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Tombstone of Schema-nun Serafina

    Schema-nun Serafima (Maria Smirnova) (born Moscow, Russia 1901 – died Heinävesi, Finland, 1986) was born to a Russian noble family. Maria learnt to speak French and Dutch at a young age and she went to study at a school meant for noble maidens in St. Petersburg. Maria was a gifted student and she often played piano in school’s parties. The members of the Tsar Family sometimes visited these events and heard her play. Maria’s father passed away during the Russian revolution and her mother sent 18 years old Maria and her 12-year-old brother to Finland. In Finland Maria worked as doctor’s assistant and went to school in Karelian Isthmus where she found her husband, who later on proved to be unfaithful. Maria sought help to her unhappy marriage from Lintula monastery, where she was secretly ordained to a nun and granted a permission to divorce from her husband. After divorce, Maria moved to Lintula monastery with her daughter Natasha. When the winter war broke out Maria fled to Kuopio and worked as a mail carrier to make money for her family. In 1950’s she lived in Uusimaa where she helped to take care of her daughter’s twins. In 1961, Maria moved to Lintula monastery in Heinävesi. In Heinävesi she tended the monastery’s kitchen and participated in the life of the monastery with other nuns. She was also ordained to a Schema-nun and given the name Serafima in Lintula monastery.

    Address : Valamontie 36, 79860 Heinävesi

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