November 29, 2021

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

The Shocking Revelation Concerning a Mother that Prayed that Her Children Would Die

4 min read

+ B.P.

The convent that I served at for the longest time had a collection of aged but animated nuns in a convent building that immediately brought you back to the early 1930’s, as most things hadn’t been changed since the convent began in 1929.
There were holy women there but the full realization of their sanctity escaped me due to my young age, inexperience at the time. My weekly contact with them blinded me to the virtue of some of the nuns. Perhaps this was necessary, so I could continue to serve as their priest.
Three of the nuns were from the same village. Karvali (today Güzelyurt, formerly Gelveri of the district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey).

Their village was comprised of “Karamanlides” Turkish Speaking Greeks who wrote using the Greek alphabet to write their form of their spoken Turkish.
Amongst themselves, they would continue to speak Turkish until their death.

Ancient Karvali (as opposed to the New Karvali of modern-day Northern Greece founded by the displaced due to the population exchange of 1922)

Three of the nuns were from the same village. Karvali (today Güzelyurt, formerly Gelveri of the district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey). Their village was comprised of “Karamanlides” Turkish Speaking Greeks who wrote using the Greek alphabet to write their form of the Turkish they spoke.
Amongst themselves, they would continue to speak Turkish until their deaths.
All three of them had arrived in the modern state of Greece after the population exchange of 1922/1923 aboard the same ship traveling together with the relic of St. Gregory the Theologian which they brought at all costs (dumping their private possessions from the ship) from their village.

The Church of St. Gregory the Theologian, Karvali (Gelveri)

One of these three nuns was named Evlogia which can be translated as “blessing”. Her monastic name spoke about her character for truly she was a blessed woman. During her time at the monastery, she lived through wars, hunger, and hardships.
At one point, the then Abbess proclaimed to the sisters, “it seems to be the will of God that our convent closes”, to which Mother Evlogia responded, “My Mother, you take charge of the things inside the convent and I will take charge of those things outside it”. From then on, Mother Evlogia would go all through Greece collecting alms (mostly in the way of things and not money) as was popular for convents of that time to do. Her efforts kept her convent fed. Her prayer and her faith were recognized by her fellow nuns and by laymen alike. (God willing, I’ll write more on her life in another post.)
Today, I would like to share with you an event from the life of Mother Evlogia from the days when she was still a young married woman only in her late teens. It goes back to the time when she still lived in her dusty and ascetical village of Gelveri. She was then a serious, stern girl, in a way that only other-worldly Orthodox can be, in her late teens already the mother of two small girls that she cradled in the Orthodox family lifestyle as was typical at that time in a village of people whose state of life included all-night vigils with the Jesus Prayer.
It was the time of the persecution of the Greeks of Asia Minor, followed by the exchange of the population between Greece and Turkey. The future Mother Evlogia, like so many other women of the time, would lose her husband in the ensuing genocide.

Her two daughters were taken from her by a Turkish aga. Then in the future nun’s house could be seen a heart-wrenching sight. This very young mother had fallen to her knees and wouldn’t stand up from prayer. The women of the village tried to comfort her by saying that her daughters would live a good life in the house of the aga. The young mother responded, “I’m not praying that my daughters live well, I’m praying that they die! If they live they will certainly accept the faith of the Muslims. If they die now, they will be taken to be close to our Lord.” The villagers soon learned that both of the little girls had died, assuredly through the blessed prayer s of their holy mother.
Arriving in mainland Greece, Evlogia’s family tried to force her to marry again since she was so very young. This blessed one however would secretly flee from them and enter the aforementioned convent.
Overcoming the very instincts of motherhood, Evlogia shined as a true Christian seeing nothing sweeter than the love of Christ.

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