St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Xenia, a fool for Christ. St. Xenia was born and
raised in St. Petersburg. She married a Colonel, Andrew, who died unexpectedly while out with friends. Childless, she gave her possessions away and disappeared for eight years. Tradition states that she spent life in a hermitage learning the spiritual life. When she returned to St. Petersburg, she only answered to her husband's name. She spent the remainder of her life on the streets, suffering great ridicule by those who thought she was insane.
St. Xenia's grave became a site of may miracles. People came to visit so regularly, taking the soil home from her grave, that it became necessary to replenish the soil frequently. St Xenia is the patron saint of finding lodging, a husband, or a spouse.
At a glance St. Xenia may appear unrelatable to us. But we see that St. Xenia persisted in her love of the Lord despite many obstacles. Her interactions with those around her must have been deeply impactful; people do not visit graves and take soil if the person buried was rude to them when alive! She could have easily let the way people treated her dissuade her of God's love. But she persisted, drawing on what she learned in the eight years at a hermitage. And so we sing, "O Xenia manly-minded and divinely wise. Wherefore, we cry to thee: Rejoice, for after earthly wandering thou hast come to dwell in the Father's house."