The amazed priest said: “I have christened many, but have never seen anything like this! This child shall be a saint!” The child was christened Matrona, in honor of the venerable Matrona, a Greek saint of the 5th century.
At about the age of fourteen she made a pilgrimage to several Russian holy sites. When she came to Kronstadt to receive the blessing of the famous priest who served there St. John, the holy priest, who had never met her, cried out "Matrona, come here!" and proclaimed "She will be my heir, the eighth pillar of Russia." To this day no one can explain the significance of that phrase spoken by him. However, the fact that St. John of Kronstadt, known for his gift of spiritual foresight, singled Matrona out in the crowd and sought to converse with her, testifies to his having recognized the Holy seal on her, and how she would serve Russia and the Russian people during the persecution of the Church.
At the age of seventeen she was stricken with paralysis and was never able to walk again. For the rest of her life she lived in a room filled with icons, where she would sit cross-legged on her bed and receive visitors. She never bemoaned her blindness or paralysis and once she said "A day came when God opened my eyes, and I saw the light of the sun, the stars and all that exists in the world: the rivers, the forests, the sea and the whole creation."
In 1925, following the Russian Revolution and Civil War, she settled in Moscow. After the death of her mother in 1945, she moved frequently out of fear of the Communist authorities, living secretly in the homes of the faithful. Despite this, throngs of believers found their way to her for counsel and healing. The secret police, knowing her holy influence, sought many times to arrest her; but she always knew in advance when they were coming, and would be moved to a different secret location. She fasted much, slept rarely, and it is said that her forehead was dented by the countless signs of the Cross that she made.
Of the persecution of the Church by the Communists, she simply said that this was due to the sins and lack of faith of the Christians, and added, "Difficult times are our lot, but we Christians must choose the Cross. Christ has placed us on His sleigh, and He will take us where He will."
Having foreseen the day of her death, she said, "Come close, all of you, and tell me of your troubles as though I were alive! I'll see you; I'll hear you, and I'll come to your aid." She reposed in peace on April 19, 1952. Many miracles occurred at her tomb. In 1998 her relics were moved to the women's Monastery of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, where thousands of Orthodox Christians come to venerate her and, as she asked, to bring her their problems and concerns as though she were alive on earth.
She was glorified by the Church of Russia in 1999, for local veneration in the Diocese of Moscow.
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