St. Anna, Princess of Kashin


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Commemorated on October 2

The Holy Right-believing Princess Anna of Kashin, a daughter of Rostov Prince Demetrius Borisovich, became the wife of the holy Great Prince Michael Yaroslavich of Tver in 1294. After the death of her husband by Mongol Tartars, Anna withdrew into Tver’s Sophia monastery and accepted tonsure with the name Euphrosyne. She later transferred to the Kashin Dormition Monastery, and became a schema-nun with the name Anna. She fell asleep in the Lord on October 2, 1338.

Miracles at St. Anna’s grave began in 1611 during the siege of Kashin by Polish and Lithuanian forces. There was also a great fire in the city which died down without doing much damage. The saint, dressed in her monastic schema, appeared to Gerasimus, a gravely ill warden of the Dormition Cathedral. She promised that he would recover, but complained, “People show no respect for my tomb. They ignore it and my memory! Do you not know that I am supplicating the Lord and His Mother to deliver the city from the foe, and that you be spared many hardships and evils?” She ordered Gerasimus to tell the clergy to look after her tomb and to light a candle there before the icon of Christ Not-Made-By-Hands.

At the Council of 1649, it was decided to uncover St. Anna’s relics for general veneration and to glorify her as a saint. But in 1677, Patriarch Joachim proposed to the Council that her veneration in Russia should be discontinued because of the Old Believers Schism, which made use of the name of St. Anna of Kashin for its own purposes. When St. Anna was buried, her hand had been positioned to make the Sign of the Cross with two fingers, rather than three. However, the memory of St. Anna, who had received a crown of glory from Christ, could not be erased by decree. People continued to love and venerate her, and many miracles continued to take place at her tomb.

On June 12, 1909, her second glorification took place, and her universally observed feast day was established. Her life describes her as a model of spiritual beauty and chastity, and an example to future generations.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)