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March 1, 2022

Venerable Mother Zosima of Ennatsky (+ 1935)

Venerable Zosima of Ennatsky (in the world Evdokia Yakovlevna Sukhanova) was from the village of Sentsovka, of the Orenburg district, and was born on March 1, 1820. She grew up in a deeply religious family. At the behest of her father, she got married. Subsequently, her husband died in the Russian-Turkish war, and her son died in an accident while hunting (his widow later became the cell attendant of Mother Zosima and never left her until her death).

Some time later, after the death of her loved ones, when she was 72 years old, she came to the Pokrov-Ennatsky Monastery,* and was tonsured a nun with the name of Evnikia (Eunice). On several occasions she went on pilgrimage by foot to Jerusalem. The last time she did this was in 1912, at the age of 92. In Jerusalem, she was greatly impressed by the miraculous descent of the Holy Light on Holy Saturday in the Holy Sepulchre.

Near the Pokrov-Ennatsky Monastery, the Saint found a spring, from the water of which people began to receive healing. Later, a skete with a chapel in honor of the Holy Trinity was built near the spring.

In 1919, Nun Evnikia received the Great Schema with the name Zosima. The tonsure was performed by Bishop Andrei (Ukhtomsky). From the time of her tonsuring in the Great Schema until her blessed repose, Mother Zosima slept in a cypress coffin she brought from her last pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1912. According to the recollections of her contemporaries, it was in this coffin that they carried her out of the monastery when they closed it in 1923. When the monastery was closed in 1923 by the Soviets, Zosima settled in the village of Novo-Arkhangelovka, in a small house built in the yard of one pious family.

During the time of the persecution of the Church, peasants hid Matushka Zosima. In the holy cypress coffin brought from Jerusalem, she slept in one or another hut, and in it she was carried from village to village.

Many people from the Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Samara and Saratov regions constantly came to Mother Zosima. People brought her their worries, ailments, diseases. She helped everyone with words of consolation, and wondrously healed their ailments.

The venerated elder of our day Archimandrite Seraphim Tomin (1923-2013), the founder and spiritual father of Saint Andrew’s Monastery in the village of Andreevka in the Saraktash District of the Orenburg Province, who prior to this resided at the Russian Saint Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mount Athos in the 1970s, left his spiritual children an amazing story about how Mother Zosima healed him in infancy, and then foretold both his monasticism and his time on the Holy Mountain. Father Seraphim would later be instrumental in getting Mother Zosima canonized.

Venerable Zosima of Ennatsky lived for 115 years. She reposed in her native village of Sentsovka on March 1, 1935 and was buried in the village cemetery. Because of a report that there was gold and jewelry buried with her, her grave was opened after her burial by order of the authorities. Of course, nothing was found in it.

Finding of her Relics

The sacred relics of Zosima of Ennatsky were found in 2003 in the village of Sentsovka, and were originally placed in the Kazan-Bogorodsky Church in the city of Meleuza, of the Diocese of Ufa, and were later transferred to the Pokrov-Ennatsky Monastery.

On June 11, 2006, on the feast of the Holy Trinity in the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent (or Martha and Mary Convent) in the village of Ira, of the Kumertau district, in the Ufa Diocese, Archbishop Nikon of Ufa and Sterlitamak performed the rite of canonization of Mother Zosima of Ennatsky.

Venerable Zosima of Ennatsky is commemorated on the day of her birth and the day of her repose, both of which took place on March 1st.


1. Monks of the Pokrov-Ennatsky Monastery often travel with her holy relics to various cities in Russia. "When I came to Orenburg," says Father Nikolai, "such a miracle happened. A mother and daughter came to the relics. The 28-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, and and they came to the cathedral where I brought the relics, and day and night they stayed in the temple. The night before the operation they prayed and left, and I did not know what happened next.

But when two weeks later we returned to move to a different area of the Diocese of Orenburg, we stopped again in the cathedral, where the relics of Saint Zosima spent the night in the church. And this old woman, with a loud cry, came to me and she told me that when her daughter went in for surgery, the doctors examined her again and found no tumor. The next day, the woman brought a handful of gold jewelry and donated them to Mother Zosima."

2. Another case of the miraculous help of Mother Zosima took place in Orsk. "A young man, about twenty-five years old, came," says Father Nikolai, "and said that his son was born not breathing - his lungs did not open, and a respirator had to be connected. I advised him: the temple is now closed, ask, and you will be left alone and you can pray. In the morning, when we were leaving, he appeared from somewhere and said, 'Father! The prayers of the Nun Zosima gave breath to the child!'"

3. Even during her lifetime, the holy eldress particularly healed the diseases of the feet, and the demon possessed who were brought to her in chains recovered. She also had a prophetic gift. She was approached for help even by sick cattle and did not deny them - the cow or the horse in those days were precious, and their loss put the family in danger.


* An Orthodox monastery in the village of Novomikhalkovka in the Fedorov District of the Republic of Bashkortostan, founded in the late-nineteenth century. It is called Ennastky in memory of the churchwardens, who were local landowners named Ennatsky. It operated as a convent until the early 1920s. In 2000, it was revived as a men’s monastery.