Charitina of Lithuania

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The holy and right-believing Princess Charitina (d. 1281) is a saint of the 13th century who was born into a royal family but became a nun.

Charitina was born into a noble Lithuanian family in the mid-thirteenth century. Oppressive paganism and civil strife under the Grand Duke Algirdas (Olgierd) forced her to leave her homeland. She sought refuge in Russia, making her way to Novgorod. Charitina entered the Convent of Sts. Peter and Paul, which had been founded in the twelfth century. Some sources indicate that she was betrothed to the Russian prince Theodore but relinquished her royal privileges when she became a nun. She lived a strict, ascetic life and became Abbess of the convent. She reposed in the year 1281 and came to be revered as a saint of God. Her relics remained at Sts. Peter and Paul church until the Russian Revolution.

St. Charitina is commemorated on October 5. She should not be confused with Charitina of Amisus (or of Rome), also commemorated on October 5, but who was martyred in the year 304.

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