible. While still living in
her body, her soul always soared above this
world, dwelling in the living, direct communion
The Blessed One was always ready to
help anyone in anyway possible. During the day
she would wander about the streets, her face reflecting her internal spirit of meekness, humility
and kindness by its warm, friendly glow. At
night, in all seasons, she would go into a field
and enter into conversation with God Himself.
Finally the time came when Zenia was no longer
to be found in the streets of the Petersburg Borough nor in the field; her radiant face shone no
more amidst the rude shacks of the St. Matthias
parish. God called His servant to rest from all
her struggles and took her to Himself. Zenia was
one of those candles which God lights on earth
form time to time in order to light up the path of
salvation for the faithful, as the Savior Himself
had said, “Let you light so shine before men
that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father Which is in Heaven” and “If,
therefore, your entire body is full of light, no
part of it being in darkness, that the whole of it
shall be full of radiance as when the bright
shining of a candle gives off its light.”
- From: “Mystogogy Resource Center” -
Sunday, August 21st 9:30 a.m. The Reading of
the Third Hour.
10:00 a.m. The 9th Sunday After Pentecost, Tone 8. The Apostle Thaddeus of the 70,
Martyr Bassa & children and the Venerable
Abramus are commemorated.
Wednesday, August 24th
4:00 p.m. The
Akathist Service to the Theotokos with prayers
for the sick and anointing of the faithful.
Saturday, August 27th 4:00 p.m. The Evening
Sunday, August 28th 9:30 a.m. The Reading of
The Third Hour.
10:00 a.m. The 10th Sunday After Pentecost, Tone 1. The Venerable Moses the Ethiopian, Synaxis of the Fathers of Pechersk and the
Relics of Job of Pochaev are commemorated.
MONDAY, AUGUST 29TH 9:00 A.M. THE
BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST! A
DAY OF STRICT FASTING!
Thursday, September 1st The First Day of the
Church Liturgical New Year!
Saturday, September 3rd 4:00 p.m. The Evening
Sunday, September 4th 9:30 a.m. The Reading
of the Third Hour.
10:00 a.m. The 11th Sunday After Pentecost, Tone 2. The Hieromartyr Babylas, Holy
Prophet Moses and the Relics of St. Joasaph are
New Relics of Saints
It is truly a blessing to announce the addition of two new relics enshrined here in our
beloved St. Nicholas Church! The presence of
these new relics as well as the others provides us
an opportunity to remember that when we gather
together to worship the Risen Lord the Mother of
God, angels and Saints are invisibly here present
amongst us, joining in our worship! What a
blessing it is to have these relics and to be able to
venerate them while seeking their intercessions
for the salvation of our souls!
Enshrined last Sunday is a relic of St.
Zenia of St. Petersburg, Russia. This relic was
once possessed by Father Michael Conrad of
Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in North
Royalton, Ohio. Upon his falling asleep in the
Lord, this relic was left to our parish in his will,
along with other liturgical items. May the Memory
of Father Michael and Pani Brenda Conrad be
Eternal in God’s Heavenly Kingdom!!!
We are also blessed to have relics of St.
Herman of Alaska. Deacon Ed Brisbine, Sis
Albers and the Anzivino Family recently made a
special pilgrimage to Alaska, this past week, to the
Church where His Holy Relics are enshrined in
their entirety. These relics were give to them by
Bishop David of Alaska and they are giving them
to the parish.
We are extend our appreciation to Bishop
David and the Deacon and the Albers and Anzivino’s, who transported the relics! Each time we
worship the Lord, and venerate these sacred relics,
we can invoke the powerful intercession of St.
Herman of Alaska! God’s bless you in abundance
for Many Years!
Attention everyone! The next Free
Dinner, sponsored by
our St. Nicholas Samaritan Outreach,
will take place on
Tuesday, August 23,
2016. This will be
held at the American
Legion in Windham,
Ohio. We are expecting a crowd. We will
also be have some
clothes to give out at
the outreach dinner.
The dinner menu will feature: Meatloaf,
Potato, Vegetable, Salad, Bread & Butter, Beverage and Dessert. We begin serving dinner at 5:00
p.m. that evening.
We are going to need donations, cooks and
workers, as always. If you are able to help us with
the dinner, please inform either Deacon Ed Brisbine or Father Ken at the coffee social, in the Fellowship Hall or by phone or email. Thanks so
much for your anticipated support!
We persevere in our dedication to minister
to our neighbors in need, remembering the words
of the Lord, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as
you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me!” (Matthew 25:40)
“A Taste of Warren”
A wonderful festival called A Taste of
Warren will be held on Saturday, September 24,
2016 at the Courthouse Square Park, in downtown
Warren. The festival will be held from 11:00 a.m.
until 3:00 p.m. that afternoon. We will be one of several local organizations and churches that will be
represented, featuring a variety of ethnic foods that
have identified our area. Along with all of our parishioners, the entire community is invited to attend!
We are please to announce that our St. Nicholas Church will have a boot at this event. We will be
selling our Internationally Renowned Holupki. All
of the proceeds will benefit our Church Complex
Paining Fund. We will be meeting soon to discuss
the particular plans for this event. We are going to
need volunteers to both cook before and to work at
the booth. Looking forward to you anticipated cooperation as always!
One of the
many acts of worship conducted at
each Sunday Divine Liturgy is
expressed in our
generous donations made at the
What a wonderful
way of putting
into practice one’s
ministry of Christian Fellowship
here at St. Nicholas Church! It is
also an expression of our thanksgiving, love and devotion to the Lord for all of His blessings received
from His Hands!
At this time we offer the Church Offering
Report from last Sunday: Regular Offering $645.00/
Candle Offering $91.00/ Church Donations
$2,485.00/ Hall Rental $100.0/ Total Church Offerings = $3,321.00.
Memorial Offerings made in loving memory
of the newly departed, +Sophie Brozier: Bonnie
Kacher $20.00/ and David Orfin $100.00.
May the Lord bless all of you 100 fold for
your gracious gifts for the continuing salvic work
being done in our beloved St. Nicholas Church! May
the Lord grant you peace, good health, joy and salvation for Many Happy and Blessed Years!!
Parish Family Picnic
The Annual St. Nicholas Parish Family Picnic has been scheduled for Sunday, September 11,
2016! It will be held at the pavilion at Howland Park
after the Sunday Divine Liturgy. All of our parishioners, family and friends are cordially invited to attend and relax and have an enjoyable day of fun and
This annual event is being sponsored by the
St. Nick’s Garden Angels. Featured will be delicious
food, beverages, dessert, games, music, singing, and
a lot of fun for everyone in the family! Father Ken
will be taking the children to Tiger Town, to enjoy
the playground amusements. Please mark this down
on your calendar and join us for an afternoon of
fun, relaxation and good Christian fellowship!
The faithful of St. Nicholas Church would
like to congratulate: Amina Tatiana Matijevic, who
was received in the fullness of the Holy Orthodox
Church of Christ by way of the Holy Mysteries of
Baptism and Chrismation. She is now the newest
communicant of our St. Nicholas Church and welcome her to our Spiritual Family-in-Christ! She
will be joining us with the sponsorship of Chris and
Terri Ahladis. Congratulations are extended to the
parents, godparents, family and friends!
We pray that our Lord will bless her with
peace, good health, joy and salvation for Many
Years, and she joins us in professing our Holy Orthodox Christian Faith!
Hopefully everyone in the St. Nick’s Book
Club have been enjoying the summer relaxing and
reading their books. We are announcing a meeting
of the book club, which will be held this morning,
after the Divine Liturgy. Father Ken asks that you
be seated in the front two pews. Be sure to have
your calendars ready for review.
We are asking everyone to attend. We want
to plan a place, date and time to meet to discuss our
latest book on prayer. We also need to pick the next
book from the vast library of Orthodox Books on
Spirituality. Hope to see everyone at the meeting!
The Carpatho-Rusyn Society of our area,
cordially invite all of our parishioners to their Annual Carpatho-Rusyn Vatra on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. This
Rusyn and Slovak Picnic will be held rain or shine
with free admission on the grounds of the Infant of
Prague Church—7754 South Avenue, in Boardman, Ohio.
Featured will be food, ethnic music, a genealogy booth, and sales tables! The Kitchen will
open at 12:00 noon that day.
The Ethnic Kitchen will feature such ethnic
delicacies as: Pirohy, Holupki (Stuffed Cabbage),
Halushki (Cabbage and Dumplings), Kielbasi and
Sauerkraut, Slanina (Bacon Fry), along with hot
and cold beverages. It will be the best food of its
kind this side of the Atlantic!
Now that students throughout our city are
getting ready for the first day of school, here at St.
Nicholas Church we need to get started planning
the 2016-2017 academic year for our St. Nicholas
Church School! If anyone would like to teach or be
a part of the staff, please join Father Ken at a special meeting that will be held on Sunday, September 18, 2016. The meeting will be held in our
The school program will begin with educational classes beginning on Sunday, October 2,
2016. Not only will the students receive instruction
on our faith, but we will have plays, music, arts &
crafts, and a lot of other activities throughout the
St. Nick’s Book Club
2016 “3 D Fund”
The 2015 Distinguished Diocesan Donor
Fund Drive, for the benefit of Camp Nazareth and
other Diocesan apostolates, is in full swing at this
time! We are now undergoing a final bush for the 3
D’s at this time! We encourage past donors to join
us again, as well as looking for new donors!
Each person who donates the minimum of
$100.00 dollars will be considered a member on the
entry level. However, we wholeheartedly encourage you to give as much as you are able, to enable
this ministry to flourish! Just fill out the attached
form and send it, along with your donation to:
Distinguished Diocesan Donors
312 Garfield Street
Johnstown, PA 15906.
Just talk to the children who attended summer camp, and they will tell you the wonderful
time they enjoyed at this year’s camping session!
Rachel Delida was even named Camper of the
Week! Go Rachel! Camp Nazareth would not be
here if not for this giving appeal! Especially the
expansion project just completed at camp!
If you give your $100.00 dollars, or more,
you will be a Guest of Honor at the Youngstown
Deanery Distinguished Diocesan Donor Appreciation Dinner. This will be held on Sunday, October
2, 2016 at the De Lucia Restaurant, on Elm Road in
Warren, Ohio. The banquet will be begin at 5:00
p.m. that evening. Father Stephen Loposky will
have a short talk and slide show to share with everyone attending the dinner.
If you are a 3 D Donor, and would like to
join us for the appreciation dinner, please contact
Father Ken, for your reservation, on or before Sunday, September 25, 2016.