A Brief Look at St. Peter and St. Fevronia

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A Brief Look at St. Peter and St. Fevronia

Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

I am writing to inform you about St. Fevronia's hare in Russia.

"He entered a room in which he found a beautiful maiden who was weaving. Before her a hare was jumping and playing about. - I came to your place and I saw you weaving and a hare jumping about before you. Now I hear strange words from your lips which I cannot understand."

The old Russian words "zaets skacha" can be translated as "jumping hare" or "dancing hare". There is nothing unusual in seeing "jumping hare" in Murom forests.

Since the servant was very surprised, then the translation is probably "dancing hare".

Many folk legends about St. Peter and St. Fevronia are known in the Murom and Ryazan regions of Russia, for example:

"After the wedding of St. Peter and St. Fevronia, the couple had a reception at which people and animals rejoiced together and flowers started to bloom and butterflies flied all around.

St. Fevronia blessed the trees, which had their branches chopped off for firewood, and in the morning the trees grew back their branches and were blossoming".

The URL below is the official Church version of the story of St. Peter and St. Fevronia in English

http://www.ku.edu/~russcult/culture/handouts/peter_fevronia.html

One place connected with St. Fevronia and her hare is in in the small village of Laskovo, Ryazan region, where Fevronia lived before she became princess of Murom. [To enlarge the photo of the church, click on the photo or link]

The Cathedral of the Holy Virgin in Murom, where the holy prince and princess were found together in one tomb, was destroyed by communists, but the holy relics of Peter and Fevronia survived and are now in the Holy Trinity nunnery in Murom. [To enlarge the photo of the cathedral, click on the photo or link]

On 8 July the Russian Orthodox Church honors St. Peter and St. Fevronia as patrons of all loving couples.  It is Russian Orthodox "St. Valentine Day". Love postcards are "laskovky" after the name of the village Laskovo (Caring) where Fevronia lived.

The story about Hitler's family roots in Murom is nonsense. However, that nonsense is connected with some real events of WW 2. In 1941 Hitler issued an instruction for General field marshal Fedor von Bock to prohibit bombing and attacking Murom. A secret German expedition was sent to St. Peter & St. Fevronia forests in the Soviet rear, nobody knows why.

Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow. He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.