Barbara (Trofimova) of Piukhtitsa

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Schema-Abbess Barbara (Trofimova) of the Holy Dormition Piukhtitsa in Estonia was a female monastic of the Church of Russia who was instrumental in the resurgence of Russian monastic life as the Soviet period in Russia ended. She has been called the Abbess of all Russia.


Abbess Barbara was born Valentina Alexeyevna Trofimova on August 17, 1930 in the town of Chudovo in Novgorod Province. Her pious family gave her a deeply Orthodox upbringing during difficult times. Valentina moved with her family at the onset of World War II to the town of Luga in Leningrad Province, previously Novgorod Province. There, she completed her education, graduating from high school and, then, from an accounting school, the field in which she began working. Valentina also sang and read in church.

Very soon after she began working, she began to yearn for a different life, a life in monasticism. In 1952, Valentina Trofimova became a novice in the Convent of the Mother of God — the Piukhtitsa Dormition Convent in Estonia. In 1955, she moved to the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene in Vilinus where she continued her obedience under the leadership of the eldress Abbess Nina ( Batasheva). Seven, including Valentina, of the wards of Abbess Nina, later Schema-Abbess Barbara, would become abbesses themselves. On March 5, 1958, Ryassafore Nun Valentina Trofimova received the tonsure and the mantiya, with the name Barbara.

On January 3, 1968, Nun Barbara (Trofimova) was appointed Mother Superior of the Piukhtitsa Convent by His Holiness Patriarch Alexei I (Simansky) of Moscow and All Russia. On the eve of the feast of Theophany, January 18, Abp. Alexei (Ridiger) of Tallinn and Estonia raised Nun Barbara to the rank of Abbess in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, and on the following day, January 19, 1968 he entrusted her with the staff of abbess of Piukhtitsa Convent. Later, His Holiness Patr. Alexei I placed upon her the pectoral cross in ceremonies in [[Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra[[, near Moscow.

Under the leadership of Abbess Barbara (Trofimova) over the next forty two years, the monastery of the Piukhtitsa Convent was completely transformed as she began a comprehensive building program. All the churches of the monastery were restored, the cupolas and crosses were gilded, and the wall paintings of Dormition Cathedral renovated. New living quarters and stone utility structures, as well as a guesthouse for pilgrims visiting the monastery, were built. At the monastery farm a [[chapel] was built, dedicated to the Great Martyr George.

In addition to the restoration of the old monastery buildings and construction of supporting facilities, Mother Barbara expanded the major ecclesiastical buildings with the construction of the St. Sergius bell tower. Following in 1986, a house church was added, consecrated to the Hierarch Alexei of Moscow and Great Martyr Barbara. Then, in 1990, the church dedicated to St. John the Forerunner and the Hieromartyr Isidore was consecrated.

Also in 1990 a major administrative change occurred as the Piukhtitsa Dormition Convent was placed under the omophorion of the Patriarch of Moscow as a stavropegic monastery under his administrative rule.

Early on February 8, 2011, the Mother Superior of the Holy Dormition, Piukhtitsa Convent, Schema-Abbess Barbara (Trofimova) reposed in the Lord. Her funeral service was held on February 10, 2011.


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