Her life was difficult from the very beginning. Even tragic. But in her case, her faith strengthened and helped her.
It should be said right away that all this data is exclusively the stories of eyewitnesses of her life, there is very little documentary data about the life of mother.
The exact year of her birth is unknown, except that it was a few years before the 1917 revolution. The girl’s father was strict, but her mother, on the contrary, was kind, and not only to her daughter. She often put gifts in her apron and asked her to go and distribute to the poor.
At school, Agapia (worldly name) was considered smart, quick-witted, she stood out noticeably among her classmates. But the year 1918 came, which seriously affected the family of the girl, who was then 8 years old. In one day, she became a complete orphan and read prayers over her parents all night. She went to a neighbor for some reason, and when she came, her parents were covered in blood. They were shot by the Red Army.
She had to abandon school and for some time Agapia lived with her uncle, and then went wandering.
These were the years when faith in God was condemned and at that time Agapia spent 10 years in prison. She did not like to talk about herself and to be photographed too. Therefore, little is known about her life.
During the mass arrests of church activists in 1930, the wanderer ended up in prison “somewhere on the seashore, near Odessa.” She was thrown into a cell with criminals and the corridor guard did not believe what he saw through the peephole of the door: the girl stood in the middle of the cell and prayed, and the dumbfounded rapists and murderers did not come close to her, standing aside. And then a series of interrogations followed, during which she was beaten and tortured. Every year during Easter, Agapia refused to go to work, for which the guards beat her doubly. It was from there that she was left with a hunched back and a toothless mouth.
Then she was sent to death row, from which five or six people were taken every night to be shot. Basically, there were priests, whose life in those years was a foregone conclusion. When only three people remained in the cell (Agapia, the priest and his son), the girl heard the father say to his son: “Let’s serve a memorial service on our own, today they will pick us up by dawn.” And then he turned to Agapia: “And today you will get out of here alive.” His words turned out to be prophetic. It is not known exactly how the mother managed to escape, but according to her, the Apostle Peter helped her.
For 11 days, hungry Agapia crawled along the rocks, got up, fell again. Her entire body was injured. There is a version that it was then that mother met with the elder Theodosius, who blessed Agapia for a new feat – foolishness.
During the Second World War, she ended up in a concentration camp somewhere in Germany. Even there, she risked her own life by leading the women out of the camp at night by cutting the net.
And then she herself went to Kyiv on foot. In general, she walked a lot to monasteries and visited many. She lived in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra until its closing. It was there that Father Kronid tonsured her, named her Alipia and blessed her for a new feat – pilgrimage. This is how mother lived for 3 years in the hollow of a tree, constantly praying. Every evening she went to services and every evening Father Kronid gave her a little crackers and said: “Now go, save yourself.” In winter, when it snowed heavily, he brought her crackers himself.
After the monastery was closed, mother settled in a house near the Goloseevskaya hermitage. When people found out about this, they began to come to her in droves.
During the days of Great Lent, mother did not spare herself at all – during the first and Holy Weeks she did not eat, did not sleep, and only prayed. And around her neck she wore a huge and heavy bunch of keys, which replaced her chains. Moreover, these keys were not simple – when she released people in the German camp, then for each of them she added a key to the bunch. From this ligament, my mother even had a scar on her body.
It was believed that mother understood the language of animals and birds. She treated many forest animals and they themselves came to her from the forest.
Some living creatures always lived in her small house and in the courtyard: geese, chickens, cats – especially a lot of cats. The old woman said that she understood the language of animals and birds, and, looking at how she was talking to the birds who sat down to rest on the slope of her roof, people believed that not only she understood them, but they understood her.
She also treated people who came to her – with ointments of her own making and, of course, with prayer. And not only ordinary people, but even officials and party leaders. On the day she could take from 50 to 60 people.
She predicted the deaths of several people and her own. And people continued to make pilgrimages to her modest grave, as in the years when she was alive. They say that even being at her grave is already becoming easier.
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