July 29, 2021

Holy Confessor Matrona Belyakova of Anemnyasevo (+ 1936)

St. Matrona of Anemnyasevo (Feast Day - July 29)

Matrona was born on November 6, 1864 in the village of Anemnyasevo, of the Ryazan province, to her peasant farming parents Gregory and Eudokia, who were physically frail and underdeveloped. Her family was considered the poorest in the village, and her father was a bitter drunkard. After seven years, Matrona suddenly fell ill with smallpox. The parents did not treat the girl, and after an illness she went blind.

Chapel to St. Matrona built on the location of her parental home.

Her responsibility was to babysit her younger sisters and brothers. They had a large household: six daughters and two sons. Three sisters died in childhood; Matrona was the fourth child. Once, left with her younger sister, the blind Matrona dropped the girl from the porch. Matrona was very frightened, cried and rushed after her sister. At this time, the girls' mother passed by, who, seeing what had happened, began to beat her blind daughter. Her mother beat her very hard and for a long time, and, losing consciousness, the girl saw the Queen of Heaven, the Most Holy Mother of God. She informed her mother about this, but she began to beat her even harder. Three times during the beating, Matrona saw the Theotokos, who said some words to her, but Matrona did not reveal the secret of these words to anyone until the end of her life. After being severely beaten by her own mother, the blind, mutilated girl lost her ability to walk. She became completely helpless, she could only lie down and did not get out of bed until her death.

Matrona spent 17 years in her parents' house, finding solace only in prayer. Once a sick peasant turned to her with a request to cure his back. Matrona held her hand on his back and the pain stopped. Since then, people with their needs and illnesses began to visit her. Soon after Matrona, together with her sister Daria, moved to a small house built especially for Matrona by kind people. But her sister treated the blessed one only as a source of income, demanding that she take as many offerings as possible. Matrona was again forced to move, now she moved to be with her nephew, a very religious and kind person. The confessor of Matrona was Saint Alexander Orlov (canonized in 2000 as a holy confessor and commemorated on April 14th).

The home in which St. Matrona lived till 1935.

Although an adult, Matrona looked like a child. It appears that from the time she received her terrible injuries, and she was then 10 years old, Matrona did not mature in her appearance. This combined with the underdevelopment of her parents contributed to her being a dwarf of about three feet in height.

In the summer of 1935, the Belkovsky district branch of the NKVD opened a criminal case against the "Pravdolyubov priests and the sick degenerate Matrona Belyakova" based on anti-Soviet and anti-collective farm agitation. A special meeting at the NKVD of the USSR on August 2, 1935 decided "Matrona Grigorievna Belyakova should be sent for compulsory treatment."

Blessed Matrona died of heart failure on July 29, 1936 in a home for chronic patients in Moscow. She was buried at the Vladykino cemetery.

In the 1970s, in connection with the construction of a highway near the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Vladykin, several graves located not far from the walls of the church had to be moved. The relics of Blessed Matrona were transferred to the Central Cemetery in Dolgoprudny, but for a long time the exact place of her burial was unknown.

In the early 2000s, the granddaughter of priest Boris Kondratyev turned to the head of the Dolgoprudnenskoye cemetery, who in 1936 served the funeral service for the deceased Matrona in the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Vladykino. According to the woman, her grandfather was also buried at Vladykino cemetery in 1955, and in the 1970s he was reburied on the same site (No. 129) of the old territory of the Dolgoprudnenskoye cemetery, where Blessed Matrona rested. According to the woman, the grave of Matrona was close to the grave of her grandfather. This information helped to find the exact burial place of Blessed Matrona of Anemnyasevo.

In 1999, Matrona of Anemnyasevo was glorified as a locally revered saint of the Ryazan diocese, and at the Jubilee Bishops' Council in 2000 she was glorified for general Church veneration.

In memory of Saint Matrona of Anemnyasevo, who found her last refuge in the city of Dolgoprudny, it was decided to build a chapel on the old territory of the Dolgoprudny cemetery. A chapel also stands over the location of her parental home where she grew up.