Mother Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945), an Russian Orthodox nun, protector of Jews in Paris, was killed in the Appel [Ravensbruck] concentration camp, by the Nazis, on Holy Saturday, March 31, 1945. Canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, she is a sign of prayerful and effective resistance to evil.
She lived for many years in Paris. One delightful story of her ingenious efforts to save persecuted Jews in occupied France is detailed in Jim Forest’s book Silent as a Stone. She persuaded trash collectors to hide children about to be taken by the Nazis in trash cans so that they could be moved to safe locations.
Hers is a spirituality needed for our time – combining deep prayer and courageous and imaginative resistance to injustice.
In 1938, she wrote:
“Open your gates to homeless thieves, let the outside world sweep in to demolish your magnificent liturgical system, abase yourself, empty yourself…
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